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"You know, he's younger in this movie and that's fun because you have to imagine him 10 years earlier in his early 20s. What was he like before he hardened up? Before he had some setbacks? Before he put on this cynical coat? What got him there?"
Lawrence Kasdan[src]

Solo: A Star Wars Story is an upcoming stand-alone Star Wars film directed by Ron Howard from a screenplay by Lawrence Kasdan and Jon Kasdan. It stars Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo in the years prior to Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. Donald Glover portrays Lando Calrissian and Joonas Suotamo portrays Chewbacca. Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge also star.

The film was first announced as a Han Solo picture in 2015, along with the news that Christopher Miller and Phil Lord would be the film's directors. Principal photography began in January 2017, after which point creative differences arose between the two directors and the studio. Various media reports have stated that Miller and Lord's improvisational style clashed with Star Wars veteran Lawrence Kasdan's vision for the film, and that the film's producer, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, ultimately sided with Kasdan. It was announced on June 20, 2017 that Miller and Lord had been removed from the project. Ron Howard was announced as the new director for the film on June 22, and he was tasked with completing principal photography along with what has been reported to be extensive reshoots.

Despite the change in directors, Lucasfilm has stated that the film is still scheduled to be released on May 25, 2018.




Iain McCaig drew Han Solo concept art for Episode III.

The earliest incarnation of a live-action depiction of young Han Solo came during the pre-production of Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith. Writer and director George Lucas conceived an idea of Solo as a child on Kashyyyk, with Chewbacca raising the young boy like a son. Solo would have been present during the Battle of Kashyyyk and would have encountered Yoda, helping the Jedi Master discover scraps of a droid that could have aided Yoda in determining the whereabouts of General Grievous. Concept art from Iain McCaig showed the young Solo as a slob, a juxtaposition of the character in his later years. "He's such a persnickety guy later — he always has to have the best of everything," McCaig said in The Art of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, "so I thought it'd be great if when he was a kid, he was an absolute slob." These concepts never made it out of pre-production, and Solo did not appear in Revenge of the Sith[11]—though Chewbacca ultimately did make a cameo appearance during the battle.[12]

After the release of Revenge of the Sith, Lucas began planning a live-action television series called Star Wars: Underworld, set between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. The series, dealing with elements of the criminal underworld, could have included some of Solo's backstory. According to Stephen Scaia, one of the writers of the ultimately unproduced series revealed that the writers came up with a story for how Solo met Chewbacca. Another story would have dealt with how Solo first met Lando Calrissian,[13] who first appeared in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.[14]



Harrison Ford first appeared as Han Solo in 1977.

"…George had sort of roughed-out many movies—not just the new trilogy but other movies, the spinoffs and things. I wasn't sure I wanted to do anything, but I said, "I could do the Han Solo movie"—because he's my favorite character."
―Lawrence Kasdan[src]

Ideas for a young Han Solo film began to percolate in the lead up to The Walt Disney Company's acquisition to Lucasfilm. In October 2012, as Lucas was preparing to sell his company, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy contacted Lawrence Kasdan, writer of The Empire Strikes Back and co-writer of Star Wars: Episode VI Return of the Jedi, and asked him to meet her and Lucas to discuss new films in the Star Wars franchise. Kasdan recounted that Lucas had already come up with some basic ideas for the sequel trilogy and had also come up with the concept of stand-alone films. One of those movies was about young Han Solo, before the events of A New Hope. Kasdan was initially hesitant on being part of the new films, but he decided he could do the Han Solo movie as Solo was his favorite character. He was also hired to consult on and, alongside director J.J. Abrams, eventually co-write what became Star Wars: Episode VII The Force Awakens.[15]

The existence of a Kasdan-driven stand-alone film was first announced on February 5, 2013. The announcement came with word that Kasdan would write one film, while Simon Kinberg would be working on another. In an investor call, Disney chairman and CEO Bob Iger revealed that the original focus of Lucasfilm was for the sequel trilogy but that they were also working on stand-alones that would not be part of the core Star Wars Saga.[16] It was not until July 7, 2015 that the film's release date of May 25, 2018 and its focus on a young Han Solo were announced. It was further announced that the project would be directed by Christopher Miller and Phil Lord. Jon Kasdan, Lawrence's son, was also announced as a co-writer.[2] On March 8, 2016, Iger confirmed that the film was an "origin story about Han Solo and Chewie".[17]

