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A trilogy of novels written by A. C. Crispin that form part of the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

  • The Paradise Snare (1997)
  • The Hutt Gambit (1997)
  • Rebel Dawn (1998)

As the title might suggest the story focuses on Han Solo, specifically on his adventures in the years leading up to A New Hope as he goes from Street Urchin and petty thief to Imperial pilot to the Loveable Rogue we all know and love.

Confusingly this trilogy is the second trilogy of books to focus on Han Solo's early life. Nearly twenty years earlier Brian Daely had written the Han Solo Adventures, three stand alone stories about Han's escapades as a smuggler. Crispin retoractively fitted Daley's books into her series so that they now canocially take place during Rebel Dawn. So the chronology goes:

The Paradise Snare -> The Hutt Gambit -> The beginning of Rebel Dawn -> Han Solo Adventures -> The rest of Rebel Dawn.


These books provide examples of:

  • Action Girl: Several, most notably Bria.
  • Affably Evil: Jabba seems to have a genuine soft spot for Han.
    • Crispin does the impossible and makes Jabba somewhat likable.
  • Anti-Hero: Han is mostly a Type II, Bria starts as a Type I and ends up a Type IV.
  • Bizarre Alien Biology: Hutts, before spawning, become female.
  • Black and Gray Morality: The Rebel Alliance isn't nearly the paragon of virtue it is in the films, but several key members who canonically steer it in a more honorable direction haven't joined the movement yet, and it is far from a unified group so there's no one to give a What the Hell, Hero? speech if one cell goes too far.
  • Bolivian Army Ending: Bria Tharen and her Red Hand Squadron. Boba Fett later confirms her death when he brings news of it to Han.
  • Catfolk: The Togorians. As a nod to Real Life lions (although they actually come in all the colors and fur patterns of felines), the males are aggressive warriors while the females are intelligent, political plotters, and adept at mechanical and scientific endeavors, and are thus a Matriarchy.
  • Continuity Nod: Dozens of them. Durga the Hutt (from Darksaber) is an important character as are several characters and locations from Dark Empire. There are even a few shout outs to the Marvel Star Wars comics.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: In a sense. This trilogy marks the first appearance of Baron Soontir Fel - Crispin asked Michael Stackpole about whether there were any good Imperial pilots available, and Stackpole came up with Fel, later featuring him in the X Wing Series.
  • Deface of the Moon: Mako, a friend of Han's from the Academy tried to deface the Imperial insignia on the nearby artificial moon, but underestimated the power of the antimatter used and ended up destroying said moon.
  • Doomed by Canon: It is pretty obvious that Han and Bria are not going to end up together...
  • The Fagin: Garris Shrike.
  • The Gump: Bria was part of the team that stole the plans for the first Death Star, before transmitting them to Princess Leia's ship. The team then committed suicide to prevent imminent capture and interrogation by the Empire.
  • Heel Face Turn: Muuurgh.
  • Historical Villain Upgrade: Durga. Much like Aaron Allston did for Warlord Zsinj in the X Wing Series Crispin took a one dimensional villain created by another author and turns him into a more complex character.
  • Insignia Rip Off Ritual: Han went through this after refusing to kill Chewie. When he dreams about it later, it ends with him attacking the officer who did it.
    • He didn't just refuse to kill Chewie; he prevented a superior officer from doing so, causing him to be court-martialed and dishonorably discharged.
  • Lovable Rogue: Han of course, but also Lando and Mako.
  • Mad Oracle: Han, Chewie, and Mako encounter one during The Hutt Gambit, who claims that Han will face betrayal from those he trusts (Bria in Rebel Dawn, Lando in The Empire Strikes Back, Mako in Dark Empire, Zeen, Kid D Xo'ln, Wynni and Ana Blue in The New Rebellion, and finally his own son in Legacy of the Force. She doesn't mention anybody by name, but stares at Mako), will be rich but only after he no longer cares about it, will be a great warrior, and will do much for love. Han, of course, is skeptical (not to mention drunk), and has forgotten about it by the next day.
  • Mama Bear: Dewlanna's response to Shrike attempting to beat Han to a bloody pulp is a good example of why you should never piss off a Wookiee.
  • Noodle Incident: During Han's painful memory of his Insignia Rip Off Ritual he makes mention of his Corellian Bloodstripe (the red and yellow stripes that he wears down the seam of his pants). It's an honor given out by the government of Corellia so it's the only one he gets to keep, but we're never told just what he did to earn it. Even in later novels we're never told what happened except that it was a very harrowing and painful experience that happened over several days. Furthermore there are two classes (Red for First Class and Yellow for Second Class) of Bloodstripes and he's earned them both.
  • Running Gag: Anytime Kibbick the Hutt is mentioned it is pointed out that he is an idiot.
  • Parental Substitute: Dewlanna, who watched over Han on the Trader's Luck, and sacrificed her life to help him escape.
  • Path of Inspiration: The Cult of The One and The All, created by the Besadii Hutt clan and run by the T'landa Til, who use their mating call to ensnare "pilgrims" for slave labor.
  • Prequel: Leading up to when Han first meets Luke and Obi Wan in A New Hope.
  • Start of Darkness: Mako Spince is a pretty likeable character here. In fact, he's one of the heroes of the story. In the third book, however, he gets captured, tortured, and ends up crippled for life. When Han and Lando visit him, he refuses to speak to them and makes it clear by his body language that he wants them to leave. When he next encounters Han years later, he sells his old friend out to Boba Fett. Not because he's under any pressure to do so as Lando was in Empire, but just for the credits.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Jabba.
    • And not just any child, but his infant cousin.
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