Hello and welcome to another deep-dive thread! This time we will be looking at a small but stuffed with goodness book by @jasoncfry: Tales from Vandor!
As every book I analyze in these threads, TFV is an in-universe text. The IU author is a man known as Midnight, a barkeep at the Lodge on Vandor. As you would expect, he's met a lot of underworld characters, including all the main players in the movie Solo.
This book is less structured than the previous ones, so I'm going to be checking a few pages a day and probably adding a page # here and there for those following at home.

So, without further ado, let's begin!
(Wait, there are no page numbers either. Uh, idk, try to follow along.)

The book starts with the friendly barkeep saying hi to his readers. He describes himself as a helper, an enabler: his job is to find out what people want, even if they themselves don't know it or don't want to admit it.

A barkeep, alright.
Midnight jokes about Iridium Mountain Gorg Eggs ("don't ask me what they are unless you actually want to know.")

We saw the Iridium Mountains in Solo, and the Solo Guide named them. Gorg eggs were mentioned in classic Hyperspace feature Dining at Dex's: Gorgs are from TPM.
Anyway, Midnight's job means he hears a lot of stories from strangers who just want a friendly ear. That's why he started this book! So get ready for a collection of anecdotes, tall tales, and outright lies!

I love IU books so much

(Pic: Galaxy's Edge concept art)
First, he tells us about four COMPLETELY RANDOM characters he knows. The spread is online so hey, I'll attach it to the tweet so you can take a look (and yes, this book is gorgeous.)

Don't worry, we'll be seeing all these stories in detail later on!
And of course, he can't wait to tell us about this other kid called Han Solo, a fellow Corellian who might be his favorite. He met him when he was a beginner and assumed he would end up killed in some back-alley... but he's glad he was wrong!

But first, Midnight is going to tell us about a different lost kid who ended up in Vandor: himself.

He grew up in Coronet, like Han, a city that was first named in the EU. He was not an orphan like Solo, but he was downright poor.
So he left Corellia looking for fortune aboard a bulk freighter, the Rampaea Horizon.

The ship looks like a Class V bulk freighter, that originated in French RPG magazine Casus Belli before being added to the Heir to the Empire comic adaptation by its artist.
He worked in the freighter for a long time, always looking for a good port to make his new home. He discarded Venustria, Ulness Prime and Great Aglamerti (AFAIK new worlds) but fell in love with the clear air and snowy peaks of Vandor.

Oh yes! This book has several foldouts! All of them really pretty and really packed with information! The first one is Midnight's inspection card, the paperwork he carried aboard the Rampaea Horizon (he's scratched his real name off it, though!)
The card confirms all the info Midnight just told us, and tells us a little bit from Vandor: it's placed inside Sloo Sector and its spaceport (or one of them but I'd be surprised) is called Corulbani.

Sloo Sector was, I believe, first mentioned by Jason in the Atlas appendix.

And here he have Vandor's planetary profile by Republic scout Arhul Corulbani. It looks like the spaceport was named after him! He also shares a first name with historian Arhul Hextrophon, the in-universe author of WEG's early sourcebooks. Also this dude.
Corulbani recommends the world (originally known just as 53-80) for settlement. He thinks of it as a good place for mining, cattle raising, and even tourism. The only possible obstacle to its development that he sees are certain navigational anomalies around the system.
Vandor appears to be close to the Lesser Sloo Cloud and the Lohrans Cavity.

Lohrans, another world in Sloo Sector, is the homeworld of the Order of the Ffib, from the 1999 Aurra Sing comic.
These anomalies mean that any ships getting close to Vandor need frequent navigational updates from the Bureau of Ships and Services.

BOSS is the ultra-Kafkian bureaucracy that has governed space travel since before the Old Republic, per WEG. I love them too much.
Back to the story, Midnight became a kod'yok hunter when he first got to Vandor. He now regrets that job, as they are going extinct.

Kod'yok are space buffalo first seen in Solo but first mentioned in the TLJVD by Pablo "Sneaky" Hidalgo.
Once the Empire showed up, he helped build the conveyex network. You know the conveyex, the trains from Solo.

The tracks went through Spinnaker Raiders territory. Spinnaker was mentioned in the Solo VD and confusingly shares a name with a Naboo town.
The Raiders first tore off the tracks but, when the workers returned again and again, they straight attacked them. Midnight was the only survivor, and even then he was nearly killed when a TIE confused him with a raider.

He says the Raiders are no more, having joined Enfys Nest.
Midnight was a regular at The Lodge, as were more settlers. He eventually started helping its owner, Tibbs Ospe, doing odd jobs here and there and eventually boarding with him.

Tibbs had his own story to tell, of course. And we'll see it in just a few minutes! Break time!

Tibbs was once a scout for the Commerce Guild, before "the droid war", a name that amuses me to no end (hey, they have as much right as the clones do to get the war named after them!)
His exploration ship was a sleek Vangaard Pathfinder, known as a Pathfinder-class scout ship back in the day. WEG created the ship, first in the Adventure Journal as an alternate hero ship and then in Galaxy Guide 8: Scouts (yes, they made a book solely about galactic scouts)
Tibbs would fly beyond the Void of Chopani looking for new worlds. This region was first mentioned in the very weird 2000 comic Underworld: The Yavin Vassilika.
And that's how he rediscovered Vandor. That settling that Arhul Corulbani recommended above? It didn't catch on and the world was soon abandoned. The world had been desert for centuries, but Tibbs thought it could still make a good outpost.
He reasoned that traders headed to Manda and Deneba would need a stopping place.

