In Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Han Solo is introduced as a scoundrel that smuggled people and goods for a living. Of course, he turned a new leaf in life and became a true Rebel hero who worked for the Rebels to liberate the galaxy from the tyranny of the Empire. But we also learned that Han owed a lot of credits to Jabba the Hutt, which forced the gangster to put a bounty on his head. So, what did Han Solo owe to Jabba the Hutt?
Han Solo’s debt to Jabba the Hutt was never mentioned in Star Wars, but we can presume that he owed him somewhere close to 17,000 credits. This can be presumed from his contract to rescue Leia. However, Jabba eventually placed a huge bounty on his head because he never paid his debt.
While Han Solo eventually became a true hero that worked for the good guys, he was still a legendary smuggler before he became a Rebel. As such, he had past issues that he should have resolved first before he started fighting the Empire. The biggest issue, of course, was his debt to Jabba the Hutt. Now, let’s look into Han Solo’s debt in greater detail to understand how much he owed Jabba.
Why Did Han Solo Owe Jabba the Hutt?
Introduced during the events of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, Han Solo is a man that was living a troublesome life because he is a smuggler that had a run-in with the worse people possible. Of course, the people that he had a run-in were gangsters, as it was made clear that he ended up working with the scum of the galaxy. And it was the fact that he owed money to Jabba the Hutt that forced him to take on the job of rescuing Leia Organa from Darth Vader.
Of course, the reason why Han Solo owed money to Jabba was due to his job. Han worked as a smuggler that used the Millennium Falcon to transport illegal goods or even people from one place to another. As such, he took on a job from Jabba in the past, and that job was to transport spices.
However, in the middle of the job, Han had to dump the spices because he got on the Empire’s radar. Knowing that the Empire was going to board his ship, Solo had to get rid of his cargo to ensure he wouldn’t get on the wrong side of the law. But this got him on the wrong side of Jabba’s temper because he ended up owing the value of the spices to him.
Then again, how much did Han Solo owe to Jabba the Hutt? Well, the exact value of his debt was never mentioned during the events of Star Wars, but we can make a smart guess based on his conversation with Greedo and his contract with Luke and Obi-Wan.
Greedo: Jabba’s through with you! He has no use for smugglers who drop their shipments at the first sign of an Imperial cruiser.
Han Solo: Even I get boarded sometimes. Do you think I had a choice?
Of course, during the negotiation phase with Obi-Wan and Luke, Han suggested that he should be given an advance of 10,000 Imperial credits. But he eventually agreed to 2,000 credits up front. Meanwhile, the rest of the 15,000 credits would be given to him after he safely delivered Leia to Alderaan. That means Han Solo was asking for a total price of 17,000 from Obi-Wan and Luke to help rescue Leia from Darth Vader’s ship.
That means that Han Solo agreed to take on a dangerous mission because the reward money would be able to pay off his debt to Jabba. As such, his debt may be somewhere between 10,000 to 17,000 credits.
According to the movies, Han Solo ended up saving around 2,400 credits. This led to speculations that he owed around 12,400 credits to Jabba because he asked for 10,000 upfront from Obi-Wan. And the likely reason why he asked for an advance of 10,000 was to pay off his debt.
Nevertheless, we don’t have any concrete data regarding just how much he owed Jabba the Hutt. But it is possible that Han owed more than he thought because he was dealing with a gangster that could increase his debt at any given moment, especially because interest was still accruing.
What Was Jabba’s Bounty on Han Solo?
As mentioned, Han Solo owed a lot of credits to Jabba the Hutt. It came to the point that Jabba got so irritated with Han that he ended up putting a bounty on his head. And this bounty was actually so hefty that it was worth more than Han’s debt.
Greedo once said that Jabba would put a bounty on his head and that all the bounty hunters in the galaxy would come after him. That was because the bounty was actually 224,190 credits. And this was the reason why Boba Fett ended up working alongside Darth Vader to acquire Solo’s carbonite-frozen body and deliver him to Jabba.
But while Han Solo only owed around 10,000 to 17,000 credits to Jabba the Hutt, the thing is that his actual bounty may have been based on what Jabba thought Han should have paid him. That means that Jabba may have included additional fees, including interest and the price Han should have paid for killing Greedo. And that is probably the reason why the bounty reached as high as 224,190 credits even though Solo originally owed 12,400 credits.
Did Han Ever Pay Jabba?
The very reason why Han took the job to rescue Leia was so that he could use the reward money to pay off his debt to Jabba. Of course, we all know that Han continued to work with the Rebels years after rescuing Leia. That means that he never returned to his life as a smuggler. And we also learned that Jabba was still hunting him down with his bounty hunters.
That means that Han never paid his debt to Jabba the Hutt. Of course, there’s a very good explanation for not paying his debt to the gangster. And it involves Han’s involvement with the Rebels in their attempt to defeat the Empire.
After Han Solo rescued Leia Organa and participated in the Battle of Yavin, it was clear that he was on the side of the Rebels and that the Empire was aware of his involvement with the people trying to bring the Imperial reign to an end. Because of that, he must have avoided going anywhere near Jabba the Hutt because there was a good chance that the gangster and the other bounty hunters working for him would have just given him to the Empire.
There was also a good chance that Han felt safe hanging out with the Rebels. As good as the bounty hunters of the galaxy were, Han spent most of his time with an army of Rebels that would have protected him. The Rebels were also great at hiding from plain sight. As such, it was only when Han’s safety was compromised in Bespin that the bounty hunters could get to him, as he didn’t have the protection of the Rebels back then.