The debate rages on about Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but while fans are less than agreed in their response to Rian Johnson’s epic, Disney and Lucasfilm are busy prepping the May 2018 release of their next release. Just as rumors are swirling that the House of Mouse is bracing for disappointment, we’ve received our first official look at Solo: A Star Wars Story, via a Russian leak no less. This bit of news had us thinking about exactly what we can expect when we travel to that “galaxy far, far away” yet again in a few months. With Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!) stepping into the iconic role originated by Harrison Ford, hardcore fans of the franchise may be understandably skeptical. At least Han’s backstory is ripe for translation to the big screen. Here are some highlights we hope to see brought to life in Ron Howard’s upcoming film.
1. First meeting with Chewbacca
Wherever Han goes, Chewbacca follows. As first mate of the Millennium Falcon, the loyal Wookiee is without his best friend for the first time in The Last Jedi. However, Solo gives us the chance to witness how the two first met. According to Star Wars lore, Han once saved Chewie’s life, and the latter wound up swearing a life debt that blossomed into an unshakeable friendship. Though we know Chewbacca will factor into the upcoming film, it’s unclear how much details we’ll get about how his bond with Han began.
2. Winning the Millennium Falcon from Lando
A pair of golden dice hanging from the Falcon‘s cockpit play a pivotal role in The Last Jedi. In that respect, Rian Johnson’s film neatly sets up the story behind this keepsake, as those dice are the ones Han played with when he — as revealed in The Empire Strikes Back — won the iconic ship from Lando Calrissian. Donald Glover is, of course, set to play the younger version of Billy Dee Williams’ character, and we presume that the fateful game of Sabacc that ends with Han and Chewie flying away in the Falcon is a key reason why.
3. Making the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs
It’s a major selling point of the Millennium Falcon that Han uses to convince Luke and Obi-Wan of his ship in A New Hope. Even decades later in The Force Awakens, an older Han seems especially proud of his run-in with the Kessel Run. So you can bet that Solo will touch on the Falcon‘s famous accomplishment. Family Guy once poked fun at the logic behind Han’s claim, though the details of it have been sussed out within the fan community. Still, it would be fun to see Han’s “hunk of junk” in action.
4. Smuggling for Jabba the Hutt
When we meet him in A New Hope, Han already has a long-standing relationship with Jabba the Hutt. The gangster seems to be one of his primary business associates, in fact. Eventually, Han’s ejection of one of Han’s shipment lands him in hot water with Jabba, ultimately leading the pair toward a confrontation in Return of the Jedi. Although we don’t expect to see Han ditch his cargo, Solo should at least feature a cameo appearance by Jabba, establishing the conflict that leads Greedo to Mos Eisley Cantina on Jabba’s behalf.
5. First screen appearance of Sana Solo
In recent comics, Han was revealed to have been illegitimately “married” long before he fell in love with Leia Organa. Thanks to the established canon, we know that Sana Starros is around after Han joins the Rebel Alliance. Solo might not take us all the way back to the smuggler’s early days and the scheme that led him to a fraudulent first marriage with Sana. Nevertheless, rumors abound that the character could make her live-action debut, much like Rogue One took Saw Gerrera from The Clone Wars.
6. Disbelief of the Force
In the original trilogy, one of Han’s trademark characteristics is his skepticism regarding the Force, the Jedi and pretty much anything that falls in the realm of mysticism. That’s what makes his speech about how “it’s all true” in The Force Awakens so powerful. Fans shouldn’t expect to see any lightsabers ignite in Solo, but the film needs to reflect Han’s attitude about how the Jedi religion is a bunch of “simple tricks and nonsense” in order to preserve his arc in the stories that follow.
7. Han’s homeworld of Corellia
Over the course of his appearances in the films, Han develops quite a bit, from the selfish smuggler and all-around “nerf herder” to a Rebel soldier and general. However, one aspect of Han’s life that has yet to be realized on the big screen is his homeworld of Corellia. The best chance for the films to showcase this is, of course, in Solo. It’s unlikely that much of the action will go down on Corellia, but it will feel like a missed opportunity if we don’t get a glimpse of where young Han grew up before becoming everyone’s favorite scoundrel.
8. That fateful meeting in the Mos Eisley Cantina
When news broke that Rogue One would be set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, fans were excited at the prospect of an adventure that would bridge together those two trilogies. Few, however, considered that this first anthology film would lead so directly into the original Star Wars. Seeing how Rogue One’s approach was praised by most fans, we could see Solo taking a similar approach, skimming through Han’s life and ending soon before he and Chewie encounter Obi-Wan Kenobi And Luke Skywalker in Mos Eisley.
What are you hoping to see in Solo: A Star Wars Story when the film hits theaters in May 2018? Sound off with your thoughts in the comments section below, and may the Force be with you!