Manda is a world from the Droids cartoon, later tied in to Mandalorian lore. Deneba appeared in the Dark Lords of the Sith comic.
So Tibbs built Fort Ypso in the ruins of the old Ypsobay Trading Company headquarters, including The Lodge. And it became a successful outpost--perhaps more successful than Tibbs actually wanted!

Tibbs eventually offered Midnight a job as the overnight barkeep. The Corellian, tired of his many close calls, accepted.

And this is the story of his second night as the Lodge's barkeep.
He tells us about a Kerestian hunter called Iothene Jacontro, another extra from Solo.

Kerestians are WEG aliens, and they look cool enough to keep reappearing. They are famed as aggressive and determined hunters all throughout the galaxy.
Jacontro went to Vandor to find the fabled Corulbani Hoard, presumably related to the man who first discovered the planet centuries before. He went to the Lodge and bragged that he had released wampas into the wild as trophies for an upcoming hunt.
While in the Lodge, he and his people got into a fight with a Selkath pirate gang, the Valarine School.

Selkath are fish-people from KOTOR and... well, and everyone else. I'm assuming the "school" is not the educational type, but the "fish swimming in the same direction" type.
The brawl ended with most of Jacontro's gang dead. Oops. So he started hiring every single criminal in Vandor, all to look for a fabled treasure that Midnight insists never existed.

Anyway, that second night Jacontro left, leaving the Lodge almost deserted...
...and that's when the wampas, you know, the ones the Kerestian had released, started attacking convoys and eating Tibbs' kod'yoks. The very angry alien left with a hunting party, leaving Midnight alone behind the bar.
Jacontro, humiliated and half-frozen, returned to the empty Lodge... and that's when a wampa busted right through the wall.

Midnight and Jacontro survived the encounter thanks to Tibbs returning just in time. And that's when Midnight knew he would never be bored at work...

* Midnight tells us about the galactic underworld
* Everything you wanted to know about coaxium
* Beckett, his gang, and their exploits

See you soon!

Midnight does not mince words: the galaxy is full of gangs and criminals, but none worse than the Empire itself. Thankfully, they rarely show up in Fort Ypso: clueless lonely officers and Imperial bounty hunters are the most they usually see.
He's, though, no Rebel at all. He just hates the world the Empire devours worlds and societies for its own benefit, just like happened with Corellia. And he sees it happening in Vandor now, with the kod'yok herds thinning out and the brutal mining for iridium.
He blames the loss of the coaxium during Solo for this increased Imperial presence. New towns are appearing along the conveyex tracks, and Midnight thinks is a few decades Vandor will be just another planet. Maybe even a tourist trap.
If this sounds very Twilight of the Wild West, yeah, I think that's a very appropriate feeling for the Outer Rim during the height of the Empire. Civilization is coming, the frontier is dying.

Plus facism, of course.

Next is a very interesting operational manual for the Mimban campaign. Shootouts to trench foot, the WW1 condition referenced by the Solo guide.
The original Mimbanese from Splinter of the Mind's Eye are mentioned, classified as "non-insurgent natives" and given the same derogative term as the EU ones: Greenies.

And the EU references are just starting, kids.
As also mentioned in the Solo guide, the Empire is in Mimban looking for hyperbarides.

Hyperbarides first appeared in the classic WEG adventure Planet of the Mists, also set in a swampy planet driven to ecological disaster by Imperial greed.

We return to Midnight's description of the galactic underworld. He now mentions that the Empire is not above working with criminals, giving the Pyke Syndicate as the perfect example of these corrupt deals.
The Pykes, as we know, control Kessel and its spice, but the world is also a massive source of coaxium. And the Pykes are more than happy to let the Empire have it as long as they make some credits out of it. It gives the Empire another reason to keep ignoring the spice trade.
Pykes show up in the Lodge from time to time, either looking to hire pilots to make Kessel Runs or looking for smugglers who escaped with their spice. Either way, Midnight is always happy when the Pykes leave, as they always mean trouble for Fort Ypso.

The next foldout contains a hazardous material reference sheet for coaxium. Some really interesting stuff were you to, dunno, use it in your RPG (ahem)
First, we see that coaxium is classified as hypermatter, an old EU term for, well, stuff that makes hyperdrives work. So it works well with the "hyperfuel" the movie gives us!

And, as we know, it's highly volatile.
Something new and darkly hilarious: coaxium vapor can accumulate in internal organs... and eventually reach critical mass and explode.

Holy crap. This is giving me the worst GM ideas.
Coaxium explodes if it falls below 35 standard therms, so safety protocols include always keeping it above 50.

No, not that Therm. It appears to be a spacey temperature unit.
Carbonite is recommended as an insulator, reflecting what we learned in Scum & Villainy regarding its use in transporting volatile substances. I love it when things work together!
After a few more safety guidelines, the brochure recommends checking the Merchant Galactic database.

Merchant Galactic a civilian auxiliary to the Imperial Navy first mentioned in Velasco's seminal guide and given shape in the Essential Guide to Warfare, by Jason.

Midnight considers Crimson Dawn to be worse than the Hutts, Black Sun or the Pykes, but he admits that (at least in Vandor) they always behave professionally. He's heard horror stories about what they've done to other worlds, but he implies he doesn't believe them.
Why, Dryden Vos himself used to dock his yacht in Fort Ypso before his, well, untimely end!

The presence of the First Light actually had a negative effect on the small settlement, as people preferred to spend credits there that in the Lodge.
Vos would be pretty professional about it, though, and would always send his lieutenant, Qi'Ra, to pay for the yacht's expenses and include a substantial tip. Midnight goes as far as to describe him as "neighborly." Ugh.
Dinner break, but next we'll see what Midnight have to say about certain pirates who liked to ride above the clouds.

