Fulfilling the whole savior arc, Han is then resurrected in Return Of The Jedi.
After this, Han doesn't have a hell of a lot to do. He's completed the messiah arc and won Leia's affection, leaving virtually no room for character growth. Conversely, Luke becomes a more interesting character. Like a preteen who found their parents' Cure records, Luke is suddenly dressing all in black, suggesting a potential to flip to the Dark Side.
Lucasfilm"I wanted a black lightsaber too, but could find the right crystal."
It's almost as if Han and Luke have switched roles. Han is now the unwavering hero, and Luke's characterization is shaded in with moral complexity. Since getting with Leia is a symbolic representation of becoming the definitive hero of the franchise, the end of Jedi essentially finds a loophole to this problem. Even though she loves Han romantically, Luke is revealed to be Leia's long-lost twin brother, thus allowing for two dudes to save the Galaxy by her side. Plus Lando's there. And C-3PO. And we'd be remiss to not bring up the fact that Lobot is still out there in the Galaxy somewhere.
LucasfilmEpisode IX: Lobot Returns
In the aftermath of the Original Trilogy, it's Han who has been deified, not Luke. We see this in the sequels. Han shows up and gets to be the same old fun-loving pirate you remember from childhood. When Luke finally appears, he's an a*****e who's abandoned both the Force and personal hygiene. It's a glaring contrast, but when you break it all down, Star Wars has always been the story of Han Solo stealing the spotlight from Luke Skywalker, so it kind of makes sense.
As Solo hits theaters, we shouldn't be surprised that this character is the one getting an expanded cinematic backstory. He's the Jesus of Star Wars, so think of it as the movie equivalent of Disney ringing your doorbell and shoving a pamphlet in your face.
You (yes, you) should follow JM on Twitter, or check out the podcast Rewatchability.
Be at least a little like Han Solo and get yourself a LEGO Millennium Falcon.
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