Several thousand actors auditioned for the part of Solo,[18] before Alden Ehrenreich was officially announced during Celebration Europe.[4] Additional casting announcements revealed that Donald Glover would play Lando Calrissian[7] and Emilia Clarke would play an unannounced role.[6]


"I think in terms of us leaving the project, I think everybody went in with really good intentions and our approach to making the movie was different than theirs. That was a really big gap to bridge, and it proved to be too big."
―Phil Lord[src]

Principal photography began in January 2017,[8] with a working title of "Star Wars: Red Cup."[19] By March, a film crew was present in Fuerteventura, Spain.[20] One of the three rewards in the 2017 Force for Change fundraiser will be a role in the film.[21]

Han Solo cast picture

The principal cast and original directors of the Han Solo film.

On June 20, 2017, Lucasfilm announced that directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were departing from the project due to creative differences and that a new director would be announced soon.[22] Entertainment Weekly reported that Lord and Miller encouraged an improvisational style on set, which Lucasfilm insiders believed was moving the film away from the vision crafted by the Kasdans in their script and ended up significantly changing the story. Lucasfilm believed that these apparent issues could be fixed during reshoots, but Lord and Miller were reportedly reluctant to significantly alter their approach to the film. As a result, Kennedy made the decision to remove Lord and Miller from the production.[23]

On June 22, it was announced by Lucasfilm that Ron Howard would take over directorial duties for the film.[1] Howard had previously worked as actor and director respectively on two previous Lucasfilm projects: 1973's American Graffiti and 1988's Willow (which starred Star Wars veteran Warwick Davis, who also makes a cameo in the Han Solo film[24]). After the announcement, Howard said that he had been a fan of Star Wars since the beginning and that he found it "gratifying to be asked to lend my voice to the [Star Wars] universe."[23] Michael Kenneth Williams was originally cast in the film but was unavailable for the reshoots,[3] so he was replaced by Paul Bettany.[25]

On October 14, it was announced that screenwriter Jon Kasdan and first assistant director Toby Hefferman will portray Tag and Bink, two characters that first appeared in the Star Wars comics published by Dark Horse Comics.[26]

On October 17, Ron Howard confirmed that production had wrapped up, and he officially announced the title of the film would be Solo: A Star Wars Story.[27]

John Powell will compose the score and John Williams will contribute a new theme.[28]


Solo: A Star Wars Story is scheduled to be released on May 25, 2018, the 41st anniversary of the release of A New Hope in which Harrison Ford first appeared as Han Solo.[2] Despite the firing of Lord and Miller, Lucasfilm has maintained that the film is still on schedule for its intended release date.[22]




Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 SWCustom-2011 Ron Howard to Assume Directorial Duties on the Untitled Han Solo Film on
  2. 2.00 2.01 2.02 2.03 2.04 2.05 2.06 2.07 2.08 2.09 2.10 2.11 2.12 2.13 2.14 2.15 2.16 2.17 2.18 SWCustom-2011 Christopher Miller and Phil Lord to Helm Han Solo Anthology Film on
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 3.4 3.5 3.6 SWCustom-2011 Michael Kenneth Williams Joins Young Han Solo Film on
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 SWCustom-2011 Aldren Ehrenreich Is Han Solo on
  5. 5.0 5.1 SWCustom-2011 Woody Harrelson Signs On for Young Han Solo Film on
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 SWCustom-2011 Emilia Clarke Joins the Han Solo Stand-Alone Film on
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 SWCustom-2011 Donald Glover Cast as Young Lando Calrissian in Upcoming Han Solo Star Wars Stand-Alone Film on
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 SWCustom-2011 Han Solo – Smuggler. Scoundrel. Hero. A New Star Wars Story Begins on
  9. 9.0 9.1 SWYTlogo Han Solo Movie Composer REVEALED, New Star Wars: The Last Jedi Books, and SDCC! on the official Star Wars YouTube channel
  10. Maddaus, Gene (March 23, 2017). Bob Iger Reveals 'Star Wars' Han Solo Spinoff Details, Talks Plans After 'Episode IX'. Variety. Retrieved on June 21, 2017.
  11. The Art of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith'
  12. Star Wars: Episode III Revenge of the Sith
  13. Army of the Lost Horizon by Steven Scaia. Kickstarter. Retrieved on June 27, 2017.
  14. Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back
  15. Rottenberg, Josh (December 3, 2015). Star Wars screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan on the past, present and future of 'Star Wars'. Los Angeles Times. Retrieved on December 14, 2015.
  16. SWCustom-2011 New Spinoff Films Set to Expand the Star Wars Galaxy on
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Heine, Rachel (March 8, 2016). The STAR WARS Prequel is a Chewbacca and Han Origin Story (Report). Nerdist. Retrieved on March 8, 2016.
  18. Kroll, Justin (January 11, 2016). 'Star Wars' Han Solo Spinoff: Actor Shortlist Revealed (EXCLUSIVE). Variety. Retrieved on January 11, 2016.
  19. Roberts, Dustin (January 30, 2017). The Han Solo Film Has Begun Filming!. Retrieved on January 30, 2017.
  20. Carera, Antonio (March 11, 2017). Disney inicia el montaje de la zona de rodaje para la película 'Star Wars'. Retrieved on March 13, 2017.
  21. McMillan, Graeme (April 11, 2017). 'Star Wars' Charity Campaign Offers 'Last Jedi' Premiere Trip and Han Solo Movie Role. The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved on April 11, 2017.
  22. 22.0 22.1 SWCustom-2011 A Message from Lucasfilm Regarding the Untitled Han Solo Film on
  23. 23.0 23.1 Breznican, Anthony (June 22, 2017). How the Han Solo film broke apart — with Ron Howard picking up the pieces. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on June 26, 2017.
  24. 24.0 24.1 TwitterLogo Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) on Twitter "Glad you are asking for one! I directed @WarwickADavis for the 1st time in 30 years today. It made me happy"
  25. Michael Kenneth Williams' Role Cut From Star Wars Han Solo Movie Amid Reshoots. Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved on September 2, 2017.
  26. Ramos, Dino-Ray (2017-10-14). 'Star Wars': Ron Howard Teases Fan Favorite Characters For Han Solo Spinoff. Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved on October 15, 2017.
  27. Breznican, Anthony (2017-10-17). The Han Solo movie has a title — Solo. Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved on October 17, 2017.
  28. Burlingame, Jon (December 30, 2017). 'Solo' Locks In Key 'Star Wars' Veteran (EXCLUSIVE). Variety. Retrieved on December 30, 2017.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Ridgely, Charlie (March 23, 2017). Star Wars: Woody Harrelson Reveals Who He's Playing In Han Solo Movie. ComicBook. Retrieved on March 23, 2017.
  30. 30.0 30.1 Miller, Julie (August 22, 2017). Michael K. Williams Has a Story You Need to Read to Believe. Vanity Fair. Archived from the original on August 23, 2017. Retrieved on August 22, 2017.
  31. TwitterLogo Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) on Twitter "The Outer Rim just got a little bit wilder #PaulBettany #ForceFriday"
  32. TwitterLogo Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) on Twitter "It's my third opportunity to work with Paul. He's a blast & so talented"
  33. 33.0 33.1 33.2 33.3 TwitterLogo Jon Kasdan (@JonKasdan) on Twitter "Thank You, Kevin. I'm a huge fan and I had to get 'em in there, and then had to play it myself (with Toby Hefferman) to do it justice"
  34. Chitwood, Adam (October 31, 2016). Cinematographer Bradford Young Teases "Unexpected" and "Dramatic" Young Han Solo Movie. Retrieved on November 1, 2016.
  35. 35.0 35.1 35.2 TwitterLogo Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) on Twitter "Those #Corellian nights get a little chilly. Screenwriter @JonKasdan and I try to keep warm #UntitledHanSoloMovie"

External links

Star Wars saga
I: The Phantom Menace · II: Attack of the Clones · III: Revenge of the Sith
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