This is the 10th post in a daily series. Read about it here and see the list of previous posts here. A new post about “Star Wars” will be posted every day for 40 days leading up to the franchise’s 40th birthday on May 25th.
Whether or not “Han shot first” is not the only point of contention about the Han Solo. Fans can’t even agree on how to say his name.
The reason for that is simple: the characters can’t agree on pronunciation, either.
YouTube user Khai Button uploaded a video that tracks the number of times “Han” is said in a way that sounds like the American pronunciation of “non” versus the number of times “Han” is said in a way that sounds like the American pronunciation of “can.”
By Button’s tally, “Han” is said 26 times in the original trilogy. In 15 of those instances, the name rhymes with “non.” The other 11 times, “Han” is said in a way that rhymes with “can” or “plan.” Of those 11 utterances, the majority of them were said by Lando Calrissian.
When Han first introduces himself in the Mos Eisley cantina, he says his name in a way that rhymes with “non,” or the “Hon” in “Honduras.”
The way Han Solo says his own name should be the right way to say it, yes? Who cares if Lando says it differently; it’s not his name, and besides, that shithead sold out Han.
So that should be the end of it, right?
But in an interview, George Lucas said it in a way that sounds like “can,” the way Lando says it.
So, which is it? The way it’s said by the character? Or the way it’s said by the guy who created the character?
Someone on a message board postulated that no one had to be “right” or “wrong,” and that there could just be multiple ways to pronounce it. Others said that no, the pronunciation of a name should be determined by the person who bears it.
I’ve always said “Han” in the way that rhymes with “non.” That’s how Han Solo said it. And almost everyone else said it that way, too, with the exception of Lando and Threepio. And Leia, once or twice, as that video shows. But the majority of the times it has been said, it was said like “non.”
And now that I’ve heard George Lucas say it in a way that rhyme with “can,” I am really inclined to not say it the way he says it. He might have created the entire saga and the world it’s set in, but he’s tinkered with it enough that I’m inclined to question any idea he has on how things should be in the “Star Wars” universe.