In Star Wars: A New Hope, Leia pays Han Solo his reward for rescuing her from the Death Star. We see him hauling his treasure in the rebel base in metal green boxes:

Scene from A New Hope; Luke in pilot's orange uniform says goodbye to Han, who is handling a greenish-grey box containing part of his reward

However, the Death Star destroyed Alderaan, Leia's home planet.

With her home planet, and presumably her assets, destroyed, where did Leia so readily get the money to pay Han Solo his reward?

  • 17
    I always thought the rebels paid him.
    – Xantec
    Feb 7, 2012 at 21:02
  • 5
    If my hometown was bombed to ruins, I could easily go to a bank branch in another city or even state to withdraw funds. Apr 13, 2015 at 15:18
  • 14
    @MichaelItzoe If your home country, the existence of which is the basis for the value of your money, was bombed to ruins, you might have more difficulty.
    – KSmarts
    Apr 13, 2015 at 15:49
  • 5
    @KSmarts That occurred to me after I commented, but I decided to just let it ride. Apr 14, 2015 at 16:07
  • 7
    @KSmarts That depends entirely on the country. The Euro, for example, is the currency for many countries. Who's to say that Leia's money is Alderaan-based and not Galactic-based? May 5, 2015 at 12:49

5 Answers 5


Leia was a leader in the Rebel Alliance. She had other resources and contacts than her home planet. She did have to wait until they reached a Rebel base before she could pay him.

  • 5
    I think she was also an heir (perhaps the heir) to Alderaan's off-world assets. Feb 8, 2012 at 0:04
  • 10
    In the radio drama adaptation (which is pretty cool and has some nice scenes with Leia before we meet her in the movies), it's noted that Han's reward is to be paid by the rebels. They spend some time trying to talk him out of taking it since it's a significant chunk of their resources.
    – Argyle
    Feb 9, 2012 at 19:40

This is covered in the film's new Disney canon junior novelisation. In short, his reward (in the boxes we see on screen) is made up of precious metals that are evidently used in the repair of spaceships.

“We don’t keep that sort of money lying around,” Commander Willard said. “And this is…we need every cent to keep up our operations.” “I’m willing to accept the amount in precious metals if you don’t have the credits on hand,” Han said, crossing his arms over his chest. “Come on, pal, you don’t want word to get around that the Rebellion can’t honor their debts, do you? No one would be willing to do business with you.”


“Give him whatever he wants,” Leia said stiffly. The look she shot Han could have incinerated half the Death Star. “The sooner he gets it, the sooner he’s gone.”

A New Hope: The Princess, the Scoundrel, and the Farm Boy

A similar scene occurs in the earlier A New Hope: Junior Novelisation.

Stepping down to the hangar floor, Luke found Han and Chewbacca loading small boxes onto an armored military speeder. The boxes contained precious metals, the only form of currency that Han would accept from the Alliance. Han had insisted on the payment, even though the Rebels desperately needed the materials for repairing starships and equipment. Han appeared to be completely ignoring the activity of the Rebel flight crews and pilots.

A New Hope: Junior Novelisation

Moving down the canon scale, this is also backed up in the (alas, now non-canon) Star Wars Radio Dramatization:

Leia: Captain Solo may have no morals whatsoever, Commander, but he's right. Both Luke and I promised him payment for his and Chewbacca's help in this matter.

Willard: Very well, I see I misjudged you, Solo

Han: I'll cry later. Right now, I'll settle for cash. In small, used notes if you've got 'em.

Willard: But this is a Rebel camp! We're hunted people, with very little Imperial currency among us!

Han: Oh. Well, your tech facilities must have stocks of precious metals.

Willard: Yes...

Han: They'll do.

Willard: But those are critical matériel! We need those metals for repairs, to keep our weapons and equipment functioning!

Star Wars Radio Dramatization


Princess Leia was a member of the Imperial Senate. So, she would have indeed assets on Coruscant as well as throughout the Galaxy. Even if we exclude "outside Coruscant", it wasn't a big deal for her to get credits in exchange of her Coruscant assets because Coruscant was a galaxy-class corrupted planet.


Assuming she didn't have a personal bank account somewhere she could access. She could very well have pulled some assets from the Alliance. As revealed through the books and other written media, Han was paid in credits, precious metals and spices. Getting the metals and spices suggests payment on behalf of the Alliance to be correct. Han's reward ended up getting stolen before he could pay it which is why Jabba was still after him.

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    "Han's reward ended up getting stolen" - canon source? Feb 22, 2014 at 14:54

Han Solo ‘likely’ received the monetary compensation that Obi-Wan Kenobi ‘would have received’ (or would have at least been offered) from the Rebel forces if he had rescued Princess Leia himself. Also, at the time Kenobi offered Solo the 17,000 credits for transporting him, Luke, and the droids to Alderaan he did not know that Alderaan would be destroyed, or that he would end up sacrificing himself to help Luke, Leia, and the others escape. It’s possible that Obi-Wan had Luke sell his speeder (2,000 credits) to ‘sweeten the pot’ given the risk that Solo was taking to “avoid Imperial entanglements.” All things considered, you can’t really put a price tag on someone’s life, and given how valuable Leia was to the Rebellion, 15,000 credits was a meager sum for them to pay Han Solo. Still, I wonder, if Princess Leia was worth 17,000 credits, then how much would the Rebellion have paid someone to rescue a captured Mon Mothma?

  • 3
    According to Princess Leia, Part I the bounty the Empire placed on Leia was 10,000,000 credits. Presumably the bounty on Mon Mothma would have been similar.
    – Valorum
    May 12, 2018 at 6:44

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