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Han Solo’s Costumes Through The Years

Han Solo Costume

A guest post by Chris Jackson (edited by Johnamarie Macias)

Note: This post contains spoilers for Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

One name is synonymous with the Star Wars movie series. That name is on everyone’s minds, especially after watching Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That name is Han Solo. He has become the topic of every conversation after what happened to him at the end of Episode VII. What happened to Han Solo will forever be cemented in our minds, becoming the most shocking moment of 2015.

Played by Harrison Ford, Han Solo wore some of the franchise’s most fashionable and trendy costumes. Although they looked somewhat alike, it’s interesting to point out the fact that people wear his costumes just as commonly as any other random costume. It’s sad to say that this might be the last time we see Harrison Ford in that galactic attire, but let’s take a look back at the Han Solo costumes that the character has worn through the decades.


(Photo: Lucasfilm)

A New Hope

The earliest versions of Han Solo’s costume were similar to early sketches of Luke’s farm boy outfit, with a Flash Gordon-style hat and a chest pack But this direction was quickly thrown out, and McQuarrie shifted gears and began drawing Han with all of the now-familiar characteristics: no beard, a pocketed vest, a gun belt, tuxedo-striped trousers, and high boots, following [George] Lucas’s directives.”

Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy by Brandon Alinger

This movie started the rise of one of the most renowned franchises in Hollywood. Released on May 25, 1977, A New Hope is about the battle between the Imperial forces and the Rebel Alliance. Han Solo’s iconic look includes the black vest (the highlight of the costume), the white shirt with the v-neck collar, navy pants with the red Corellian Bloodstripe detailing along the sides, and of course, the holster. It is so popular that this costume continues to be worn today, even though it is more than 30 years old.


(Photo: Lucasfilm)

The Empire Strikes Back

Early on, [John] Mollo also toyed with the idea of giving Han an ‘under flying overall,’ essentially a jumpsuit, to be worn with his A New Hope black vest. Changing story requirements and the director’s desire to maintain the established character look eliminated this concept. Instead his costume received only minor updates and adjustments.”

Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy by Brandon Alinger

Released in 1980, most people will remember this movie for the epic duel between father and son, Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker. It is also the same film where we see Princess Leia and Han Solo truly connect with each other when they narrowly escape the clutches of the Empire. Most fans consider this costume to be their favorite from Han Solo’s wardrobe, since he wore a pocketed jacket, brown pants with yellow-striped detailing, and a different styled shirt that blend in with contemporary outfits.

This movie also featured Han Solo’s Hoth uniform and a similar parka coat can be found over at Film Jackets.


(Photo: Lucasfilm)

Return of the Jedi

After defeating Jabba and his guards, Han would change into something fresh. Wardrobe department meeting noes from September 1, 1981, placed him in ‘perhaps a dark green shirt–fitted with a simple collar. Combat outfit, leather camouflage.’ The outfit was illustrated as a green military shirt with patch panels on either shoulder, one the same dark green as the shirt and the other a light-colored leather or ultra suede. According to the production meeting notes, ‘the idea is Han has joined the rebels and has been assimilated into the fold while Luke has taken Han’s position as the ‘individual.” The shirt was to be paired with a pair of black trousers (a first for the character), with yellow tuxedo-stripe details.”

Star Wars Costumes: The Original Trilogy by Brandon Alinger

It’s interesting to look back at the concept of what Han was originally going to look like in Return of the Jedi, particularly while he was on Endor, and compare it to what he ultimate wore in the film. He wore his signature vest, even though the one he wore in A New Hope was a different pattern and had a few minor differences. He also wore the same brown trousers that he wore in The Empire Strikes Back, and interesting enough, the zipper of Ford’s pants came loose during filming, leaving the fairly new costumer with the task to sew it back while on set.


(Photo: Lucasfilm)

The Force Awakens

I wanted Han’s costume to feel familiar, since Harrison Ford is the same actor playing the same character. Of course he’s older, but he’s still in terrific shape. I wanted it to seem like Han was still choosing his own garb.”

–Michael Kaplan, The Force Awakens Costume Designer

If there was something that would make a character look more epic 30 years later, this was it! The 2015 blockbuster movie showed Han Solo wearing a completely different outfit, including a new jacket. His brown leather outfit, now on sale at Film Jackets, is what gives him a fresh and stylish look. Although he wasn’t the main character in this movie, he ended up taking the spotlight in the most epic (yet heartbreaking) way. With that said, it was a great experience to watch Harrison Ford play the ultimate galactic hero who continues to inspire people of all ages and backgrounds.

1 Comment on Han Solo’s Costumes Through The Years

  1. Nicely done :)

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  1. Han Solo | BAMF Style

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