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The Paradise Snare

A. C. Crispin

Cover artist

Drew Struzan


Pat LoBrutto, Tom Dupree

Publication information

Bantam Spectra

Release date

May 5, 1997

Media type







Rise of the Empire era


10 BBY


The Han Solo Trilogy

Preceded by

A New Hope: The Life of Luke Skywalker

Followed by

The Hutt Gambit

The Paradise Snare is volume one of the Han Solo Trilogy by A. C. Crispin. It details Han Solo's life from his escape from Trader's Luck until his entrance into the Imperial Academy, with some flashbacks to his childhood.



Publisher's summary

Han Solo was a child without a past, a Corellian street urchin, abandoned, foraging for scraps of food, when the cruel Garris Shrike whisked him away to a nomadic band of spacefaring criminals. Now, years later, Han fights his way free. His goal: to become an Imperial Navy pilot. But first he needs hand-on experience flying spacecraft, and for that he takes a job on the planet Ylesia—a steaming world of religious fanaticism, illicit drugs, and alluring sensuality…where dreams are destroyed and escape is impossible.


Han Solo has spent nearly all of his nineteen years aboard the Trader's Luck, a pirate vessel commanded by the barbaric Garris Shrike. While on Corellia, Shrike discovered Han as a street urchin and took him in to use as an actor in scams. By sending Han and other children into the streets on various worlds to beg for money, Shrike made a fortune. Life aboard Trader's Luck was hard and cruel, but Han found solace and care from the Wookiee chef Dewlanna. From her, Han learned to understand Shyriiwook and learned that not everyone in the galaxy was as vile as Shrike. At the age of nineteen, Han decided he had enough with Shrike and made plans to escape the Luck. Han carefully planned to stow away aboard a droid freighter bound for Ylesia, where he had heard about a need for skilled pilots. However, his plan was discovered by Shrike during his farewell to Dewlanna. Shrike was furious and violence ensued; Dewlanna defended Han and injured Shrike, but not before she suffered a mortal injury. Stricken with grief, Han was reluctant to leave a dying Dewlanna. She told him to leave, to live so that her death would not be in vain. With Dewlanna dead and Shrike unconscious, Han boarded the freighter and began his journey to Ylesia.


Working on Ylesia

Han survived his arrival on Ylesia only by his natural skill as a pilot. The atmosphere on the planet was particularly turbulent and he managed to land the freighter with minimal damage. The t'landa Til priests were impressed already with his ability as a pilot and interviewed Han, who had assumed the alias Vykk Draygo. Ylesia was a tropical world with a few large islands amidst a vast ocean home to massive predators. As part of an elaborate scheme orchestrated by the Besadii Hutt clan, t'landa Til "priests" had set up a religious sanctuary that attracted thousands of Pilgrims to experiences the "Exultation." Han would later discover the truth behind what appeared to be a paradise. Soon enough, "Vykk Draygo" was hired as a pilot for transporting spice to and from Ylesia because many of the droid freighters had been easily attacked and pillaged by spacegoing pirates. Not only was Ylesia a religious sanctuary, it served as the heart of the Besadii clan's spice refinement operations. Massive factories refined raw spice shipped from Ryloth and Kessel into a consumable form bound for Nar Shaddaa and other worlds.

To supposedly "protect" Han, Teroenza, the High Priest, assigned him a Togorian bodyguard named Muuurgh. Like all Togorians, Muuurgh was very tall and exhibited many sharp teeth and extraordinary hunting abilities. Han was quite aware that his obedience was more of a priority to Teroenza than his protection. Before he could begin flying, Han became well-practiced in the simulator and began to learn the lay of the land of Colony One. With Muuurgh, he toured the spice refineries, which is where he met Pilgrim 921. Han discovered that so-called religious pilgrims were, in fact, being forced into slavery within the spice refineries. 921, who eventually revealed her name to be Bria, was a Corellian woman who met Han's fancy but declined his advances. Han would stop wondering how the slaves were kept on Ylesia when he witnessed his first Exultation.

Each evening, the slaves would enthusiastically attend the t'landa Til Exultation, which they believed to be a spiritual experience that brought them together with "The One and the All." After reciting a scripted sermon, Teroenza, Veratil, and other Ylesian priests would perform the Exultation. Han had to actively resist the intense waves of pleasure and ecstasy being produced by the t'landa Til. Around him, the slaves writhed in pleasure on the ground and were barely able to return to their dormitories. This jolt of pleasure, a natural t'landa Til ability used to attract females, became an addiction the slaves could not refuse. In this manner, the slaves were kept on Ylesia not by security guards—of which there were few—but rather by choice.