Midnight is NOT a fan of the Cloud-Riders: they look scary, they are well-equipped, and they visit Vandor from time to time. I bet his experiences with the Spinnaker Raiders is affecting his opinion.
He mentions the Buckshot/Aerie, the ship that was originally going to serve as a carrier for the Riders but never left the concept stage. That's where they get their name from!
And, of course, he knows of the "pirate" Enfys Nest, their leader. Many tales and stories have been spun around her.

They say she defeated the Skyraptors of Unavartan all by herself in just one night, for example.
Some say she used to be a Crimson Dawn lieutenant (I bet Enfys was not too happy about that rumor!)

Others say that "Enfys Nest" is not her name, but a title to be claimed by the greatest warriors. This one might have some truth to it, maybe? She did inherit the mask.
And finally some say that she is, well, a woman.

Ha! Preposterous!
Midnight met Enfys once, when she came to the Lodge looking for some information and ordered a water. Awww, just like Luke!

He recommends never speaking her name out loud, as it tends to attract the worst kind of attention...

Midnight makes an aside, remembering one time a geologist from the University of Byblos came to visit.

Byblos and its university hail from WEG, where the world is described as an ancient commerce hub. Nice art, too.
The geologist asked Midnight if he was not worried one of the cartels would eventually take over the Lodge. Midnight replied that there was not much money to be made there, so he doubted they'd ever be interested in running the place.
Hutts rarely visit Vandor: too cold for them. When they have to they tend to send their goons instead--thankfully, as Midnight doesn't appear to like cleaning Hutt slime trails. Ew.
They rarely see the Droid Gotra either--and he's sure they would not like the droid fights the Lodge hosts. He is sympathetic to their cause but thinks Vandor is not a good place for droids.

(Picture unrelated)
Next, Midnight finishes his summary of the galactic underworld by profiling the Beckett Gang, one by one.

But that will be tomorrow.
Oh, don't worry if a particular topic seems underdeveloped. Midnight tends to vaguely introduce a topic and then expand on it pages later in a pretty naturalistic way. So yeah, we'll hear more about the droid fights or about Qi'Ra.

Bye for now!

The Beckett Gang were never regulars, but they would show up at the Lodge every few months, usually inquiring about Imperial operations. Midnight thinks he got to know them pretty well.
He liked Rio, although he was sure his incessant chattering hid a broken heart (the Solo guide revealed that he was a Clone Wars vet.) Midnight was always glad to see him show up.
But he thinks that Val was the one to watch in the gang. He reminisces about the first time he met Beckett's crew, and how she deftly disabled a potentially volatile situation.
An amateur bounty hunter tried to collect on a courier for the Whitescar Syndicate.

This criminal organization appeared in Chronicles of the Gatekeeper, an FFG adventure. References to the FFG RPG in canon are rare, so cherish them!
Val, who was sitting close, quickly immobilized the bounty hunter, told the courier to get the hell out, and then bought a drink for the wannabe. He probably got a pep talk and all.

"Took me longer to tell the story than it did for it to happen."
And then there was Beckett, who Midnight found dangerously hard to read.

But he has a pretty fun story to tell about him. Oh yes he has.

I get the feeling this is one of the biggest, if not THE biggest, hits the Beckett Gang ever pulled, so I'm going to try to be thorough.

I love heists so much!
Beckett and co had spent weels stealing Imperial ships in the vicinity of the Berullian Checkpoint. You might remember the place being namedropped in the novel Last Shot.
It got so bad that the Emperor himself got wind of it, and dispached Grand General Ormeddon to deal with it.

The title, an obvious analog to Grand Admiral, first showed up in Force Commander but it's been more common in canon, with Tagge becoming one in the first Vader comic.
And that's just what Beckett wanted: the raids were meant to force Ormeddon away from his security! At the checkpoint, Beckett and his crew dressed as maintenance workers and fifteen minutes into Ormeddon's inspection, they stole his personal shuttle.
They jumped to Foundry, used Ormeddon's clearance codes to land in his personal docking bay, and stole experimental shield generator technology.

Foundry is an old EU world, having appeared in old comic strips and later retconned into an important Separatist droid factory world.
Midnight muses that Beckett was always pulling crazy jobs like that one.

They once rigged an Old Republic navigation buoy to lure Imperial ships and steal their fuel.

They preyed on Mining Guild ore haulers for months close to the Celestial Wake (from Clone Wars Adventures)
They pulled infamous jobs like the Bhuna Sounds Heist (a world from Star Wars Tales #5) or the Mairenhelm Deception.

Midnight never asked them about these heists, but he knew of Beckett's desire to retire on Glee Anselm.
He likes that tough-as-nails Beckett was from a tropical paradise and that all he wanted was to go back there and learn to play the valachord.

But then "what went down on Savareen" happened. Life had other plans for him.

- Midnight finally talks about Han Solo
- The Millennium Falcon
- More about Qi'Ra!

Midnight would've never expected Han to become the most famous member of the Beckett Gang.

Considering that the first thing he heard of him was that he had cost Crimson Dawn the Vandor coaxium... yeah, I can see why.
After that disaster, Midnight could feel that Han felt scared. With good reason! When he finally talked to him and told him that he was from Coronet too, Han's wary reaction made Midnight realize he had probably been with one of the orphan gangs.
They chatted a little bit. Midnight was impressed that Han had been with the White Worms and managed to escape Lady Proxima. He warned Han that being a deserter could be a death sentence, but the cocky Corellian replied that serving in the Army was a worse one.
This conversation helped Midnight piece together Han's story: he deduced he has enlisted to escape Corellia and that Beckett had recruited him during that job in Mimban they were rumored to have just pulled.

