Obi-Wan and Luke might not have heard of the Millennium Falcon before they walked into the Mos Eisley Cantina, but that doesn’t mean that hunk of junk and its charming smuggler captain were unknown to others in the galaxy far, far away. Which is why the second standalone Star Wars film from Lucasfilm and Disney is set to explore the adventures of our favorite scruffy-looking nerf herder in his younger, pre-original trilogy days. And while many details about the script are still fuzzy or unknown, you’ve come to the right star system to learn everything we know about the Han Solo spin-off… so far.
UPDATE 4/18/18: TOPPS TRADING CARDS
Some of you might not have collected baseball cards in a long time, but you might get that old itch after seeing the newest ones fromÂ Topps forÂ the film (that we saw at We Got This Covered), which includes the film’s heroes, villains, and some characters we don’t know how to feel about yet. And if you’re already thinking, “I don’t have room to put these paper cards anywhere,” don’t worry because they’re all available digitally through the Star Wars Card Trader app.
NEW CHARACTER IMAGES
We’ll take news and photos aboutÂ Solo anywhere we can get it, and sometimes that means from a Denny’s press event. They’re releasing aÂ SoloÂ menu, and they served some character cards to go with their pancakes. We have a look at the images thanks to Making Star Wars. Meet your newest absurdly-named Star Wars character, Therm Scissorpunch. Therm. Scissorpunch. Seriously.
IMAGES AND PAUL BETTANY’S CRIME BOSS
Entertainment Weekly kicked off a week of Solo coverage with nine new images, along with some information about the film, which Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy described as “a heist, gunslinger type movie.” That included the revelation that Paul Bettany is playing crime boss Dryden Vos. As Mashable notes, the name Vos carries some weight; Quinlan Vos was a very minor Prequel Trilogy character, but had a much bigger role as a Jedi Master assassin on the animated Clone War series, which often brought him into contact with the underworld. Could Bettany’s Dryden be related to him?
After waiting way too long for any kind of glimpse at the movie, we now have two looks. The first came during this year’s Super Bowl with a brief 30-second ad. That was followed up with the first full trailer. So what did we learn from them? We’re meeting Han near the start of his smuggling career, when he’s obsessed with becoming the galaxy’s best pilot. Also, Donald Glover and Emilia Clarke might be the two coolest, best dressed people in all of Star Wars.We also got some great new posters.
Well it took long enough, but Disney has finally released a description of what the movie will be about. (What’s the rush guys, it only comes out IN MAY.) Here’s the synopsis we first came across at Slashfilm:
Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars sagaâ€™s most unlikely heroes.
That’s….that’s everything we were pretty sure we were getting anyway. Well, at least this makes it official. Now how about a photo or trailer for the movie?
JOHN WILLIAMS TO COMPOSE MOVIE’S THEME
John Williams, the legendaryÂ Star Wars composer, might have sat out Rogue One–the only film in the franchise he didn’t contribute to–but Variety reports he will return to pen the main theme for Solo. John Powell will still be responsible for the rest of the movie’s score, but considering Williams is as good as he’s ever been (The Last Jedi‘s score is stunning), we’re thrilled to be getting even one song from him.
WE HAVE A TITLE!
Production on the movie is officially over, so Lucasfilm finally let Ron Howard reveal the film’s title. Spoiler alert: it’s super obvious.https://twitter.com/RealRonHoward/status/920320502320771073SoloCollect your winning tickets, literally everyone.
ACTUALLY, WE HAVE HEARD OF THE MILLENNIUM FALCON
That’s how we know this latest set photo from Ron Howard shows a dangerous situation aboard the fastest ship in the galaxy. We can’t make out who that shadowy figure is, but it does not appear to be Alden Ehrenreich or Donald Glover. Is it an ally of theirs, or an enemy attacking them?https://twitter.com/RealRonHoward/status/916037002130333697
THANDIE NEWTON RETURNED FOR RESHOOTS
Director/set photographer Ron Howard has another one for us, this time with Westworld‘s Thandie Newton, who he says returned to shoot some “key new scenes.” Combined with the news that Michael K. Williams character has been entirely cut from the movie because he wasn’t available for reshoots, it sounds more and more like the movie we’ll get from Howard will be vastly different from the one Chris Miller and Phil Lord had been directing.https://twitter.com/RealRonHoward/status/914013815326543872
THINGS LOOK DESPERATE
After last week’s “spicey” photo (his spelling, not ours) teasing a visit to the famed spice mines of Kessel, Ron Howard is back with some ominous new photos, both of which promise “desperate and dangerous times” in the galaxy far, far away. Whether these are connected to Kessel is unclear, but whatever is happening here looks especially hazardous for a young space smuggler.