Han Solo in love

When Han discovered the scam, he alerted Bria - who refused to believe him. However, Han had secretly recorded a discussion he had had with Teroenza about the secret of the Exultation. This revelation was an epiphany for Bria, who lost all faith in her religious journey and was infuriated at her own folly. Nevertheless, she was unable to skip Exultations. Prior to this revelation, Han had rescued Bria from the spice refineries by securing for her a job as caretaker and documentarian for Teroenza's extensive and prized collection of antiquities. Had he not, Bria would most likely have ended up as another sort of slave - in an Imperial pleasure house. By now, Han had gained much experience as a pilot for the T'landa Til, delivering spice to many worlds. With the trust of the priests gained and Bria at his side, Han decided the time had come to leave Ylesia. Of course, there was Muuurgh to worry about.

Muuurgh first began to trust Han after they were attacked by pirates and forced to land on Alderaan for repairs. Muuurgh was injured but Han did not abandon his "bodyguard." Han soon got to know Muuurgh better and discovered that Muuurgh had also been deceived into working for the T'landa Til. While searching for his lost mate, Mrrov, Muuurgh had come to Ylesia. Teroenza had told him that Mrrov had indeed been there, but her current whereabouts were unknown. Unable to buy passage off of Ylesia, Muuurgh signed on as an enforcer. His tale of love and loss made Han realize that he, too, was in love: with Bria. On Ylesia, Han and Bria made their plan to escape. Muuurgh was furious and threatened to kill Han upon learning of their intent. However, he agreed to take part in the plan when Bria told him about a female Togorian that had been at the colony. To Muuurgh's horror, her description matched that of Mrrov. According to Bria, Mrrov had been relocated to another colony. After an Exultation, the three made their move.

Escape from Ylesia

Han, Bria, and Muuurgh first created a diversion by blowing up the largest of the spice refineries. Panic ensued as billions of credits' worth of spice went up in flames. Han and Bria also raided Teroenza's collection, stealing the most valuable items to sell once they left Ylesia. It was during their raid when Teroenza discovered their treachery. As fire spread around the Colony, secondary explosions caused damage to nearly all of the buildings, and the ceiling of Teroenza's collection room collapse - onto the Besadii Hutt overlord, Zavval, crushing him. Their work done, the trio hijacked the Talisman, Teroenza's personal yacht, and rescued Mrrov. They then blasted their way from Ylesia, suffering major damage from an orbiting CR90 corvette, but were able to reach Togoria safely. At last, they were free from Ylesia.

While on Togoria, Muuurgh and Mrrov were married in the usual Togorian fashion - meaning it involved much combat. After the ceremony, Han and Bria - Bria Tharen - went on a romantic interlude and both admitted their love. They decided to return to Corellia to meet Bria's family and to sell the stolen goods from Ylesia. Wishing farewell to Muuurgh and Mrrov, the two lovers returned to their homeworld.

Unlike Han, Bria had grown up wealthy and privileged. This was very evident upon visiting her family's massive estate. Much to Bria's sadness, her mother and brother found Han despicable and unworthy of being in their home. However, Bria's father, Renn Tharen, found a kindred spirit in Han and rather liked him.then one of the men Bria's mother had wanted her too marry shows up and recognizes Han as a pod racer under a diffrent name. then Bria's mother becomes even more angery. Even so, Han and Bria left Corellia after selling Teroenza's antiques. Han would withdraw the funds from the Imperial Bank on Coruscant once he applied to the Imperial Academy. Thus, the two made their way to Coruscant, officially referred to as Imperial Center.

  • The conversation between Han and Olikanor in his shop is a subtle reference to Indiana Jones. This can be seen in the line (paraphrased) "are these going to a museum...good, they belong in a museum."

Corellian blues

Things did not go well on Coruscant. Han was refused his funds from the Imperial Bank and was nearly arrested by stormtroopers. Han fled from the authorities into the darkest, deepest levels of the city to return to Bria, where she awaited him in a cheap motel room they had rented. Still fighting her addiction to the Exultation, Bria left Han with a note explaining that she felt she would only prevent him from achieving his dream at the Academy. Emotionally devastated—both distraught and furious—Han persevered and applied to the Academy with a loan Bria had secured from her father.

Han passed the entrance exams and was accepted into the Academy. During his training, he became an exceptional pilot and exemplary cadet. On the night of his graduation, while standing high on a roof top and reflecting on his life thus far, he was ambushed by none other than Garris Shrike, who had taken up bounty hunting in search of Solo. Shrike sought vengeance for Han's betrayal and audacity at leaving Trader's Luck nearly two years earlier. Han fought for his life against Shrike. However, it was another bounty hunter that killed Shrike with the hope that he would catch Solo. Han killed the other bounty hunter and learned that his life would never be truly safe or secure.


By type
Characters Creatures Droid models Events Locations
Organizations and titles Sentient species Vehicles and vessels Weapons and technology Miscellanea



Droid models



Organizations and titles

Sentient species

Vehicles and vessels

Weapons and technology


Behind the scenes

In the Russian hardcover, Chapter 12 is absent due to an editor's mistake.

In a flashback, a very young Han is taught to beg by a droid named F8-GN, an obvious reference to Fagin in Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist.

Cover gallery

This is a gallery of the different cover variations of The Paradise Snare.

This article uses material from the "The Paradise Snare" article on the Starwars wiki at Wikia and is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike License.


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