Taken from this question and also several others I have a followup question:

What do Han and Luke know about Rey's abandonment?

Throughout the movie, Han seems to feel remorse or guilt toward Rey. The most telling scene in my memory is Han and Rey piloting the Falcon to Maz Kanata's place. Rey essentially says she didn't believe there would be so much green in all of the galaxy. Han's face shows grief and guilt.

WHERE is it shown that he feels remorse or guilt about her?

As far as I saw in the film (saw it twice) it looked like he liked how she handled

The Falcon
But never saw him react (despite looking) to her story in any way, or to things about her parents and he didn't seem to know her from looks (neither Leia).

So is there any indication that I've missed something there (now twice)?

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    WHERE is it shown that he feels remorse or guilt about her?” In his face, like it says. Commented Dec 25, 2015 at 23:27

1 Answer 1


Obviously, without screenshots it's hard to prove OR disprove anything. My own personal impression from the film was that he did NOT show any personal remorse/guilt specifically directed at Ray as an individual.

Novelization agrees, I think, but admittedly leaves SOME things vague enough that you can build a fan theory on.

Please note that the "most important" one (when they arrive on Takodana and Rey bemoans the landscape) is at the end of the post.

For those not willing to read though, the summary is:

  • He explicitly does NOT recognize Rey or know who she is!
  • He experienced a range of emotions towards her, all of which have perfectly obvious and valid explanations not requiring elaborate parental guilt.
  • None of those emotions are even remotely described as parental, or any other, guilt
  • The scene at Takodana that everyone points to shows very little response from him to Rey, and is 100% clearly explained as a person concerned about seing a young girl almost cry for no obvious reason.

  • This one was kinda ambiguous, gotta admit that.

    “You’re Han Solo,” she said, looking askance.
    This time instead of a smile, a grin: part amused, part knowing, and maybe a little bit bitter. “I used to be.”

  • This one definitely wasn't. Then again, it is my impression that POV here is Rey's, so we see his mood as she imagines him.

    “Twelve parsecs.” Entering the cockpit ahead of the others, Han scanned the console. A wave of something washed over the Millennium Falcon’s rightful owner. Not nostalgia. That wasn’t part of his makeup. But there was definitely something. Possibly remembrance of old friendships, or adventures long past, or exotic destinations once visited. Most likely the financial opportunities missed

  • However, right after that, we see that not only does he not recognize or know Rey - he doesn't even pay too much attention to her despite her knowing deep stuff about Falcon

    “…Stress on the hyperdrive flow,” Han echoed, reaching the same conclusion at the same time. For an instant he looked puzzled and just a tad curious. Who was this girl, who spoke so knowledgeably of flow rates and ignition pressures? His curiosity didn’t last long. Too many other matters of greater consequence were on his mind.

  • And he definitely doesn't want her around!!!

    “Chewie, put ’em in a pod and send them back to Jakku. Or anywhere else local they want to go.”

  • Now, we KNOW this isn't just Han Solo's geniral solipsism and cynicism causing his lack of emotions towards Rey - we see how he reacts to mere mention of Luke:

    Holding her ground, she indicated the silently watching BB-8. “This droid has to get to the nearest Resistance base as soon as possible. He’s carrying a map that leads to the present location of Luke Skywalker!”
    The strangest look came over the Falcon’s owner. In an instant and in response to Rey’s distressed request, all the hardness seemed to drain out of him. For a moment he was no longer on the ship. He was not even in Jakku’s system, but somewhere else. Unable to stand the lack of response, Finn spoke up.
    “You are the Han Solo who fought with the Rebellion? If so, then you knew him.”
    “Knew him?” The flinty stare had gone hazy, the strong voice soft. “Yeah, I knew Luke.”

  • Next interaction also doesn't seem to show any major emotions:

    “O-kaaay,” she responded. “Why would anyone want something big, dangerous, and ugly? Who would want something big, dangerous, and ugly? And be willing to pay for it?”
    Where the hell was that accessway? Han wondered. Girl sure had a lot of questions. “People have funny hobbies,”

  • He didn't seem too happy with her heping co-pilot

    He was startled when Rey arrived and, without waiting for an invitation, settled down in Chewbacca’s seat. “Hey, what are you doing?” He gestured back in the direction of the lounge. “Passengers back there.”