THINGS GET SPICY
Ron Howard is at it again with his behind-the-scenes photos from the set, but this time he might have given us more than a cool picture. With this latest tweet, the director might have revealed a huge clue about where the plot of the movie will take our dear young Han Solo. Trust me, this juicy nuggest it is one spicy meatball. Or better yet: one spicy mine… the kind you find on Kessel.https://twitter.com/RealRonHoward/status/910629203665702912That’s a mine, right? And Howard’s caption “Spicey?” suggests that it’s a spice mine. Which means the film could give us the story behind Han Solo’s famous boast about how he made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. Either that or Howard is trolling us, in which case he’s a stuck up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder!
Michael K. Williams Character Cut Out
Deadline reports that Michael K. Williams’s character has been cut from the movie, because Williams is not available for the major reshoots taking placeÂ under new director Ron Howard. It was unknown whoâ€”or what it turns outâ€”Williams was playing, but it was apparently a half-human, half-animal character. “We created a kick-ass character, in my opinion. Iâ€™m proud of it,” said Williams. We love Williams, so this is definitely a bummer.
We still don’t know the plot of Lucasfilm’s Young Han Solo spin-off, but thanks to a new set photo from director Ron Howard we know The Empire’s presence will be felt.https://twitter.com/RealRonHoward/status/897872294944681984
Turns out droids are real usefully in the galaxy far, far away, but not so much on a movie set.https://twitter.com/RealRonHoward/status/892622253246033920https://twitter.com/RealRonHoward/status/892770219323785216But in addition to some fun behind-the-scenes photos, new director Ron Howard also shared a little bit of meaningful news (that we first saw at Slashfilm). Highly respected director of photography Bradford Young is still working on the film even after the director shake up, meaning the movie likely won’t suffer from two competing looks, some from the Lord/Miller footage and some from the Howard footage.https://twitter.com/RealRonHoward/status/891024564813254657https://twitter.com/RealRonHoward/status/892129963683577856Of all of Ron Howard’s set photos, this is easily the most exciting.https://twitter.com/RealRonHoward/status/887695816735039488I have a GOOD feeling about this. And after he already gave us a look at Lando in the monitor.https://www.instagram.com/p/BWtBTGSFXr7/Also, we missed this opposite side image of a character’s “closet” from last week, which now has us fully convinced it belongs to Lando.https://www.instagram.com/p/BWaptAUFY0w/
Chewbacca Behind the Scenes
Did Ron Howard get hired to direct the film, or work as its set photographer? Either way, his latest behind-the-scenes picture from the set shows Chewbacca (being played byÂ Joonas Suotamo) watching along. Is it just us or does the ageless Chewie somehow look younger here?https://twitter.com/RealRonHoward/status/886868438014210048
Sneak Peek at Lando’s Closet?
Since Ron Howard took over directing duties he hasn’t been shy about teasing fans on Twitter, and his latest tweet is his most fun one yet. That’s because he shared a photo (that we first saw at EW) of a character’s “closet.” Which one? We don’t know for sure, but that first item sure does have a certain panache, and it does seem to include a very specific blue we’ve seen before.https://twitter.com/RealRonHoward/status/884841542065770496Our guess is these belong to Lando Calrissian. That blue is the giveaway. Also, let us buy that orange/red striped jacket now.
