Can Solo: A Star Wars Story be appreciated by a "novice" viewer, i.e. someone who hasn't seen any previous Star Wars movie?

Or do they need to watch any other movies in the series in order to understand characters and plot elements of Solo: A Star Wars Story? If so, which ones?

  • I haven't seen Solo yet, but considering it's the origin story of a character first introduced in the very first Star Wars movie (Episode IV), you probably don't need to have seen any of them; there might be in-jokes and allusions and references that you wouldn't get, but none of the plot is going to be relevant. Commented May 25, 2018 at 11:05
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    You can understand the plot but I would argue that most of the enjoyment comes from spotting the references and in-jokes.
    – Mr_Thyroid
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 23:01

4 Answers 4


I haven't seen it but looper explained it pretty well:

Solo's story, however, is a done-in-one. You won't find any cliffhangers here, and you don't need to watch any previous movies to understand what's going on. The Last Jedi this ain't. You'll probably get more out of Solo if you have a passing familiarity with the characters — one joke in the second Solo trailer, for example, only lands if you're up on your Star Wars catchphrases — but it's not necessary. If you're not an expert on everything that happened a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, you should be fine.

Also from Wikipedia:

A stand-alone installment set between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, it explores the adventures of younger versions of Han Solo and Chewbacca, who also meet a young Lando Calrissian.

  • I am curious which joke it is?
    – A J
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 11:52
  • @AJ There's a scene in one of the trailers where Han says "Push it!"; in the original trilogy he says "Punch it!" (I think in very similar situations, but I'm not sure). Doesn't fit my definition of a joke, but might be what they're referring to, since it's sort of considered a catchphrase. Commented May 25, 2018 at 12:34
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    @AJ "I've got a good feeling about this".
    – Mr_Thyroid
    Commented May 25, 2018 at 22:57
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    That the movie lacks cliffhangers is kind of...false. Mostly it doesn't, but there's a very big thing that happens at the end which is very clearly not closing a story but rather opening up new ones and raising questions. Commented May 27, 2018 at 11:25
  • @AnthonyGrist Where in the original trilogy is "Punch it" a (catch)phrase? Doesn't sound famiier to me. Mr_Thyroid got the right reference. Every other Star Wars movie has the line "I've got a bad feeling about this". The line in Solo is a clear nod to that reoccuring line.
    – Ian
    Commented May 28, 2018 at 8:35

I watched the film last night. I can confirm that you don't need to see any of the other films to enjoy this one. That being said, there are several references to the original trilogy that will escape a Star Wars newbie (I think most of them will not be noticeable, either - all but a few are fairly subtle).


Although I agree with others, despite that Solo: A Star Wars Story tends to inform The Original Trilogy (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and The Return of the Jedi) and helps to full circle Han's life (The Force Awakens), one does not need to see those films or other materials to enjoy 'Solo', but one will definitely get more out of it, and may be surprised or delighted with the plot twist ending (The Phantom Menace, Clone Wars, Star Wars: Rebels), if they had.

Why it might still be better to watch most of The Skywalker Saga films (Episodes I-VII), especially The Original Trilogy, before seeing Solo: A Star Wars Story:

  1. By showcasing younger versions of established classic characters, one will not only see how Lando, Chewy, and Han meet, but you will also see riffs or juxtapositions of scenes from the original trilogy with these characters.
  2. In similar fashion there are new characters such as Beckett and Qi'ra that inform whom Han Solo will become in the original trilogy, as Beckett has characteristics of future Han and Qi'ra tends to juxtapose Han's future relationship with Princess/General Leia.
  3. As mentioned in the paragraph above, this story doesn't just inform the original trilogy by explaining things mentioned in the original trilogy, or with callbacks, but Han in this film is also not quite the Han many know from that era, being a bit more optimistic ("I have good Feeling about this!" vs "I have a bad feeling about this"), putting him closer to the Han Solo presented in The Force Awakens, who comes to embrace notions of The Force, where previously he was dismissive or doubtful. It helps full circle his character's full arc (thus far).
  4. The ending reveals who's the head of Crimson Dawn. For some this ending will be super shocking, because for those that only watch the films (and no other media), would have thought this character to be dead (The Phantom Menace), but those that do follow other media (TV Series: Clone Wars, Rebels), might be delighted, because to them, it would make perfect sense that this character would be here. Without knowing either, this ending may not mean too much.

Solo is an origin story. It might actually help someone who hasn't seen any of the series to see it first. Then they would have a better understanding of why Han is the way he is. Now in my opinion everyone should see all of them. Yes, episodes 1 through 3 (the 4th-6th movies released, weird Anakin age jump from child to adult sleeping with the Queen, so awkward) were terrible, but it's all part of the greater picture. So yeah you can see Solo without seeing the rest.. it's not technically part of the saga, but why deprive yourself of such an iconic film series?

  • Hello! While parts of your answer might be helpful, the second part is more of comment or a rant, being primarily opinion based and not really answering the question. The sites policies require us to answer primarily with facts and legitimate sources to help back us up to get more objective answers. However you are free to comment in the comment section or in a chat room. :) Commented Feb 5, 2019 at 19:30

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