Star Wars: The Last Jedi has had its time in theaters, and just like how Rogue One arrived after The Force Awakens, now another standalone Star Wars movie is on the way, this time with the story centered on a notorious smuggler. What's going to happen when we see Han Solo played for the first time by somebody else? At this point, we know several of the pieces that will go into Solo: A Star Wars Story, but we have no idea how those parts will come together into something that is both fresh and new AND the familiar Han Solo that we know.
Here's everything that we know about Solo: A Star Wars Story so far.
Well, 2018 finally brought footage from Solo: A Star Wars Story, mostly in the form of a Super Bowl spot and the trailer you see above. While we still don't know a lot about the plot of Solo, the trailer does show that there seems to be some sort of heist involved, which makes a lot of sense considering the character. We also get some good looks at the supporting players, some of whom sport some classy duds for the movie, more action and more of Chewbacca than we got in the Super Bowl ad.
While Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story were set as Christmas movies, the plan was for Star Wars: The Last Jedi to shift the release schedule of the franchise to the summer. While Episode VIII was originally supposed to be a summer release, but later moved to December 2017, Solo: A Star Wars Story is still set for a release early in the summer movie season, on May 25, 2018. This will follow the release of Avengers: Infinity War on April 27 and Deadpool 2 on May 18. One week after the Han Solo movie's release, we'll see the all-female Oceans 11 spinoff, Ocean's 8, and Disney will be back only two weeks later with The Incredibles 2 from Pixar on June 15.
Now that the release of the film is just a few weeks away, we finally know what Solo: A Star Wars Story will be rated. Traditionally, Star Wars has been a PG franchise, however, both the final episode of the prequel trilogy, Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi received PG-13 ratings. The same was true of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, the only previous Star Wars spinoff. And, Solo has also been granted a PG-13 rating, for "sequences of sci-fi action violence."
It's been confirmed that Solo: A Star Wars Story will depict Han meeting Chewbacca and crossing paths with "notorious gambler" Lando Calrissian, but other than that, specific story details are being kept under wraps. J.J. Abrams, who is the keeper of all things Star Wars, has intimated that the movie will take place somewhere around 10 years prior to the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. This potential time period is interesting because it sits basically smack in between the end of the prequel trilogy and the beginning of the original trilogy. The Empire will exist, and as a decent force, but not nearly at the level of power that they have in Star Wars: A New Hope. While many have likely been thinking that Solo: A Star Wars Story will try to recapture the look and feel of the original trilogy, in the same way that Rogue One: A Star Wars Story felt like its own thing, the fact is that the Han Solo movie could look unlike anything we've seen in Star Wars before. Separate from both trilogies in equal measure.
One story point that has been rumored for a while can finally be confirmed thanks to CinemaCon 2018: Han Solo winning the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian. Even though we know now that this aspect of the plot is a reality, we can't really see the entire film being about it, so this is likely one plot point among several. However, it is good to hear that the scene in question which shows Han and Lando gambling it up for the soon-to-be infamous ship does a great job of showing off just why Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover were the perfect choices to play the eventual friends.
We also know that Han Solo's mentor, Tobias Beckett (more on him later) will be a major character in the movie, so we can probably expect to see how Han learned the skills to become a smuggler. And, according to Paul Bettany, who plays another underworld character named Dryden Vos, it sounds like the movie will explore some unsavory characters in the Star Wars universe and be something of a "gangster movie."
A lot of Han Solo's backstory has been told through the Expanded Universe of books and comics. While all the books that were written prior to Disney purchasing Lucasfilm have been deemed non-canonical, a handful of characters and events that started in that world have been repurposed by Disney, so it's possible that the story this movie will deal with is out there someplace in the canon already.
We know that Chewbacca is also a character in the new film as well, and the recently released synopsis makes it sound like, instead of having them working together already when it starts, the new film tell us how the two came together. If that really is the case, it will certainly be interesting to see that bit of Star Wars lore finally come to life on the big screen.
Based on something the writer has said (more about that on the next page) we'd guess that the movie will start sometime before Han Solo was a professional smuggler and will explain what events led him on the path that eventually placed him at the Mos Eisley cantina.