  • Next one shows him glaring AND then smiling at her, but this has an obvious explanation - he was angry she figured out something he didn't and happy she got Falcon working

    “Come on, baby,” Han was murmuring, “don’t let me down.” He pulled on the main hyperdrive control.
    Reaching across to his side of the console, Rey calmly activated a control he had not touched and spoke matter-of-factly. “Compressor.”
    He glared at her, but only for a moment. As he pulled slowly back on the drive control for the second time, he half smiled at her.

  • The next one is pretty interesting. I can't really make heads or tails of it - may warrant a separate question.

    Despite their escape, all was not tranquil aboard the Millennium Falcon. After having acquired it, Unkar Plutt had paid for only minimum maintenance, with the intention of preparing it fully for flight only if and when he found a buyer, so components that had worked immediately following lift-off from the surface of Jakku were now starting to show the lack of attention, and others were turning balky.
    The alarms, however, were functioning quite efficiently.
    Up in the cockpit, it seemed like every time Han and Rey managed to squelch one problem, a new one materialized to take its place. The present difficulty was a matter of degree. Or rather, degrees.
    Rey indicated a readout whose numbers were too high for comfort and rising steadily. “Drive containment torus is overheating.”
    “Yeah,” Han grunted. “You know why?”
    A second’s glance at the copilot’s console was sufficient to supply the answer. “Field instability.” “Yep.” He wasn’t going to elaborate for her, Rey realized. If this was some kind of test of her competence…No, she decided. What was occurring within the hyperdrive system was too dangerous for a test. She frowned at the controls.
    “Need to recalculate and readjust the relevant parameters.”
    “Recalculate?” He eyed his own instrumentation. “Yeah. Hold on—readjusting…” A number of telltales suddenly went to red. ...

  • Next one shows Han being unhappy, but it's clealy over Chewie's wound as well as Falcon's poor state.

    As Chewbacca roared anew in pain, a grim-faced Han left what he had been doing and joined them. “You hurt Chewie,” he growled, “you deal with me!”
    “Hurt him?” Finn continued to struggle with Wookiee torso, shaggy arms, and bandaging. “He’s almost killed me six times!” Reaching out, a massive hand grabbed him by the collar. Finn responded with a hasty smile. “Which is fine. Really.”
    Han hesitated a moment, eyed his wounded copilot, and then headed back to the cockpit. Dropping back into his seat, he muttered unhappily as he scanned one readout after another.
    “The hyperdrive blows, and there’ll be pieces of us in three different systems.”

  • Next, he seems HAPPY with Rey, for obvious reasons:

    bruptly, all the alarms stopped. A satisfied Rey sat back in her seat. Confused, Han peered over at her.
    “What’d you do?”
    “Bypassed the auto-flux and recalibrated manually.” She nodded toward the console. “Field has stabilized. Toral containment temperature is dropping back toward normal.” She let out a long breath and glanced across at him. “Anything else?”
    He let out a short, appreciative laugh. “Yeah.”

  • The next interaction Han and Rey have, he's happy remembering his far past:

    The Jedi were real?”
    Han half smiled, to himself as much as to her. “I used to wonder that myself. A bunch of mumbo-jumbo is what it sounds like. Some magical power holding together good and evil, light and dark.” He paused, his voice fading. “Crazy thing is, it’s all real. The Jedi, the Force—it’s true. All true.” He brought himself back to reality.

  • And then we come to the infamous scene where Rey is talking about the forest.

    SPOILER: He doesn't seem to regard her with any special grief or regret!

    He simply notices a young 19 year old girl close to tears, and checks up on het.

    “You wanted my help, you’re getting it,” Han told him. “We’re going to see an old friend.” At the same time he noticed Rey staring fixedly out the foreport. She seemed on the verge of tears.
    “Hey—y’okay?” “I didn’t know there was this much green in the whole galaxy,” she said in awe. He watched her for a moment longer, then sent the Falcon into a shallow dive, heading for a well-remembered location

    Notice - no special emotions are described - despite the fact that Foster frequently mentions specific emotions in his book, including as we see above, when Han and Rey interact elsewhere.

  • 1
    Does the novelisation not describe Han’s expression or feelings after Rey says she didn’t know there was this much green in the galaxy? Commented Dec 25, 2015 at 23:29
  • 1
    @PaulD.Waite - done Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 0:08
  • Then the novelization gives the same impression as the film there. no clue then how people interpret quite a few things there into it.
    – Thomas
    Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 12:26
  • @Thomas - people tend to interpret things the way they want to :) Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 13:20
  • Sadly yes but at least it should end the confusion for those like me who just dont get what the hell those are talking about :)
    – Thomas
    Commented Dec 26, 2015 at 14:31

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