As one of the most popular Star Wars characters ever, Han Solo has always had an interesting story that stems from the fact that he used to be a scoundrel that worked with the worst scum of the galaxy. Introduced as a smuggler during the events of ‘Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,’ Han only agreed to help Luke and Obi-Wan in their quest to get R2-D2’s message to Alderaan because he was promised to get paid a good sum, which he planned to use to cover his debt to Jabba the Hutt. Of course, Han became a true Rebel hero, but that’s another story. So, what did Han Solo owe Jabba the Hutt?
Han Solo likely owed somewhere close to 17,000 credits to Jabba the Hutt. The debt wasn’t mentioned explicitly, but we can presume that he owed Jabba that amount because Han agreed to help Luke and Obi-Wan for that amount, which he thought would have been enough to cover his debt.
The best thing about Han Solo is that he represents the fact that there are people who can reform and change themselves despite living lives that normal people can actually frown upon. Nevertheless, he still needed to fix the problems he got himself into before becoming a Rebel hero. And that problem was the one involving his debt to Jabba the Hutt.
What was Han Solo smuggling for Jabba the Hutt?
Since he was introduced as one of the main characters of Star Wars in ‘Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope,’ Han Solo quickly became a favorite among fans because of his smart quips and ability to make things quite comedic. But one of the best things that fans loved about him was his imperfection. He started as a smuggler that had run-ins with the worst people in the entire galaxy. And some of these people were crime lords and gangsters who always saw that no one ever crossed them.
One thing we learned about Han was that he was willing to do some of the oddest jobs in the galaxy. For one, he volunteered to take Luke and Ben to Alderaan to fulfill the mission that Princess Leia Organa wanted them to complete. And he only agreed to take on this job because Obi-Wan offered to give him a lot of money.
The money that Obi-Wan promised to pay Han was why he eventually joined them and took the risk of going up against the Empire when it became a mission to save Princess Leia on the Death Star. And it could all be traced back to Jabba the Hutt, who Han worked for before he joined up with Luke and the others.
When he was a full-time smuggler, Han was the best that Jabba could ever hire and afford because he was an extremely lucky smuggler and was known to be a skilled pilot on a ship that he claimed to be the fastest in the entire. While he was working for Jabba, he often transported or smuggled spices (illegal substances) from one system to another.
But while he was in the middle of a job, the Empire found Han and boarded his ship. Han decided to dump the spices in space to save his butt from getting arrested by the Empire. This was the only way to ensure he wouldn’t get on the wrong side of the law and would still be able to smuggle more goods in the future. But the decision landed him on the wrong side of Jabba’s temper as the Hutt was now losing patience with Han for wasting precious spice.
Han’s debt explained
The fact that Han dumped the spice that he was supposed to transport was the reason why he became indebted to Jabba. While Hutt understood that Han had no choice but to dump the spice, he was still unwilling to forgive the smuggler because spice can be expensive.
However, we don’t know how much Han’s debt was to Jabba. We can only infer how much he owed the Hutt based on Han’s conversation with Greedo and his contract with Luke and Obi-Wan.
Greedo: Jabba’s through with you! He has no use for smugglers who drop their shipments at the first sign of an Imperial cruiser.
Han Solo: Even I get boarded sometimes. Do you think I had a choice?
During the negotiation involving Han and Ben Kenobi, the smuggler suggested that he should be given an advance of 10,000 Imperial credits before transporting Luke and Obi-Wan. However, he agreed to 2,000 credits up front because neither Luke nor Ben had 10,000 credits on hand.
But they also promised to pay him the rest of the 15,000 credits after getting to Alderaan, where they were tasked to deliver the message that R2-D2 had. This means that the total price that they agreed on was 17,000.
So, in that regard, the only reason why Han Solo would agree to transport Luke and Ben was if they could pay him enough credits that would allow him to pay off his debt to Jabba. This means there’s a good chance he owed the Hutt somewhere between 10,000 to 17,000 Imperial credits.
But we also know that Han was able to save up 2,400 credits. This means there’s a good chance that he owed Jabba 12,400 credits because he was supposed to use the 10,000 credits he asked for in advance to pay Jabba. And the rest of the 7,000 that he would earn from transporting Luke and Ben would be used for his personal expenses.
Of course, we don’t have the exact data in relation to how much Han Solo owed Jabba the Hutt. There’s a good chance that he owed the Hutt more than that, especially because Jabba was a gangster that could never be trusted. Jabba could have increased Han’s debt at any moment because of interest.
Jabba, however, had lost patience with Han and even went to see him in person to ensure he paid his debt. That means there was a good chance that the debt was bigger than we thought. Of course, we know that Jabba also put a bounty on Han’s head. And this bounty was able to reach as high as 224,190 credits.
The fact that the bounty on Han was so high was more than worth it for the many different bounty hunters across the galaxy to chase him around and try to bring him to Jabba. We know that there’s an entire comic book series related to this as Boba Fett tried his best to keep a carbonite-frozen Han away from the Rebels and the other bounty hunters trying to remove his bounty from him. And that means that Jabba saw Han to be worth a lot of credits because he was willing to pay the bounty hunters a lot of money even though Solo’s debt wasn’t even that high.
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