Apparently enlistment was a common way for young Corellians to leave.
Poor Corellians, of course. Rich and educated Corellians usually left the world with a Corellian Engineering Corporation contract.

The book uses the well-known CEC logo, originally hailing from WEG.
Midnight adds that poor kids often join the Merchant Galactic, as you don't need an Imperial Academy diploma for that. But he knows that Han wanted something different: he wanted adventure. A life moving freight for the Navy would have killed him.
Now Midnight tells us a shortened version of the events in the last two arcs of Solo. He's surprised Vos gave them that second chance but he's heard of what happened in Kessel, how they stole a fortune from the Pykes with Lando Calrissian's help.
Next, we'll take a good look at the Falcon post-Solo. Some fun continuity pulls there!

This is my favorite part of the book! It appears to be the repairs Han did to the Falcon after Numidian Prime. There's a beautiful diagram with possible YT replacement pieces, straight out of the Haynes guide
Take a look; this is taken from page 15 of the Haynes book. And it makes sense in universe! Where else would Han find these diagrams but in the ship’s operational manual?
The lower-left corner of the foldout includes a list of ten external modifications that Han wants to do ASAP. The internal modifications are in a different file, apparently (but you can be sure they include getting rid of the cape closet!)
1. Find a new rectenna. He's still not sure what model to use so it's left as "TBD" (good idea, as with the rectenna changes having become kind of a new in-joke we are sure to see a new one at some point)
2. Repair the hull plating. Yeah, after the Kessel Run, I'm not surprised that's a priority.
3. Replace original cannons with quad lasers, bringing the ship to ANH firepower. People LOVE the quad lasers and we are likely to see them any time the Falcon appears, so yeah: having them be an early modification is a good idea.
4. Add quick-start mods

Here we see how Han starts hot-rodding the ship. Lando might have been more worried about comfort, but Han wants a fast and reliable Falcon at his command.
5. Install sub-light acceleration system.

The SLAM is a "boost" system originally hailing from the TIE Fighter videogame. Canon had the Falcon's engine have one as part of their modifications as early as Rucka's Smuggler's Run.
6. Install concussion missiles in old auxiliary craft hatch

The Falcon’s missiles have been placed between the mandibles since at least the Star Wars Sourcebook. This explains that yes, Han installed them where the shuttle from Solo used to be. Free space is a luxury!
7. Relocate tractor beam projectors to mandibles

The Falcon's frontal projectors have been there since Legends (they played a small role in the Black Fleet Crisis trilogy) but I'm not sure if this fixes an inconsistency with canon or if it's just flavor! Hey I'm fallible.
8. Install sensor array and route feeds to rectenna dish

Han, install your rectenna!

9. Add IFF transponder supplied by customer

So Han supplied his own identify friend/foe transponder! That can't be good.
10. Retrofit gun well with rotating core (Han scratched this mod and wrote next to it "Impractical!")

Many years later, Ducain would add the core anyway, as per the Cross-Sections. And yup, not the best idea!
There are a few hand-written notes. Han says he will turn the access tunnel to the now-gone escape craft into a freight load entry, for example.

The interior changes are said to be in a separate document, as I mentioned. I wonder what that could be...
Left: Han’s signature on this foldout
Right: Han’s signature on the diagram in the 1987 Star Wars Sourcebook

Yup, it’s a nod towards the very first in-universe technical diagrams of the Falcon. I love you, Jason.
And that's it for now. Next, Midnight will tell us a little bit about Qi'Ra. Bye!

Midnight tells us that she didn't look very threatening: she didn't come up to the knees of a bageraset.

Bagerasets are creatures from defunct MMORPG Star Wars Galaxies. Appropriately enough, they appeared in Corellia.
Still, a veteran like Midnight could instantly tell that she was dangerous and knew of violence. Also that, despite her class and professionalism, she was used to her orders being followed without hesitation.
He has no idea what became of her after she left for Kessel.

"Remember that name. Something tells me we'll all hear it again."

I hope you are right, Midnight.

With Han having become an underworld legend, Midnight often gets people asking if it's true that his career started in Fort Ypso. Depending on who's asking, he either admits it or plays dumb.

"Solo? [...] You sure it's not something somebody made up?"

He doesn't think anyone has seen him back in Vandor since the Kessel revolt, so he tells fans to go try on Tatooine or Takodana.
Midnight would love to hear of Han's recent exploits from the man himself, though. He hopes he still is the good-hearted kid he instantly recognized. And that he eventually found something to believe in.

Midnight is honest: he has high hopes for Han because of Chewie. He managed to talk to him thanks to Essvee, the Lodge's protocol droid. Well... her cognitive module, torn off and installed behind the bar so that she can talk into Midnight's earpiece.

And Chewie had great tales to tell, of course. He told Midnight about the events on Mimban, including his time in the prisoner pit where he met Han. And yes, he wants to keep Han on the straight and narrow... but he really wants to go home to his family.

Chewie told Midnight of his wife Mallatobuck and his son Lumpy (Chewie used his full name, Lumpawaroo, but Midnight didn't catch it.)
Chewie spoke of Lumpy's dangerous misadventures looking for wasaka berries in the lower forests.

This is a reference to the events shown in 1979 The Wookiee Storybook.
Then, quietly, Chewie told Midnight about the "droid war." How the clones who had helped them suddenly turned into invaders. As there was no one else around, he admitted to having met Yoda and Luminara Unduli.
He added that the Empire started sawing down the giant trees of Kashyyyk.

