The coat's been rolled out OF LFL HEADQUARTERS, simply to show it's brown... And yet there's still debate. I am in awe.
I'm not. There's too much weirdness with this costume for there to not be some degree of debate, be it right or wrong.
Paramount pulled some old blue Trek uniforms out of storage for the recent Star Trek auction-- and they're purplish brown now, after several decades of aging. Were it not for this, I'd be inclined to agree it's brown and move on.
Seeing how Lucasfilm's official line at one point in the 1990s was "Han wears black" (see: Galoob's ESB Han figures, 1997 POTF2 Han Bespin) and the 2003/2004 LEGO Falcon comes with Hoth Han with a blue coat, I'd be lying if I said that I can totally accept that the original coat was the same color for this reason alone. Things age and discolor with time, plus memory can fail, and we all know how perceptions based on toys can shape reality. That and I've heard a lot of interesting comments about from licensors about what is or isn't "in the movies" (knowing what actually is courtesy of a trading card, VHS tape, or DVD) according to Lucas Licensing over the years to know you can't always take this at face value. I hate to trot out a cliche like "all I know is I don't know," but some of the things I see and hear don't always measure up to scrutinity. (Like the POTJ Rebel Fleet Trooper not needing improvements, for example.)
I'm not sure if I've seen decent, clear (not snowed on or on a snowy background) photography from 1979 of the jacket, I see no reason to not let the debate rage on until someone from Kenner says "yeah, we screwed up" or someone has a really good publicity photo of Harrison Ford in the jacket. I've seen the photos in the Chronicles books but I'm having a hard time determining when those photos were taken-- if it was during shooting, I'd agree that it's brown, everybody could see this, and the debate will hopefully end. But if it was in the 1990s? I wouldn't discount discoloration without further investigation, plus as much as I love Hasbro, they keep giving us Han in that thermal hat despite it not really appearing in the movies for more than a fraction of a second. It seems they're working from a specific photo in the Chronicles book, and I can't say I trust that photo completely just yet.
Even if the coat was always brown, there's still a lot of room for research discussion-- like how did Kenner decide on blue for its 3 3/4-inch figure and die-cast metal figures from 1980-1982 if the costume wasn't that color? B&W stills? Early costume sketches? Aesthetics? It's a great topic and one of those nifty mysteries in the hobby. So many things are spelled out for us, and yet Han's costumes from ESB and the coloring of the related merchandise still seems to be somewhat inconsistent after all these years. As a long-time fan, I find this fascinating.
But it's late and that was probably rambly, so. Kudos on the awesome pics, I'm digging these two new sets-- especially the Endor one. Wonder what figure #5 is gonna be.