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In this question, I wondered if the criminals boarding Han Solo's spaceship were actually working for the First Order. Because their actions didn't make much sense otherwise.

And as it turned out, they didn't, so then another question arises, what were their motives to show up early to demand their money back, when Han didn't have any money to give?
If they would have waited until Han had delivered the goods and had been paid, then they could potentially have got their money. Not now.

I also didn't understand how they believed Han had been "cheating" by also borrowing some money from the Kanjiklub. So what? Who cares if Han borrowed money from multiple parties? And as it turns out, they're not on bad terms with the Kanjiklub, they even hired the Kanjiclub themselves to have more men to beat Han up with.

  • Space is very very big. If Han goes into hiding (with their money), they might not see him for a good long while. – Valorum Jan 3 '16 at 15:02
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    @Richard - apparently, for J.J. Abrams, space is very very small. Both numerically (what is it, 30 starsystems in TGFFA total for Disney, according to maps and books?) and politically (General Hux officially worries about destroying - vs. taking over - ONE measly Outer Rim system), and economically (30 XWings for entire Resistance, <900 ships for whole Republic) and spacially (let's NOT go there but we all know what we are referring to). Oh, and Han JUST HAPPENED to be over Jakku too. Small, indeedey – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 3 '16 at 18:25
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    @DVK : The way Han just finds the Falcon within minutes of its take-off from Jakku is one of the things that bothers me the most about the film. – Praxis Jan 3 '16 at 19:43
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    @praxis /waves hand. No, it doesn't bother you at all. – Valorum Jan 3 '16 at 20:30
  • The Falcon was found quickly because it was "dirty", meaning it had a homing beacon on it. And presumably the beacon was activated when they started the engines, i.e. before they had the fight with the FIE fighters. – Mr Lister Jan 3 '16 at 20:34
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I'm not sure this warrants an entire answer, but since it's part of the question and Richard didn't address it explicitly:

I also didn't understand how they believed Han had been "cheating" by also borrowing some money from the Kanjiklub. So what?

Let's do some financial analysis. Puttin on my Warren Buffett hat, there are TWO issues from the gangster's point of view:

  1. This venture only has a finite possible payoff.

  2. There is a chance that Han is embezzling the investment.

Usually, when you provide venture capital, you invest a certain amount, with a certain risk-adjusted expected return, and only invest if you expect to make a certain profit margin (given risk profile).

Let's say they loaned 50k credits to Han, each.

So, based on that, I see 4 possible scenarios depending on specifics of the business plan. I will list all 4 since the canon doesn't provide enough details to know which scenario actually happened or would happen.


  1. Low margin venture, honest investment:

    • Death Gang expect the animals to fetch, say, 60k credits.

      They get back their 50k, and - being very charitable - split the rest with Han, for 5k profits for each side.

    • If Han also borrowed 50k from Kanjiklub (and honestly invested all 100k into the operation), he and gangsters STILL only can expect 60k from selling rathtars.

      That means that, instead of full repayment of principal and 10k profit, the venture is instead 40k in the red - which has 3 outcomes, none pleasant:

      a. Death Gang have to fight Kanjiklub for their share of the 60k pie (of which they expected to get 55k, AND Kanjiklub expected to get 55k). Fighting is costly for business no matter who wins.

      b. They negotiate honorably between thieves, and each eat 20k of loss. Lose/lose for them.

      c. Or, whoever is the second to get to Han, will only be able to get Han's remaining 5k, losing 45k in the process (of course, the first ones to get to Han will get their original expected return of 50k principal+5k interest). The problem is, you don't know if you'll get to Han faster than your competing gangsters, so your risk is basically the same 20k of losses as scenario (b)

    TL;DR: Han's actions took your expected return from 10% = 5k to a LOSS of 20k. That clearly is cheating!


  2. High margin venture, honest investment:

    • Death Gang expect the animals to fetch, say, 150k credits.

      They get back their 50k, and - being very charitable - split the rest with Han, for 50k profits for each side.

    • If Han also borrowed 50k from Kanjiklub (and honestly invested all 100k into the operation), he and gangsters STILL only can expect 150k from selling rathtars.