This is probably not a reference but it echoes nicely what we've seen in Jedi: Fallen Order.
Having seen Chewie's sorrow and anger, Midnight is sure that one day the Wookiee will return to Kashyyyk in force.

What does that reference? Ah well.
Next, we'll see one of my favorite running jokes in this book: smugglers sharing what they've heard about Han's origins.

Are there going to be many clever references here? You bet!

Are we going to find the one reference that completely stumped me? Indeed!

See you next!

This story of Han's origin was told by a smuggler called Tregga.

Tregga was an extra in Solo. But he's also an EU character! A smuggler mentioned in Han Solo's Revenge.
Tregga has done a few jobs with Han and Chewie (again, as mentioned in Han Solo's Revenge) and he's heard his own version of the Corellian's childhood.

So grab a chair, because it gets wild.
Tregga's version has Han be an orphan raised by "galactic wanderers" who spent most of his youth in Kashyyyk. He spent most of his childhood in Kashyyyk and that's where he met Chewie. But there's more! Because he was there during the Clone Wars!
He actually provided the Jedi with the necessary clue to locate General Grievous.

After the rise of the Empire, Chewie basically raised him. They worked in placed like Coonee and Saberhing before they met Beckett in Mimban.

The story Midnight knew? Just a cover story.
Tregga says the lie was Chewie's idea, as he's actually a leader in Kashyyyk's resistance with actual ties to the Alliance. Because yes, he's the brains of the operation, duh.

Midnight adds that Tregga's brain implant is known to malfunction, so he doesn't give this much weight.
So! This fun story adds together two different sources with something in common: they are discarded concepts straight from George Lucas himself.
The part most people easily identify, his childhood in Kashyyyk and his helping Yoda during the Clone Wars, comes from a discarded concept for Revenge of the Sith. We have concept art and everything!
The second source is a little more obscure. The part about the galactic wanderers, plus the bits about Coonee and Saberhing, comes from conversations between Lucas and LFL's Carol Titelman where he tried to set up background stories for licensees to use.
You can find the whole background story he developed for Han in Rinzler's almost-perfect The Making of Star Wars (although his "space wanderers" were "space gypsies")

Dan and Jason had obliquely referenced these notes before, in the pages of also-almost-perfect Essential Atlas.
Next: Lando!

Midnight recounts that when Lando first stepped into The Lodge he was not your typical green kid: confident, well-dressed, very impressive. Then, of course, Midnight found out that he couldn't even pilot his YT-1300: his droid did it for him!
And it was sabacc (of course) what first brought Lando to Vandor. He was so desperate for money that he even tried selling one of his capes to the regulars.

When Midnight first talked to him, he had failed to get a game and was fuming in the bar.
He only had two credits, but promised Midnight that in just a few hours he would have another story for his collection.

And he did multiply his credits. Not by a lot, but enough to be noticed. Within a week, everyone knew him and he was doing business with half the planet.
He had many stories to tell! He told Midnight of his start as a gambler in Socorro, his home planet.

Socorro is a WEG world, extensively developed in The Black Sands of Socorro by Patricia Jackson.
He also told him of his misadventures in Drogheda, where a disapproving father had kept him from marrying a rich heiress.

This is a reference to some backstory given in Linda Grant's Star Wars #83 from the classic Marvel comic run.
Lando also told him of his adventures in Livno III, as shown in Justina Ireland's Lando's Luck, part of the recent Flight of the Falcon publishing program.
But there was a tale no one believed: his finding the Mindharp of Sharu, destroying a whole star system, and defeating an evil sorcerer that could fit in the palm of his hand.

This is, of course, a reference to the Lando Clarissian Adventures by L. Neil Smith.
Midnight tells us that Lando met Han after finishing a job in Felucia and claiming to be retired. Elthree told Midnight the truth, though: Tibbs had impounded the Falcon. Apparently Lando got careless and used the wrong fake ID when they landed.

Next, we have a beautiful brochure from Yarith Bespin.

This hotel and casino was first named in the pages of 1989 Galaxy Guide 2: Yavin and Bespin. Back in the day, I didn't buy that book because "it didn't look interesting." Dumb kid...
They are playing the Corellian Spike variant of sabacc, first seen in Solo but first mentioned by Pablo "Sneaky" Hidalgo in the TFA visual dictionary.
We have a summary of the rules.

Now... I'll be honest. I'm not a gambler. I never cared about sabacc. I'm assuming these rules reflect sabacc as played in Solo, but I have no idea. Leave me alone.
- Elthree, finally!
- The best damn poster in the whole book!
- A reference that will make you go "wha?"

Okay, I usually don’t post pics of the books I dive into, but I had to make an exception?

Where to start? The droids pulling a Rosie the Riveter? The call out to “Gay rights are human rights”? The pretty solid arguments?
The Galactic Constitution was mentioned by WEG and would have appeared in ROTS.

I'm assuming the Emperor did not give it much importance, if at all.
I'm not sure who started using the now omnipresent term "sentient" to talk about intelligent beings in Star Wars. I know WEG's Galaxy Guides did, but I wouldn't be surprised if it was older. It's a sci-fi cliché like credits, after all.

Pict: seal of the University of Sambra

Here she is! Your favorite (the only?) droid activist!

Midnight is clear here: she was obnoxious. Ralakili (more on him later on) wanted her dismantled, but Tibbs admired her spunk so she was admitted (despite the Lodge usually not serving droids)
Remember Esvee, the disemboided droid Midnight kept behind the bar? L3 was VERY MAD when she found out. She called him a "meatbag", like a certain assassin droid we all love used to do.
So Midnight allowed L3 to sit next to SV and keep her company, plus he promised to start gathering droid parts to eventually give the protocol droid her body back.

