Towards the end of episode V, Han Solo is captured and frozen in carbonite to ensure the chamber works on humans, in preparation for freezing Luke Skywalker in the same manner. The last we see of him, Boba Fett is wheeling him onto his ship to take him somewhere. In episode VI, we find Han has been transported by Boba Fett to Jabba the Hutt's lair on Tatooine.

My question is, why did Han end up on Tatooine? Was it just the bounty? Or some other reason?

EDIT: Clarifying question: Why would Darth Vader give him to Boba Fett to be taken to Tatooine?

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    Boba Fett was a bounty hunter. Why would it be anything but the bounty?
    – Kevin
    Feb 2, 2014 at 21:38
  • @Kevin ... I will update my question ... Feb 2, 2014 at 21:47
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    Han's debt to Jabba was made obvious . . . even in the original version of " A NEW HOPE". What I cannot answer is why after three years, Han had failed to pay off the debt by "THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK". I wish the 1980 movie had explained this.
    – user12752
    Jul 16, 2014 at 18:14

3 Answers 3


The Empire hires Bounty Hunters to track Luke (and the Rebel band), of which Han is an accessory to: if not a rebel himself. enter image description here

The Rebel band (Han, Chewie, Droids and Leia) seek refuge at Bespin, as its supposed neutrality is supposed to offer them some form of protection (or at least not immediately reporting their presence to the Empire), not to mention Han's relationship with Lando.

This plan would have worked, if Boba Fett had not tracked the Millennium Falcon to Bespin, by hiding Slave 1 amongst the debris/refuge field discharged by the Super Star-Destroyer.

enter image description here

By plotting their trajectory (and applying some deduction) Boba would have been able to both trail the Falcon and report their destination to the Imperial Fleet.

As Solo was meaningless to the Empire (except to demoralize them by witnessing him being frozen in Carbonite, and to test whether a Human would survive the process so as to transport an unwilling Skywalker), part of his fee was implied to be Solo: Vader's foreknowledge of Jabba in the "he's no good to me dead" conversation infers a previous agreement/discussion between Fett and Vader.

So Boba was able to claim one bounty whilst picking up the necessary cargo to claim another: it's obvious negotiation.

However, there is another glaring plot-hole hidden within this sequence that goes un-addressed: maybe someone else would like to ask it (it might already have been asked!), but...

How did the Empire beat the Falcon to Bespin, if the Falcon is the 'Fastest Ship in the Galaxy' and Vader "arrived just before you did (...I'm Sorry)"?

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    Very nice answer John ... I'm on the fence. I may have to change my acceptance. Feb 2, 2014 at 22:49
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    If anyone is interested, I asked the final "Question within an answer" over at Sci-fi and got a good answer! Feb 2, 2014 at 23:52
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    I think the answer to your "Falcon" question is that Han Solo also boasts about his exploits. Vader and the Empire have unlimited resources to make their ships go faster. Mar 20, 2014 at 19:07
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    @Paulster2, follow the link for the answer! it is the fastest ship in the hyperdrive, but its FTL drive is broken! Mar 21, 2014 at 9:45

In fact Boba Fett (as well as the other bounty hunters after Han) worked for Jabba, who had put the bounty on Han because he owed him money, as we learn at the beginning of Episode IV and which he (Han) states himself when leaving Hoth:

Well, there's a price on my head. If I don't pay off Jabba the Hut, I'm a dead man.

Boba Fett has never explicitly worked for the empire or had any other motivation than the bounty he was tasked with, so the only place Han could end up after given over to Boba was Jabba's lair.

Darth Vader hadn't any interest in Han Solo at all, which is why he tests the carbonite machine on him, he didn't care if he died, ended up with Jabba or whatever, as long as he was out of the way (and Tatooine would likely not hold a nice future for him). Everything Vader concetrated his efforts on was the young Skywalker and the others had played their roles in setting up the trap for him, what happens to them now is out of his narrowed down view.


As we know from this meme, it was due to a debt to Jabba. Bobba Fett was just there to collect the bounty. This was made evident in the re-working Lucas did on A New Hope, where a scene with Jabba the Hutt was added to enforce the fact that Han owed him money. For those of us old enough to remember a time when Han shot first, you know Jabba wasn't in the original theatrical release.

enter image description here

  • I might be completely wrong, but somehow I can't help the feeling that the only reason this is not a comment is because you can't post cool/funny internet pictures in comments, given that it doesn't seem to add so much to the actual question that other answers haven't adressed yet (or at least doesn't explain in which way it does).
    – Napoleon Wilson
    Mar 20, 2014 at 19:05
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    Well, no one else mentioned that Jaba is present in the added scenes in Episode IV and not in the original release, which the OP may (or may not) be aware of. Jul 16, 2014 at 21:55
  • Quite aware of the re-release scene at Mos Eisley (sp), but love the meme anyway. +1 Nonetheless :D Jan 1, 2016 at 1:41

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