Why did Han seem unhappy that Rey bypassed the compressor?

enter image description here

They both agreed that it was a bad addition to the Falcon.

  • 1
    Are you referring to the scene where he mucks up the ignition sequence or the scene (pictured above) where she removes the compressor unit completely?
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 7:10
  • @Valorum I was talking about the one above where he goes "What did you do?" and she goes "I bypassed the compressor!". But based on your correct answer it seems you figured it out :)
    – Hack-R
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 11:23
  • 6
    The way I read the scene, he wasn't unhappy that she bypassed the compressor -- he was unhappy that she figured it out before he did. Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 21:06
  • 4
    Definitely not unhappy. Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 6:18
  • 1
    Han isn't unhappy. He's just what you'd expect from any man late in his life: looking grumpy no matter what he's doing or actually feels. Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 9:34

3 Answers 3


The film script indicates that he wasn't unhappy, just confused.

HAN: This hyperdrive blows there's gonna be pieces of us in three different systems.

Han at the controls when all the alarms STOP. Rey, satisfied, sits in the co-pilot seat. Han is confused.

HAN (CONT'D): What'd you do?

REY: I by-passed the compressor.

He looks at her. A little, appreciative laugh. Han exits, walking past BB-8.

  • 9
    Maybe true, but that's a shortcoming of the script. Han would be unhappy, for the reasons @dmoonfire suggests, and Ford (who has always apparently had a better sense for the character than the scriptwriters) certainly played him as unhappy. Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 9:26
  • 22
    @periatabreatta - I think that's just how Harrison Ford looks.
    – Valorum
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 9:38
  • I wonder if Harrison Ford took some minor liberty with the script in this scene. Did he go "Huh." or "Hmm."? I'm not sure how you'd type that noise he made.
    – Hack-R
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 11:25
  • 18
    Being Han, he is not going to outright congratulate someone, or even be "happy" about it. It seems to me he was impressed that she did that, but of course too prideful to admit he didn't think about that solution.
    – Jeff.Clark
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 16:13
  • 2
    The Han Solo Adventures get into Han and Chewies relationship with the Falcon. It is their home, their source of income, and their biggest tangible asset. Han is only comfortable letting a few others work on it like the mechanic named in the Han Solo Adventures (Doc and Jessa I think). This book wasn't a core part of the old expanded universe, but it does build on the history that Han and Chewie have and how they treat the Falcon.
    – Freiheit
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 21:44

When I saw that scene, I figured it was two things.

One was that a young thing was moving faster than him and matching him for skill with his ship, his baby. She basically had mastered the thing he spent a long time trying to recover. The Falcon was his thing and she handled it as well as him.

The other is that he was feeling pretty old; few people like having children (probably from his view) exceeding their skill.

A third is that maybe he was wishing it was Ben sitting there, being all excited about solving the problem.

  • 4
    I have to give the check mark to the script answer but this is also a very good answer, thank you
    – Hack-R
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 11:22
  • 4
    @Hack-R I don’t know that you do—Harrison Ford may very well have acted the way he did intentionally, for reasons much like these, whatever the script said, as part of his mastery of the character.
    – KRyan
    Commented Sep 9, 2016 at 14:17
  • 1
    @DavidMulder Well Mr. Moon Fire got a million upvotes and Mr. Valorum got the green checkmark so I figure both parties should be pretty happy!
    – Hack-R
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 0:02
  • 2
    I was not prepared for that last point. Right in the feels!
    – RedCaio
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 7:24
  • 2
    Wow, congratulations on a Populist badge so early in your SFF career!
    – Adamant
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 7:25

There's an answer here that references the script. However, the script doesn't address Harrison Ford's protrayal of the character. I'll say this:

Han wasn't unhappy - and he wasn't just confused - he was impressed.

In this movie, Han's archetype has changed slightly; he's still a smuggler, but he's feeling his years. Partly due to the character's age, and partly due to Harrison Ford's Cool Old Guy status, Han comes across as a Retired Badass. Rey continues to impress Han with her feats (such as fixing the hyperdrive issue) to the point that Han offers her a position aboard the Falcon (albeit with grudging respect, playing it cool up to the very end, the sneaky dog).

Essentially, Han's reaction is just that he's playing it cool. That's his meal ticket and it's an essential part of the character.

Here's the clip. The reference is around the 32-second mark, but the entire clip gives meaningful context:

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.