      That means that, instead of full repayment of principal and 50k profit for 100% margin, the venture is instead only generating 50k total profit, split 3 ways (Han, DG, KK). This has 4 outcomes, none pleasant:

      a. Death Gang have to fight Kanjiklub for their share of the 150k pie (of which they expected to get 100k, AND Kanjiklub expected to get 100k, which just doesn't add up). Fighting is costly for business no matter who wins.

      b. They negotiate honorably between thieves, and each get equal profits and full principal. That gives each of them 25k return each (50%, or 2x less than what they expected) even assuming Han doesn't take his promised 50k.

      c. Even worse, if Han takes his expected 50K and runs - the gangs EACH get only their principal back, and ZERO profit.

      d. Or, whoever is the second to get to Han, will only be able to get Han's remaining 50k, which means ZERO profit. And since you have only 50% chance of being first, we are again at the risk-adjusted return same as #b (50% instead of expected 100%).

    Basically, in the BEST scenario Han just slashed your risk adjusted return 50%.

    TL;DR: Han's actions took your expected return from 100% = 50k to 50% = 25k, with meaningful possibility of zero return. **That clearly is cheating!


I won't cover the other 2 scenarios, where Han embezzles most of the money (50k or 75k), as they play out in very similar types of math. That clearly would constitute cheating even without math.

SUMMARY: Yes, it was cheating by Han.

Investee's Credit rating: Caa2 or CCC depending on whether you take Fitch or S&P.

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    tl; dr. Inviting another investor into the pool is perfectly acceptable, but not if it waters down the share value against the wishes of the original investors – Valorum Jan 3 '16 at 20:28
  • @Richard - yup, perfect – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 3 '16 at 20:49
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There seems to be two issues here. Firstly, Han offered to cut the Guavians in on the deal for 50,000 credits in return for a share of the profits from his little zoological expedition. He then disappears off the radar and stops answering his space-phone.

When the Guavians start asking around, they then discover problem #2, that he's cut another gang in on the action without telling the first gang about it.

Bala-Tik (quite rightly, given Han's dubious track record) assumes that Han's plan is to screw both of the gangs over. His suspicion is that Han is going to pocket the seed money and the profits from the sale of the rathars to King Prana. Fearing that he's on the wrong end of a scam, Bala-Tik has evidently decided that the wisest course of action would be to find Han and (semi-politely) ask for his money back:

Bala-Tik was growing impatient. “Says you. That is what you said when you borrowed the money. That is what you have being saying via communicator for some time now. Then you went silent. Failed to answer all communications.” “I was busy,” an exasperated Han informed him, “collecting rathtars.” “So you say. In the absence of any communication, we did not know what you were doing. With our money. We suspected the worst.”

Han smiled afresh. “And now you know the truth. You’re here, I’m here, and the rathtars for King Prana are here. You think it’s cheap hunting rathtars? I spent that money. I used that money. Just let me make delivery and you’ll have your investment back. Come with me if you want.”

The gang leader’s gaze narrowed. “Come with you? Try to follow you in hyperspace? So that you can lose us, take a roundabout route to King Prana, collect all the money, and disappear again? I think not. I don’t trust you anymore, Solo.” He indicated his men. “We don’t trust you. So give us our money back. Kanjiklub wants their investment back, too.” - SW: The Force Awakens - Official Novelisation

  • Yeah, but this only confirms what I said, that Han didn't have any money. Did they actually believe that Han still had the grand total of 100,000 credits on him? Even though he did have the rathtars, and he was on his way to King Prana (thank you) to deliver them? – Mr Lister Jan 3 '16 at 14:34
  • @mrlister - They seem to be under the impression that he's got at least some of the money. – Valorum Jan 3 '16 at 14:35
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    @MrLister - my impression is that they think he conned them somehow, and they don't much know, or care to know, the details of "how". They just want whatever they can get out of his hide - AND his hide, on a pike. – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 3 '16 at 18:22
  • @DVK - That was my gut instinct. #1) I strongly think that Han is actually trying to play fair with both gangs and does intend to pay them off and #2) The gangs would probably settle for taking Han's money and cargo and beating him up a bit. – Valorum Jan 3 '16 at 18:54
  • @Richard - you and I seem to have a whildly varying definition of "a bit" :) – DVK-on-Ahch-To Jan 3 '16 at 19:36

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