We see Han gambling in the beginning of the movie when he leaves the hanger to find Luke (Mark Hamill). Han knows they will freeze on the ice planet without shelter, but he goes anyway. Because of his bravery and risk, Luke lives to fight on and leave the planet.
Because the Millennium Falcon cannot go into hyper-drive, Han has to improvise. He is “actually going into an asteroid field” to avoid the imperial ships. This is a huge risk because, obviously, they could hit an asteroid and blow up.
C-3PO (Anthony Daniels) tries to warn Han using numbers. However, Han tells him “never tell me the odds”. When he gambles, he doesn’t worry about probability.
Han even runs the danger of landing on an asteroid. He does not know what is in it, which is obvious when they find out they are actually inside a worm.
He even gambles in pursuing Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher). She resists him for a long time. She even kisses Luke to show her disinterest in Han. However, later she admits she loves him and he responds “I know”.
Han faces the “odds” when he “attack[s] an imperial ship”. However, Han is clever. He sticks the Millennium Falcon to bottom of the ship (another gamble) to stay out of site.
It also sounds like Han and Lando Calrissian (Billy Dee Williams) literally gambled for the Millennium Falcon. Lando “lost her to [Han] fair and square”. We don’t know this for sure, but Lando is described as a “gambler, swindler, [and] scoundrel”. No one says the ship is lost in an actual gambling game, but we can speculate that it was.
Although it is not his choice, Han’s life is gambled when he is “encased in carbonite”. No one knows if he will live through it.
Han is a gambler, whether he truly wants to be or not. With the exception of being frozen, his risks usually pay off. Maybe more characters should take risks. I would love to see C-3PO take a few. How awesome would that be!
Although I love Han, I feel I have neglected half of this movie by thinking about him directly. I found an article analyzing the curious seen when Luke meets the fake Darth Vader (David Prowse) in the cave.
Thanks for reading!