WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Star Wars: Han Solo - Imperial Cadet #4, by Robbie Thompson, Leonard Kirk, Daniele Orlandini, Arif Prianto and VC's Joe Caramagna, on sale now.
In George Lucas' original trilogy, where Harrison Ford brought the hotshot smuggler/pilot to life, the rogue's pair of golden dice was little more than a visual embellishment. But as the Star Wars Universe grew, fans eventually learned to appreciate Solo's reliance on the trinket as a source of good luck.
The bauble would resurface in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, where its was given even greater significance, and now, in Marvel's Han Solo: Imperial Cadet miniseries, we learn the dice are more than just some form of luck for Han and his earliest group of kindred spirits.
In The Last Jedi we saw Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker examining the golden trinket aboard the Millennium Falcon which Rey and Chewbacca brought to Ahch-To. There, Luke would grieve for Han (killed by Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens), and later, would end up using the dice to connect with his sister Leia for an emotional goodbye on Crait, and as part of a ruse played on Kylo Ren to help the rebels escape.
In Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story, the dice had more prominence, and even received something of an origin story. In the film's opening act, while escaping his homeworld of Corellia, Han makes sure to grab the dice from his crashed speeder, and then slipped the pair of dice to his then-girlfriend Qi'ra to keep her safe. Sadly, she was captured by Moloch, taking the pair of dice with her.
Soon, in an effort to remain out of prison, Han found himself training at the Imperial Academy, which is what this comic focuses on, and in the process, reveals more information about the infamous golden dice.
Han's crew of rogue cadets -- Kanina, Valance and the Dree brothers -- are constantly reprimanded for disobeying orders throughout the series' first three issues. Now, on the mobile outpost at Qhulosk, the time has come to do or die. The trials and simulations are over, and they're about to be thrown into live combat, a baptism of fire.
But Han has made plans of his own, retrofitting his ship so he can escape the planet and search for Qi'ra. Kanina sees what he's doing and tells him she wants to get back to someone she loves too, and is ready to join in on Han's scheme. She then touches and quickly meditates on a pair of golden dice Han has drawn on his vessel, telling him she'll need some of its luck and inspiration.
The rogue cadets look at the dice from different perspectives, some spiritually and some as a sign of revolt. Seeing the dice used as a fluid banner like this is fitting because it positions Han as a leader of rebels, even before he knew such a movement existed. Audiences may have thought they were just his lucky charm all these years, but clearly, Han's dice are important not only to him, but to those he met along the way, people who simply want liberation from the tyrannical Empire.
This particular adventure ends with Han's crew returning back to base, only to defy orders to go rescue Vance and crew who were downed after the mission. And while we may not know their final fates, we do know Han will get his dice back three years later on the planet Kessel. There, Qi'ra will present the pair of dice back to Han during the famous Kessel Run, proving that the trinket stands for love, freedom... and maybe just a little bit of sheer dumb luck.