ENTERTAINMENT

Pan Solo: Baker creates life-sized replica of ‘Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back’ hero

Oct 17, 2022, 1:23 PM | Updated: 2:09 pm
Catherine Pervan, with Our House Bakery in Benicia, Calif., talks about creating the life-sized Han...
Catherine Pervan, with Our House Bakery in Benicia, Calif., talks about creating the life-sized Han Solo on Oct. 13, 2022 The piece is the bakery's entry in the downtown Benicia scarecrow contest. (Chris Riley/The Times-Herald via AP)
(Chris Riley/The Times-Herald via AP)

BENICIA, Calif. (AP) — Han Solo may be a hunk. But “Pan Solo” is a hunk of bread.

That’s what a bakery in the San Francisco Bay Area has dubbed its 6-foot (1.8 meter) bread sculpture of the “Star Wars” character as he appeared after being frozen in carbonite in “The Empire Strikes Back.”

Hannalee Pervan and her mother, Catherine Pervan, co-owners of One House Bakery in Benicia, California, spent weeks molding, baking and assembling the life-sized sculpture using wood and two types of dough, including a type of yeastless dough with a higher sugar content that will last longer.

The two worked at night, after the day’s business was done. The lovingly crafted details show Han Solo’s anguished face and his hands straining to reach out.
Hannalee said she might have gotten a bit obsessed.

A detail view of a sculpture of “Star Wars” character Han Solo frozen in carbonite and made entirely of bread is shown on display at the One House Bakery in Benicia, Calif., Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. The sculpture, which has been named Pan Solo, was created by One House Bakery co-owner and head baker Hannalee Pervan and her mother, co-owner Catherine Pervan. Pan Solo took six weeks to make and is made out of Levain dough. The mother and daughter used a Harrison Ford mask to create a mold for the face but everything else was sculpted by hand. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group via AP)

“Mom made me leave it because I was obsessing over the lips,” Hannalee Pervan told the New York Times. “She was like, ‘You need to walk away.'”

Creating Pan Solo was particularly meaningful, she told the paper, because she contracted COVID-19 in January 2021 and lost much of her senses of smell and taste.

“So just to find joy in a different part of food is really important,” she said.

The sculpture is now on display outside of the bakery, located about a half-hour’s drive north of San Francisco.

Pan Solo is the bakery’s entry in the annual Downtown Benicia Main Street Scarecrow Contest. The public will get to vote on their favorites from among more than two dozen creations entered by local businesses.

The Pervans, who are big science-fiction and fantasy fans, entered another “Star Wars”-themed creation in 2020 featuring the Mandalorian and Baby Yoda.
Unfortunately, Pan Solo won’t last forever. The dough eventually will be composted, not eaten.

So as a wise Jedi might warn: Don’t use the forks, Luke.


This story was first published by AP on Oct. 15, 2022. It was updated on Oct. 16, 2022 to correct the spelling of baker Hannalee Pervan’s first name.

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Pan Solo: Baker creates life-sized replica of ‘Star Wars: Empire Strikes Back’ hero