In two months, the next installment of the Star Wars saga will jump back to a decade when Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) was a tender young hooligan and his buddy Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) still owned and operated the “fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy,” the Millennium Falcon. But what is Solo: A Star Wars Story going to actually be like? Will it be any good?
Just like the other “standalone” Star Wars film — Rogue One — Solo has been beset with controversies and problems behind the scenes. But, where Rogue One had some last-minute reshoots, and a reshuffling of its climax, Solo was shaken-up when its two hot-shot directors — Chris Miller and Phil Lord — were fired by Lucasfilm and replaced by veteran director Ron Howard.
Despite all that, Solo is still dropping out of lightspeed very soon. Some corners of the internet have already written it off for being too nostalgic. Other fans are cautiously optimistic. Either way, everyone is going to go see it, if only because the charming Donald Glover is playing Lando! So, with that in mind, here are twenty burning questions we still have about Solo. As we discover answers to these questions, this article will be updated. Which means spoilers may lie ahead.
20. Does Luke Skywalker Appear?
The events of Solo happen about ten years prior to A New Hope. This means Luke Skywalker is probably about ten years old, living with his aunt and uncle on Tatooine while Han is doing whatever it is he’s doing in this movie. So, could a young Luke appear? Even in a cameo?
It’s not an insane idea, particularly because the events of Solo could take any number of the characters to Tatooine. Plus, if the film catches up with the events of A New Hope, Luke could totally appear. And if a twenty-something young Skywalker did show up, Mark Hamill and fans everywhere would love it if he was played by the Winter Soldier himself, Sebastian Stan.
19. Does It Explain Han’s Problems in A New Hope?
One responsibility Solo does have is to sort of, maybe explain why Han is in so much freaking debt in the classic trilogy. This could mean we’ll see Jabba the Hutt in the movie, or even a suggestion that Han and Chewie have started smuggling illegal drugs. Then again, the film might not catch up with A New Hope. Either way, figuring out why Han is such a fuck-up later would be nice.
18. Is the Whole “12 Parsecs” Thing Explained?
For decades, physicists have complained and debated about the supposed misuse of the term “parsecs” in the original Star Wars. When Han boasts that the Falcon made the Kessel Run in “less than 12 parsecs” it doesn’t make sense because parsecs are a measurement of distance and not time. So, will Solo address this? Or will it just render the whole thing as a big joke?
17. Is Young Han a Giant Asshole?
One problematic aspect of Solo is that the character of Han Solo, as written, is kind of an asshole. We love Han in the original films and The Force Awakens because he’s a reformed jerk. But, a prequel runs the risk of showing Han in his jerky prime. In other words, if we’re supposed to believe this is really the Han Solo of the past, chances are he would have been a sexist, cocky monster.
But, if he isn’t written that way in Solo, it seems like it might not feel accurate. In other words, the movie is kind of screwed. Obviously, no one wants to see a sexist or immoral leading man in 2018, nor should they. Which begs the question, what kind of man was Han Solo before Leia and Luke made him into a nice person again?
16. Does Emilia Clarke’s Character, Qi’ra, Survive?
Game of Thrones mega-star Emilia Clarke is playing a mysterious character named Qi’ra in Solo. She’s apparently someone Han has known since he was even younger, and she’s also some kind of master of disguise. In short, she sounds awesome.
But, because there’s no mention of Qi’ra in the existing Star Wars films, does that mean she’s doomed in this movie? As Donald Glover has pointed out, most of the characters in Solo simply can’t die, because we know they are alive later. This seems to make the newer characters, like Qi’ra, vulnerable to cruel plot twists.
15. Does Anything About “Sana Solo” From the Comics Matter?
In 2015, the ongoing Marvel Star Wars comics dropped a giant bomb: Han Solo was married before he met Leia!
Though Sana “Solo” turned out to be exaggerating events of the past a little bit, it’s still an interesting tidbit about Han’s past that is totally 100 percent part of the real canon. Early in the casting process, some of us believed Thandie Newton of Westworld fame was playing Sana, but it turns out her character is named “Val.” Still, because a lot of criminals aren’t who they say they are, you never know. Name changes can happen!
14 Are the Old Han and Lando Books from the Eighties Referenced or Retconned?
L. Neil Smith and Brian Daley each wrote a trilogy of books about Han Solo and Lando Calrissian in the Eighties. These books were so confident that people loved Han and Lando that the words “Star Wars” don’t appear anywhere on the original covers. Really!
These books also established several aspects of Han and Lando’s backstories, including the interesting detail that Lando wasn’t that good of a pilot at first. These books are technically part of the old “Legends” canon these days, but Lando did have a robot co-pilot in those books, and he does in Solo, too. So, will other elements of these books be referenced? Even subtly?
13. Is it the First Star Wars Movie Without a Lightsaber?
Many fans predicted — incorrectly — that Rogue One would become the first Star Wars movie to not feature anyone wielding a lightsaber. But, this time, with Solo, that might actually happen.
Because the entire cast of characters seems to be made up of people who don’t … um … use the Force, then it stands to reason there are no lightsabers in this movie at all. Then again, Han does have that little laser remote on the Falcon which seems to be a real-deal Jedi training device, so what gives? Will Han and Chewie cross paths with a Jedi or what?
12. Is it the First Star Wars Movie Without C-3PO and R2-D2?
Here’s another weird one: C-3PO and R2-D2 have been the one constant element in every single Star Wars movie since the beginning. George Lucas has even stated on several occasions that the movies are pretty much supposed to be told from their point of view.
Obviously, with the sequel trilogy and Rogue One, both of the beloved droids are basically just having cameos at this point, and not super-involved with the plots of the films. And with Solo, it seems possible that they might not appear at all. Why would they?
