The Circle of The Force
Disclaimer: I do not own either Star Wars or The Lion King. Both belong to Disney. This is a purely fan-made story. I did it just for fun, and NOT profit.
Han Solo had experienced many close calls in his life. There was that encounter with Greedo in the Mos Eisley Cantina. Han had killed Greedo then. After that, his life had never been the same. There had been countless run-ins with the Empire. A near-death inside the trash compactor on the Death Star. Not to mention a chase through an asteroid field. By far, the scariest moment of Han's life had occurred on Bespin, where he was frozen in Carbonite. Han never thought he'd survive that. But he did! Ironically, the scariest of all of Han's brushes with death was followed by perhaps the strangest. On the forest moon of Endor, he was nearly eaten by a tribe of Ewoks. He'd lived though that, too. All these escapes from death had made Han Solo quite cocky and arrogant over the years. Granted, you could say the former smuggler was always cocky and arrogant, but I digress. Eventually, though, Han's luck would run out.
Han Solo was dead to begin with. There was no doubt whatever about that. The most shocking thing about his death was the manner in which it had happened. Han had been killed by his own son, the former Ben Solo, now known as Kylo Ren.
As Han's soul left his physical body, he kept replaying his demise over and over again his mind. How did it come to this? Why had Ben done what he did? Han didn't have the answers to those questions. He never would. But there was one thing he was certain of. Han Solo still loved his son. That would never change. Even while Kylo Ren's lightsaber was skewering his insides, Han had just enough strength left in him to reach out and touch his son's cheek. Then Kylo Ren viciously removed his lightsaber from his father's body, and cast him down into the deep, dark abyss below.
After death, came Han's transition from living being to a ghostly form. He felt his soul being enveloped by a blue aura. Han instantly knew what was happening to him, but he could scarce believe it. He was becoming a Force Ghost.
This shouldn't be happening, Han thought. I mean, everyone knows I'm not Force-Sensitive. But perhaps the Force has other plans for me.
Han knew about Force Ghosts, of course. He'd heard Luke and Leia talk about them often enough. There were many things about the Force Han had come to accept.
"The Dark Side. The Jedi. They're real. All of it."
Han smiled at the memory of the conversation he'd shared with Finn and Rey. He'd grown rather fond of those two youths. He sure hoped they were alright. Not to mention, Han also wondered what had become of his oldest and dearest friend, the Wookiee, Chewbacca.
The one thing about the Force that Han was still skeptical about was the concept of Force Ghost. Maybe it was because that unlike Luke and Leia, Han could never see the Force Ghosts. He rarely brought this up to his wife and brother-in-law, however, because he didn't want to upset them.
If only they could see me now, Han mused silently.
"Well, Solo," he said aloud, "welcome to the first day of the rest of your afterlife."
"Yes. Welcome, Han Solo," came a deep, though not unkind, voice. Han turned to face who had spoken. What he saw was not what he expected.
The voice sounded human enough. But the body it belonged to was clearly not human. Throughout all his travels, Han had come face to face with all sorts of strange creatures. None where ever quite so unusual as the one who stood before him, though. Han's first thought was that the creature must have been some sort of Wookiee/Nexu hybrid. He then grimaced at the thought of a Wookiee and a Nexu reproducing. What was obvious, though, was that like Han, this newcomer was a ghost. Han could tell as much, because the stranger emitted an aura similar to Han's own.
"H-how do you know my name?" Han stammered. Doing that felt odd to him, because he'd rarely, if ever, stammered while he was alive.
"I've been watching you for quite some time," the creature answered. "And like all souls, both human and not, I sensed your presence entering the afterlife." This last remark made Han wonder if his new acquaintance had been a Jedi when he was alive. And if so, he must have been the most unusual Jedi of all time. For one thing, unlike most of the aliens Han knew, the creature before him was quadrupedal, as opposed to bipedal. He had a shaggy, reddish-brown mane covering his head. From a certain angle, Han was reminded of Chewbacca's head.
"As you already know, I'm Han Solo," said Han. "I'm the former captain of the Millennium Falcon. Who are you?"
"Mufasa," the other ghost replied simply. "I am the former Lion King of the Pride Lands." Han had a vague memory of once hearing about lions. They were animals who lived on a planet that was located in a galaxy far, far away from his own. Han never thought in a million years that he would ever meet a lion. Much less a lion who had been king.
A Lion King, Han thought. That's a new one.
"Well, it's nice to meet you, Mufasa," said Han.