First Look at Woody Harrelson and Emilia Clarke in Character
Lucasfilm has felt another disturbance in the force, since someone has again leaked on set footage to TMZ. It shows shows Woody Harrelson and Emilia Clarke in costume for the first time (thanks to io9 where we first saw this story). Harrelson looks a little more dignified than we might have expected from a criminal, while Clarke is giving off a Princess Leia vibe in her robes. They appear to be filming on a set that looks to be something of a museum, alongside an unknown alien, Alden Ehrenreich, and Chewbacca. Head to TMZ to see the rest of the pictures and footage.https://twitter.com/TMZ/status/884279785110863872
Directors Lord and Miller Out, Ron Howard In
Even though the movie has been filming since January and is reportedly weeks away from concluding its shooting schedule, Lucasfilm has announced that co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller have left the movie over “creative differences.” It’s a stunning development by any measure, and one that seems to affirm that president Kathleen Kennedy and her team’s vision is firmly leading the way in the galaxy far, far away. After early reports had him stepping into the big chair, Ron Howard has now officially been named as the new director of the film.
Behind-the-scenes set photos have begun to pop up online from TMZ, showing off not just Alden Ehrenreich as a slightly beleaguered looking Han Solo along with some of his potential cohorts and/or enemies (whose wardrobes are giving off an “it’s raining but we have s*** to do” vibe), but lots and lots of transport vehicles and also what might be some ships (who haven’t had their tires taken out in post yet), ones that are similar to Luke’s X-34 landspeeder and….50s muscle cars? SIGN US UP.https://twitter.com/TheSWLegacy/status/865496479510679552https://twitter.com/mtgeiger1184/status/865622539866824708While we start obsessing over these for way more meaning than we can actually find from them, you can see the entire collection at TMZ.
WHAT’S IN A NAME?
According to Ben Fritz of The Wall Street Journal (which we came across at io9), Disney CEO Bob Iger has said that the movie will cover Han Solo’s life from the very young ages of 18-24, which will show how he acquired the Millennium Falcon and also his name.Wait, what? His name? Yup, this prequel, which will explore how he saved Chewbacca’s life, won that old hunk of junk from Lando, and showed how he became a renowned smuggler, will also explain how he got the name Han Solo.Unless it doesn’t.Because it is possible this was just an unclear way of saying how he earned his reputation, and therefore his “name,” as opposed to how he earned a literal and new moniker like Han Solo.One thing that isn’t ambiguous though is the name of Woody Harrelson’s character, which he told Jimmy Fallon is Beckett, a “criminal and mentor to Han.” That’s not the name of any known character in the Star Wars expanded universe, but it doesn’t mean it won’t be an iteration or adaptation of someone fans already know.But the news doesn’t stop there, because Variety reports that yet another addition has been made to the cast, with Sing Street’s young Ian Kenny, who played Barry in the film, joining the film in an unknown role.
Image: Weinstein Company
We aren’t surprised at all, but it is nice to finally have confirmation with this new cast and crew photo that Chewbacca will be next to Han in the film, which according to Lucasfilm will “explore the duoâ€™s adventures before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, including their early encounters with that other card-playing rogue from a galaxy far, far away, Lando Calrissian.” What is slightly surprising news though is that it won’t be Peter Mayhew in the suit, but rather Joonas Suotamo, who he shared the role with in The Force Awakens. Considering Han and Chewie are a lot younger in this story, probably requiring much more physical action, the demands may have been a bit too much for the 72 year old Mayhew to take on.
THE OFFICIAL TITLE
Unfortunately the droids we found were wiped clean on this topic, as the movie does not yet have an official name. Its IMDb page still reads “Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film.” This second standalone Star Wars movie–Rogue One was the first–will eventually get an actual title, right? Right??It’s Solo.https://twitter.com/nerdist/status/826123140501643267
PART ONE OF A TRILOGY
A charismatic rogue traveling the galaxy on a serious of exciting and dangerous adventures would make for a great television series, let alone a single movie, which is probably why Disney is reportedly planning on making this it’s own mini-franchise within the Star Wars universe. We’re fairly sure Disney isn’t worried about the odds of finding success with three young Han Solo films.