Since that day, L3 would show up from time to time, give Midnight a droid part, and chat with SV for a while.
But Midnight had no idea why Lando would call Elthree "Vuffi" from time to time.

Oh yes, a reference to Vuffi Raa, the extragalactic droid and Lando's sidekick from the Lando Calrissian Adventures.


W. O. W.
L3 insisted that "Vuffi" meant "sweetheart" in Socorrian, but Lando replied that it was an inside joke.

What do we think about this? Did a canonical version of the LCA happen but with L3 in Vuffi's place? Does Lando call her Vuffi to honor a missing friend?
Or is Elthree saying the truth about the Socorrian term of endearment?

That, my dear reader, is for you to decide.
I also want to add that Elthree's horror at the disembodied Esvee being treated as furniture makes me feel even worse about her final fate as part of the Falcon.

Despite not being a droid activist at all, Midnight agreed with L3 on the droid fights being bad. He considered them dumb and wasteful.

The fights were held by a mean bastard called Ralakili. The dark counterpart to sweet Rancor keeper Malakili!
Ralakili is, of course, Clint Howard's character in Solo.

We get some background on him: had hated droids since his planet was ravaged by droids during the Clone Wars. The Solo guide specifies that it was General Grievous himself who did the deed.
Midnight thinks little of that excuse: the droid war ended years ago, and the droids in the pits have nothing to do with those battle droids. Plus it's not like it was the droids' fault! They did what they programmed to do.
Ralakili has Sansizia, the droid trainer, outfit the droids with remote-controlled restraining bolts. And likes to abuse it, just because he can.

Sansizia Chreet was another colorful extra in Solo.
Tibbs is okay with the fights as long as he gets his cut, but Midnight sometimes hopes that Elthree had gone through with her threat of wiring Ralakili up and giving him a few shocks for a change.

Lando left with Beckett's gang for Kessel, as we know. Tibbs was not happy that he had escaped without paying his debt and promised to feed him to the luftgriffs.

Luftgriffs are new Vandor critters. The mountain that blew up in Solo was called Luftgriff Peak.
Lando eventually returned to pay his debts, alone. He just said that Elthree had died fighting for droid rights, refusing to elaborate on it. Midnight mentions that, for once, Lando didn't want to share his adventures.
Shortly after that, Lando lost the Falcon to Han. Next time he showed up at the Lodge, he was flying a rusty space yacht.

This could easily be the Lady Luck, his ship from both Legends and canon, but it's left open enough in case future stories give us a different ship.
Midnight adds that these days Lando runs with a cyborg called Lobot, who seems like the sensible kind of guy able to keep Lando out of (most) trouble. Apparently, they've been sniffing around Bespin. Midnight hopes things go well for them.
Next: the Kessel run!

According to Midnight, there are many rumors and tales about what Beckett and co. did in Kessel. Tales of slave uprisings, droid revolutions, Han and Chewie storming the mines, or Lando saving everyone (probably spread by Lando himself)
Our dear Midnight suspects it was Qi'Ra who took care of the Pykes and stole the coaxium. We know that he thought she was dangerous!

Midnight was in Kessel once, when he still roamed the spacelines, but he doesn't plan on ever leaving Vandor again.
Space is just too dangerous. Midnight lists almost everything that can go wrong in space, including encounters with mynocks and space slugs (from ESB) and lightspeed psychosis (maybe the legendary hyper-rapture mentioned in Stover's Shadows of Mindor?)

But even if he ever returned to space, Midnight would avoid Kessel, one of the most dangerous places in the galaxy.

He proceeds to describe Kessel as being near the edge of Hutt Space, same as in Legends. He tells us about the Akkadese Maelstrom from the film.
Most ships approaching Kessel do it from Formos, according to Midnight.

This keeps a bit from the EU Kessel Run, which went from Formos to Kessel and back. The world itself first appeared in 1979 on Archie Goodwin comic strip.
Most ships that approach Kessel do it through the Channel, the twisting route across the Maelstrom we saw in Solo. He remembers well how scared his navigator was when the Rampaea Horizon threaded the Channel: one small mistake and everyone would've been dead.

A 2018 Star Wars publication? You know what that means: another map of the Kessel Run! Amazing that we went forty years without one, and now we drown on them!

(Pic from the Solo guide)
This particular map is hand-drawn and has annotations from five different spacers: they are arguing about what was Han's actual route through the Maesltrom.

It's perfect and I love it.

Also, the annotations are all expanded later on, and I don't want to ruin any surprises.
Suffice to say that they all have their theories, most of them assuming that Han lied. But don't worry, we'll be seeing them later on, one by one!

Even if you survive the trip, you still have to deal with the Pykes.

Midnight tells us that old spacers say that Kessel spice used to be minded for medicinal uses, as we know from Scum & Villainy and... well, this week's Clone Wars.
Kessel itself is split in two: a side covered in scrub forests, and a side covered in wastelands, open mines, and clouds of toxic Kessoline.

This idea has been floating since, at least, 2015. I suspect it originated with the canceled Underworld TV series.
The royal family is no longer in charge of the mines: the Pykes took over and forcefully stopped the numerous competing mining claims that plagued the world.

Again, lore that has been around for a long time. It's cool to finally see it!
Midnight says he's heard that Kessel spice is made up of strands of crystalline fibers. This was the description in Legends as well, perhaps most memorably in Crispin's The Paradise Snare.
And just as in Legends, accidentally breaking the pre-spice fibers is a good way to end up eliminated. Midnight says it will earn you a free ticket to Zygerria, a fate worst than Kessel.

Zygerrian slavers are a WEG concept that we saw in The Clone Wars.