"Likewise, Han," Mufasa replied.
"As you know, I'm very new to this whole death thing," said Han. "So, how long have you been dead for, Mufassa?"
"Just over twenty-one years," said Mufasa. "And the circumstances surrounding my death are quite similar to your own."
"Oh, no!" Han groaned. "Don't tell me you were killed by your own son, too!"
"I died trying to save my son, whose name is Simba," Mufasa said in a matter-off-fact way. "Much like you died trying to save Ben." Han froze at this statement. It was true. He HAD been trying to save Ben. No matter what dark deeds he had done as Kylo Ren, Ben was still Han's son. And Han still loved his son."
"But like your death, mine was caused by someone I never expected," said Mufasa. "In my case, I was killed by my own brother, Scar."
Han listened intently as Mufasa relayed the story of how his brother killed him. He was so engrossed in the story that he didn't even stop to ask Mufasa what wildebeests, hyenas and hornbills were.
When the story was over, Han found himself realizing that, yes, there were parallels between his and Mufasa's deaths. Particularly the moment right before Scar pushed Mufasa off the cliff and into the wildebeest stampede. It was eerily reminiscent of the brief moment Han and Ben had shared before the son killed his father.
"So, what happened to Simba after you died?" asked Han.
"Scar blamed Simba for causing my death. He also banished him," said Mufasa. "Simba ran away and hid out in the jungle. It was here that he was befriended by a meerkat named Timon, and a warthog named Pumbaa. They introduced him to their problem-free philosophy of 'Hakuna Matata.' At first, I was disappointed in my son for befriending those two, whom I had took to be nothing more than a pair of slackers. But Timon and Pumbaa had really been there for Simba at a time where he truly needed friends. And for that, I am grateful to them."
Han had never even met these Timon and Pumbaa characters, but in a way, they reminded him of R2-D2 and C-3PO.
"Years passed," Mufasa continued. "Simba grew from cub to full-grown lion. He was reunited with his childhood friend, Nala. They fell in love. Nala tried to get Simba to return home to the Pride Lands, but he wouldn't listen to her. That's when I stepped in. I appeared to Simba in my currant ghostly form. I told Simba to remember who he was. He was my son, and the one true king.
I wonder if I'd be able to visit Ben now that I'm a ghost, Han pondered. Or if I'm even ready for that, he added as an afterthought.
"So, Simba returned home," said Mufasa. "Scar confessed that he was actually the one to kill me. Simba defeated Scar in battle, and took his rightful place as king. He's still king to this day. Well, that's the end of my story."
"And what a story it was," said Han. "Thanks for telling it to me, Mufasa."
"You are most welcome, Han," said Mufasa.
"I guess I better start exploring the afterlife," said Han. "Take care of yourself, Mufasa. May the Force Be With You." The lion frowned at this. "It's something we say where I'm from," Han explained.
"You as well, Han," replied Mufasa. Then man and lion turned to leave. Suddenly, though, Han turned back.
"Hey, Mufasa," Han said as the lion faced him again. "Before I forget," said Han, "there's something about your voice that I find strangely familiar." The lion king smiled and chuckled slightly.
"I get that a lot," was his reply.
That last line was indeed intentional. I mean, you literally cannot have a crossover between Star Wars and The Lion King without the obligatory "Mufasa and Darth Vader sound alike" joke. And there's a good reason for that. I mean, both characters were voiced by the legendary James Earl Jones.
The line that starts off the second line is a reference to the opening of A Christmas Carol. (The original novel.) The reason for that is I hand-wrote this just days before Christmas, and I had Christmas on the brain.
Although it is a crossover, this is the very first piece of Star Wars fanfiction I've ever written.
It's also the first piece of Lion King-related fanficition I've written since 2011. (That was also a crossover, at the time with Pirates of the Caribbean. It was called Hakuna Matata and a Pirates Life for me. )
Yes, I am in fact a big fan of both Star Wars and The Lion King. And I have been ever since I could remember.
The idea for this fic came about because when I saw The Force Awakens, Han Solo's death affected me in much the same way as Mufasa's.
When I mentioned that Mufasa has been dead for 21 years, it's a reference to the fact that in 2015, The Lion King celebrated its 21st anniversary. (I can still say that, because at the time that I'm writing this, there are over three hours left in 2015.)
I know Han isn't Force-Sensitive, but I'm convinced there will some way for him to come back in Episode VIII. (And I know I'm not alone in thinking that.)