FILMING AND RELEASE
The movie is scheduled for a May 28th, 2018 release, but we know that after six months of pre-production shooting has officially begun in London, because original co-director Chris Miller told the world via Twitter about filming the first scene. This is from the set on January 30th, and no, “Red Cup” is not the name of the movie, it’s a joke. What is the most famous type of red cup? Yes, a “Solo” cup. We’d groan about that Dad Joke, but we’re letting him off the hook for the great “Han shot first” reference.https://twitter.com/chrizmillr/status/826099940254502915
CAST: CHARACTERS WE ALREADY KNOW
Despite the OG Han Solo, Harrison Ford, telling prospective young actors “don’t do it” (though for slightly funnier reasons than it might sound like), the cast is loaded, with the title role being played by Hail, Caesar‘s breakout star Alden Ehrenreich, who beat out a reported 3,000 other actors to land the chance to take on an iconic part, made famous by one of Hollywood’s most successful actors ever, in the biggest franchise of all time. No pressure there.
Image: 20th Century Fox
Ehrenreich will have best friend Chewbacca by his side, and the two will also come across another famous pal of theirs, young Lando Calrissian, who will be played by Community and Atlanta star Donald Glover, a.k.a. Childish Gambino. We reached out to Disney to ask if we literally wished this bit of casting into existence through sheer will, but they strongly requested we stop asking that.
Image: 20th Century Fox
CAST: NEW CHARACTERS (TO THE BIG SCREEN, AT LEAST)
Every young smuggler needs to learn the tricks of the trade somewhere, and for Han Solo that person will be Beckett, played by Woody Harrelson, who has said his role in the film will be as “a mentor to Han,” but someone who is “also a bit of a criminal.â€ That just so happens to sound a lot like Garris Shrike, a father-like figure to Han from the EU, and a character that was one of our best guesses for whom Harrelson might play. Might they have just renamed one of those characters “Beckett?”
While there’s plenty of meat on the bone to speculate about Harrelson’s role, there’s almost nothing for us to go on for the only other confirmed member of the cast, the Mother of Dragons herself Emilia Clarke. Here’s what we currently know about her role: the Game of Thrones star is in the movie.
Honestly? That’s good enough for us to be over the moon and stars about her being involved, but we can’t help but wonder if she ended up being cast in the reported role that sounded an awful lot like the EU’s Sana Starros.
Image: Amazon Studios
A report from Entertainment Weekly says that Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the star of Amazon’s Fleabag, is nearing a deal to play a performance-capture character in the film, though her role at this time is still unknown. Digital characters have played prominent roles in the newest Star Wars movies, with The Force Awakens‘ Andy SerkisÂ as Supreme Leader Snoke, Lupita Nyongâ€™o as Maz Kanata, and Rogue One‘s Alan Tudyk as K-2SO, so it’s no surprise that such a character would appear in this movie, too. And according to Jeff Sneider, she’s maybe going to play the universe’s first female droid!
According to a report from Variety, Westworld star Thandie Newton is also in negotiations to join the film in an as-yet-unnamed role. MYSTERY AND INTRIGUE ABOUND!
The movie takes place roughly ten years before A New Hope, which means we’ll find Han weaving his way through the firm grip of the Empire.
And that’s kind of it so far for real plot details. Everything else, like whether we’ll see Han winning the Millennium Falcon off of Lando, or at what point in their relationship we’ll see Han and Harrelson’s mentor, or if we’ll learn about how Chewie and Han became so close, is just speculation. If Sana Starros does end up being the female lead, that could mean we’ll be seeing a heist film, but like with elements of The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm might choose to borrow ideas from the old EU, but alter them in ways we can’t predict.
Until we learn more, we can only guess. But that doesn’t mean we can’t have fun.
For being the second standalone film, could the young Han Solo movie have a very clear connection with Rogue One? It certainly seems possible, especially after Diego Luna himself was very evasive and suspicious about whether or not Cassian Andor could appear in the film. If he did, we could see him before he started doing horrible things in the name of the rebellion, which could add even more to his character in Rogue One.
So though we still have so many questions to answer, we know we’ll learn a lot more about the film between now and next May. So keep checking back here as we’ll be constantly updating with new information and rumors everything we know about the young Han Solo film.
In the meantime, pop into our comments section below and tell us what you think of the film, what you are looking forward to the most, and what you hope to see when young Han Solo comes to theaters.
Featured Image: Lucasfilm