That's what veterans call the mines, apparently. Midnight tells us of Fugas Fandita, a Gotarite that sometimes visited the Lodge. He had worked in an Imperial penal in Kessel for 12 years.

Handsome Fugas is another extra from Solo.
Fugas told Midnight that, after his sentence was over, the Pykes offered him a job in their mines, but he said no. It's not a good idea to refuse a Pyke offer, but Fugas didn't care: he was never going to return to the Dark, no matter what.
And then he told Midnight a story about the mines...

How there are things down there that feed on miners, attracted by their lights. How miners would shut the lights off and remain still when they heard noises.

And how Gotarites have low-light vision and could still see.
He described these predators as massive armored spiders. Midnight has never heard anyone else speak of these "Kessel spiders" but he's sure that Fugas believed what he was telling him. And that's why, even though Fugas is still a miner, he will never return to Kessel.
These spiders are, of course, from Legends. Jedi Search, the first book in the Jedi Academy Trilogy, had Han and Chewie work the mines and run into these monsters, which are also the source of the spice itself!

Just like Shai-Hulud!
Next: more about Kessel, this time about the coaxium business!

"If spice is king on Kessel, coaxium is queen."

With such a simple line, Midnight smooths over one of the many headscratchers that Solo had: that the fabled Kessel Run had nothing to do with spice! I'm not complaining! I rather like it, actually!
Midnight is not a coaxium expert, but he understands there are two varieties: static and astatic. Astatic coaxium is, as we know, highly dangerous.

He goes to specify that Kessel Runs are about moving either spice or coaxium to the next stage of processing. Cool.
Because the Empire limits how much refining of spice and coaxium is done on Kessel itself, both for safety reasons and to make sure the Pykes do not get too powerful.

So smugglers enter the equation.
So there are lots of refineries near Kessel. Most controlled by the Pykes, others controlled by Hutts, Crymorah, the Mining Guild, and crazy independents.

Ofc these refineries hate each other. If things ever get out of hand, the Empire sends a ISD or two to smooth things over.
When Midnight went to Kessel, they were not in any hurries, to they followed the Pabol Sleheyron route down to a refinery in Ulmatra.

Both route and planet were created by Jason and Dan for the fantastic Hutt Space section in the Essential Atlas.
And that's the norm: most spice or coaxium runners take their unrefined cargo to similar places. Worlds like Mandrine, Zerm, Injopan or Tilurus actually beam massive holographic ads into space announcing their rates!
Mandrine is a world that appeared in the RPG magazine Polyhedron #59 back when Star Wars canon was still a hazy thing.

Zerm appears in classic 1980 strip The Second Kessel Run. It was terraformed by a Kesselian scientist. A long story (but worth checking!)
Injopan is another Kessel Run world, mentioned by Jason in the very amusing short story Deader Than A Triton Moon.

And Tilurus is (I believe) new, but appeared already in this book, in the foldout map (don't worry, we'll take a good look once we get to the right section)
Some people even take their business out of Hutt Space, into the Outer Rim.

The problem is that lost time is lost money, and travel through the Channel is sloooow. So pilots are always looking for new routes through the Maelstrom and bragging about their findings.

Everyone agrees that Han found a route that was shorter than the Channel... but no one agrees on what route, how short it actually was, or even whether he was the one who actually discovered it.
- Five spacers bicker about Han's route
- We finally look at the map!
- The return of.. of... of Him

Well, the map is in Wookieepedia and in HD. I actually had to resize it. Uh, okay. Whatever.

As you can see, the map has a few interesting features.

First, it places all the different Maelstrom reference points! So THAT is The Corkscrew!
Second, it shows us some of the possible endpoints of the Kessel Run alongside the Sleheyron Pabol. We've seen most of them through this thread.

Randa is another planet from The Second Kessel Run. Aeneid hails from a 2003 Star Wars Tales short called... Kessel Run.

And last, it tells us who the five POVs are. We have Midnight, of course. We also have Sonniod, Astrid, Peko Peko, and...


and Dash.

Pic: Dash[citation needed]

We see that Midnight gives us what he thinks is a likely route Han took. He also tells us that Han claims his route was 12 parsecs.

Other smugglers claim it was actually 13 or 17. Others say it was the regular 20: Han just tricked Beckett.
Peko-Peko Munzati has a theory on what Han did.

They appear to be a new character but shares a first name with a Naboo avian. I think it's probably an alias, like being known as Hawk or Kestrel but in space.
Midnight says that Peko-Peko claims to have spent months on Bar'leth studying purrgils. Midnight suspects he was there lying low.

Purrgills are our dear space whales from Rebels. Bar'leth is a university from Doctor Aphra.
Anyway, Peko-Peko claims that Han just used a very old route: a forgotten purrgil migration route. He adds that coaxium comes from purrgil and that primitive scouts followed their routes.

Hey, they eat clouzon-36, so who knows. I just love seeing this bit of lore reappear!
Then there's an obnoxious spacer named... Dash Rendar.

Uh. Yeah, Dash was the main character in Shadows of the Empire, the 1996 multimedia project. You know, the guy in your Nintendo 64. He had shoulder pads. And was so extreme.

(Pic: Dash Rendar)
Anyway, Poochie here says that the credit goes to Chewbacca, who used one of many secret Wookiee routes.

This calls to some EU ROTS lore: the reason the Separatists wanted Kashyyyk so badly was because of the secret routes the local Claatuvac Guild knew.
Then there is Astrid Fenris, who insists the credit should go to Lando who turned the Falcon into a sturdy ship able to maneuver between black holes.

