During the rebel briefing on Home One before the attack on the second Death Star, Solo is asked if his strike team is assembled for the Tydirium shuttle and he seems somewhat confused that he is called a General (and so is Leia sitting next to him). Also there is a short conversation between Han and Lando a few moments back during which Han notices Lando's promotion to a General but nothing is ever said of he himself being a General as well.

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Since the first time I watched this movie, I've always thought that Han didn't really know his rank (and he is not wearing a badge or uniform) within the Alliance.

Is there any canon reference to support or dismiss this idea?

  • 3
    Leia's expression was because Han had already volunteered for the operation and hadn't told her yet (she said in the previous line: "I wonder who they found to pull that off"). I figure his expression was because he realized she had just found out. Commented Nov 3, 2017 at 4:13

1 Answer 1


According to the film's official novelisation, Han must have known about his promotion prior to the meeting since it was an integral part of their two-pronged attack plan (e.g. Calrissian leading a daring attack with the fleet in the air and Solo leading a strike team simultaneously to disable the generator on the ground).

Madine called out: “General Solo, is your strike team assembled?”

Leia looked up at Han, shock quickly melting to joyous admiration. She knew there was a reason she loved him—in spite of his usual crass insensitivity and oafish bravado. Beneath it all, he had heart.

Moreover, a change had come over him since he emerged from carbonization. He wasn’t just a loner anymore, only in this for the money. He had lost his selfish edge and had somehow, subtly, become part of the whole. He was actually doing something for someone else, now, and that fact moved Leia greatly. Madine had called him General; that meant Han had let himself officially become a member of the army. A part of the whole.

Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi - Official novelisation

Note that Leia's surprise comes from two angles, that Han has actually signed up to the Rebellion proper and also that he's volunteered for this risky mission.

  • Although I still have a problem with that bold part of your answer (How could someone be a General and still not be an official member of the army?) but anyway I was at a very young age when I first saw this and that interpretation has lingered ever since.
    – Paghillect
    Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 4:00
  • @DarthPaghius - You've misread. By accepting the rank of General, Han has officially joined the Rebellion Army.
    – Valorum
    Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 8:52
  • I see, Thanks for the answer!
    – Paghillect
    Commented Nov 4, 2017 at 11:01
  • This actually answers scifi.stackexchange.com/questions/73940/… better than your current (accepted) answer on that question - if you'd like to edit it or add another answer yourself, I'll let you do the honors.
    – Milo P
    Commented Dec 22, 2017 at 0:27

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