We know why Han Solo had to pay off Jabba.

But Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is set three years after the destruction of the Death Star, but Han Solo hadn't paid Jabba yet. Why?

  • See my updated answer from new canon Apr 28, 2015 at 3:20

3 Answers 3


UPDATE from New Disney Canon

According to "Heir to the Jedi" book by Kevin Hearne, they "lost" the money (new canon didn't elaborate how, as of yet):

Han and Chewie are off somewhere trying to earn enough credits to pay off Jabba the Hutt. They lost all their reward money from the Battle of Yavin and they’re back to being broke and desperate — the galaxy should beware.


I don't recall exact canon quotes from EU, but basically, he threw in with the rebellion and no longer had the time to fly around doing smuggling to earn that kind of Mad Moneyz.

And felt that it'd be inappropriate to take from Leia (as far as payment for delivering Luke to Alderaan), what with him trying to get into her pants and all. Would NOT be a smooth move, even for PUA like Han :)

  • 1
    He eventually did take the money and try to go to Jabba (see starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Han_Solo "Hero of the Alliance" section), but it was stolen by Pirates. After recovering it, he gave the money back to the Alliance. After finding a treasure on Yavin 4, he did send some money to Jabba, but it was not enough
    – The Fallen
    Jun 22, 2012 at 16:44
  • As I recall correctly from the Han Solo Trilogy, he attains the money early one while helping the Rebels, but they rip him off For The Greater Good, partly leading to his cynical nature when Luke meets him.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 14, 2015 at 3:51
  • @sean yes but the question was about money earned from leias rescue in episode 4. Han Solo trilogy is before that Apr 14, 2015 at 9:09
  • @DVK: Ah. You are right. I totally misinterpreted their question.
    – FuzzyBoots
    Apr 14, 2015 at 10:08

Jabba was a drug lord but only in a relative backwater like Tatooine. With the Imperial Navy gunning after Han and his merry band, Han probably thought it reasonable that he'd never have to deal with the likes of Jabba again. Too bad for him that Vader took a play right out of the CIA handbook.

  • 1
    On this note, the Empire was obviously aware of the situation between Han and Jabba. They would likely have intelligence watching for his return.
    – jpmc26
    May 23, 2015 at 2:09
  • 11
    Don't you mean "The CIA took a play right out of Vader's handbook"? ;-)
    – user11521
    Jul 19, 2015 at 1:05

According to Scoundrels by Timothy Zahn, he got jacked by pirates shortly after Yavin.

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