Astrid is another background character from Solo. She *might* be related to Freya Fenris from Resistance.
Astrid insists that Han just went between the two right black holes in the Maw, and that she'll find them. She prefers not to talk about it. She's busy right now. Leave her alone.

This brings back the EU idea of the Maw as a "black hole cluster" instead of a singular object.
And finally there's Sonniod, who managed to thread the Maw and got out of the Maelstrom in 22 parsecs, putting into doubt Han's claims.

Sonniod is one of Han's buddies. He hails from Daley's Han Solo's Revenge. And WEG gave him a very funny hat!
Midnight has no idea which theory is right, or even if Han himself is sure of it, but he knows that the Falcon's navicomputer has to have the 12-parsec-routeroute logged.

So who knows: maybe one day Han will share it!
- A certain droid makes an unexpected appearance!

So one night a battered labor droid sneaked into the Lodge with a message for Esvee, a message that apparently included Solo's name.

His name?

Bollux is, of course, the main droid character in Daley's Han Solo trilogy. We missed you!

If you live in the UK, you might know him as Zollux. Yeah, they changed his name over there, and I have no idea why.
Anyway, this Bollux told Midnight of some crazy adventures that they had lived together, like blowing up a Corporate Sector prison to rescue Chewie, or fighting some ancient war droids that belonged to Xim the Despot himself.

This is a summary of the first and third Daley books.
Nowadays Bollux works for an Outer Rim university and tracks down Xim sites, one of them rumored to be in Vandor.

This fits with where we last left Bollux, working for the Ruurian historian Skynx.
Midnight thought that what Bollux told him was, well, bollocks. Another broken droid, you know.

Until one day, a former CSA bigwig visited the Lodge during a hunting trip. And he had a tale to tell!

The CSA are the ultra-capitalist bad guys in the first two Daleys.
This guy told Midnight that he once had a crazy stroke of luck: you know, he was supposed to visit Stars' End, the CSA's new prison but he had to cancel last minute... and then a Corellian blew the whole thing into orbit to rescue some Wookiee prisoner!
So maybe these events (pretty much the last act in Han Solo at Stars' End) actually happened, says Midnight.

After all, "if anyone could plan a prison break but wind up accidentally blowing a tower into orbit, it's Han Solo."
You know, every single underworld-themed book that I've made a thread about agrees on one thing: screw reboots, the Daleys happened.

Hell yeah they did! Rest in power, king
Next and last:
- Is this a reference to anything? It's too detailed for it to not be one. Or is that actually the point? @jasoncfry please help

This version of Han's origin was told by an archeologist who *might* have been looking for a Jedi temple in Vandor. She told Midnight that Han had helped the Jedi as a kid, but to his surprise her tale was not the Kashyyyk one.

(Pic: WEG's Corellia Antilles)
According to this version, Han grew up in Coruscant, and would join youth tours and then steal from tourists. One time he got inside the Jedi Temple, only to find Separatist had infiltrated it to steal battle plans. He helped Yoda recover them!
I... have no idea if this is referencing anything. And believe me, I've looked almost daily since starting this thread. And nothing.

Plus the text says that he infiltrated the Temple "posing as Ian." Ian Solo? A typo?

I'm stumped. Someone help me here, please.

This is apparently a reference to 2001 The Padawan Menace, a Cartoon Network LEGO special.

I CAN DIE HAPPY NOW but I'd rather not https://twitter.com/dltayman/status/1245446893410439171?s=20
It makes sense that Midnight would say that it sounded like something out of a goofy holo-tale and that you had to be in on the joke to appreciate it.


This tale comes from a nameless Crimson Dawn enforcer. He insisted that Han's real name was Han Suul, grandson to pirate Dalla Suul. The Imperial recruitment agent simply misheard him!
Dalla Suul (also Dalla Solo) was an EU character first mentioned in the infamous novel Courtship of Princess Leia, where the possibility of him being Han's grandfather is first mentioned.

He also appeared in Star Wars Galaxies, looking... not very impressive.

There's more! A Snivvian bounty hunter swears that he did some research and Solo is Han's real last name! He's a scion of the House of Solo, a direct descendant of Prince-Admiral Jonash e Solo. And the Hutt Cartel wants Han to claim the throne of Corellia!
Han's royal blood was a plot point in, again, Courtship of Princess Leia, although it was left open. The novel mentions Berethon e Solo, perhaps Corellia's last king.

Jonash was introduced as a possible ancestor of Berethon in The Essential Guide to Warfare, by the same author.
So yes, these two Han origins adapt two of his apocryphal origins from Legends. At least now we know for sure that Han's last name is not Solo, so he's thankfully not a royal. Bullet dodged!

Finally, a former Imperial recruiter told Midnight that the standard Imperial military intake form requires a last name, and that if you don't give one the recruiter will give you one.

The two more common ones are "Solo" and "Na" (for "N/A")
Midnight replies that, if this is true, Han should count himself lucky that he's known as "Han Solo" and not as "Han Na"

Midnight tells us that next time Han stops in the Lodge, he'll ask him. Unless the Empire, bounty hunters, or Gank Killers are following him!

Gank Killers were mentioned in an early ESB draft, and then appeared in Dark Empire. FFG has a cool rendition of them!
No matter what Han's origin is, or whatever he's been up to, Midnight knows it'll be a good story.

And good stories are what make the Lodge what it is, aren't they?
So that was my Tales from Vandor thread! I hope you enjoyed it!

Thank you, @jasoncfry, for another great piece of Star Wars!

The book is short and a couple of years old, so you can find it for an extremely low price in B&N or Amazon. Uh, after the quarantine, of course.
You can follow @JoinTheSchwarz.
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