11. How Much Are the Prequels Referenced?
Because the prologue of Rogue One took place so close to the end of Revenge of the Sith, it made sense that a few direct references to the prequel trilogy had to be included. Hell, Jimmy Smits even reprised his role as Bail Organa, and Genevieve O’Reilly played Mon Mothma, a role she originally did in deleted scenes of Revenge of the Sith.
In terms of the timeline, Solo is smack-dab in-between the prequel trilogy and the classic trilogy, meaning its totally possible references to the Republic and the somewhat recent death of the Jedi could be made. But, it’s also possible that all these lawless people don’t care about that at all.
10. Do We Meet Han Solo’s Family?
Most people have assumed that Han Solo was an orphan, but could Solo give us a glimmer of who his parents really were? Though it’s not necessary to know everything about a Star Wars character’s parents (the Rey twist in The Last Jedi proved that) it would be interesting to get a sense of where Han came from.
In other words, this is an origin story for Han Solo. So, are we going to see his biological origin or not?
9. Why Does Han Stop Flying for the Empire?
The first Solo trailer clearly showed Han being recruited by the Empire. So, if the film shows us Han as TIE Fighter pilot or something, why did he stop?
We all know the Empire is evil and terrible, but what was Han’s reason for leaving? In old comic books, Han stopped flying for the Empire because he refused to kill some Wookiees, which explained his fast friendship with Chewbacca. Right now, Solo is set to honor that continuity. But will it?
8. Is Boba Fett in the Movie?
During the classic trilogy, Han is clearly aware of Boba Fett. And considering the insane popularity of the character, it would almost criminal if the notorious bounty hunter didn’t appear in Solo.
But, if Fett did show up, who should play his voice? Canonically, he should sound like Temuera Morrison, who played Jango Fett in Attack of the Clones. But, most recently Jon Hamm played the voice of Boba Fett in a Star Wars audiobook. So, will the real Boba Fett please speak up?
7. Does the Movie Foreshadow Anything in the Sequel Trilogy?
Because The Force Awakens ends with Han Solo being stabbed through the chest by his son, and Solo is about Han as a young man, one has to wonder if these two films — released just three years apart — will reference each other? If Star Wars were any other franchise, this would be a no-brainer, but because it’s so sprawling and strange, it’s possible nothing about Han’s grim future will be remotely referenced.
Still, at least one Solo tie-in novel will feature a flash-forward to Han’s early days as a father, leaving the possibility at some kind of future vision open for the film itself. Though, it seems pretty unlikely. However, if Han has known Maz Kanata for a long time before The Force Awakens, maybe she could appear in Solo, too.
6. Will the Famous Harrison Ford Chin Scar Be Explained In-Universe?
In another Harrison Ford origin story — Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade — audiences were given a fictional origin for Ford’s famous chin scar. When River Phoenix played young Indy in that film, he accidentally whipped himself in the face.
Will Solo do something similar? Could we see Alden get into a knife fight with Greedo? Maybe Lando?
5. Who the Hell is Woody Harrelson’s Character, Beckett, And Why Does He Matter?
Ever since Woody Harrelson was cast in Solo, speculation about this criminal “mentor” character has been extreme. We know he’s not Garris Shrike from the Legends canon. Instead, the character’s name is Beckett.
But, why does this character matter so much? Beyond being a criminal mastermind (or something) what impact will he have on Han? Maybe it’s all connected to this weird space-train heist …
4. How Does Han Win the Falcon From Lando? (And is This the Source of Their Beef?)
One huge event Solo must depict is how the Millennium Falcon went from being Lando’s ship to Han’s ship. In The Empire Strikes Back, Han says he won the Falcon fair and square. But did he? And how does all of this go down? Fans used to think that Han and Lando were playing a game of cards called Sabacc, but the novelization for The Last Jedi clearly states Han won the Falcon in a game of dice.
The Solo trailers do depict Lando playing cards, so which variety of gambling will lead to the most famous spaceship of all time being handed over as payment? Also, will this game be the reason Lando and Han don’t trust each other in Empire? Or something else?
3. What’s Up With Lando’s Robot Co-Pilot?
The trailers for Solo show-off Lando’s awesome droid co-pilot, L3-37, voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. But what role will L3-37 play in the film? Some fans think L3-37 might literally become the brain of the Millennium Falcon. But she also may be the first Star Wars droid that built itself.
Either way, of all the characters in Solo, L3-37 might be the biggest wild card.
2. Because of the Last-Minute Directorial Switch, Does the Movie Feel Like Its Cobbled Together From Two Different Movies?
Solo will not be the vision of one director, instead, the film is arguably the product of four different filmmakers. After Chris Miller and Phil Lord were fired, Lucasfilm brought on a seemingly “safe bet” choice of Ron Howard. But … Ron Howard also enlisted George Lucas’s help for at least one scene. So, what kind of tonal hodgepodge will result from all of this?
After all, The Last Jedi was pretty much the vision of one guy. What will the following Star Wars movie feel like in contrast?
1. Does Alden Ehrenreich Convince Us He is the Young Han Solo?
Endlessly charming in the Coen Brother’s film Hail, Caesar!, Alden Ehrenreich feels like a star in the making. And despite getting some solid advice from Harrison Ford, rumors have persisted that Ehrenreich simply hasn’t delivered the performance everyone was hoping for. Even the first trailers seemed to shy away from showing Han Solo too much in the Han Solo movie.
Obviously, the success or failure of Solo unfairly rests on Ehrenreich’s shoulders. The character of Han is famous for defying if the odds. And if Ehrenreich is lucky, he’ll do the same.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is out everywhere on May 25, 2018.