'Solo' Denny's Commercial Creates 'Star Wars' Canon Problem
The next Star Wars movie, the Han Solo standalone, opens in just a few months, but we don’t actually know that much about the film. Perhaps that’s why Star Wars fans are scouring anything they can get their hands on for possible clues — including a commercial for the restaurant Denny’s that features real footage from the movie and a cutesy reenactment that might signal a potential canon problem.
The commercial, which uses what looks like actual footage from Solo’s cantina scene promoting the restaurant chain’s latest Star Wars tie-in, hit the web on Monday, via Collider. Since Denny’s is giving away Solo trading cards with meals, the spot also features two child actors, dressed as Alden Ehrenreich’s Han Solo and Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian, playing a high-stakes round of the card game sabaac. According to the old Star Wars canon, the one that existed before The Force Awakens, Han won the Millennium Falcon in a game of sabaac. That, presumably, is what the Denny’s commercial is alluding to.
However, the novelization of Star Wars: The Last Jedi changes everything. According to the book, Han won the Falcon in a dice game, using the very dice he had hanging above the ship’s dashboard, rather than in a card game. Here’s the excerpt:
Ben as a toddler, forever following Han. Carrying the dice from the Millennium Falcon — the ones his father had used to win the beloved, battered freighter — and promising anyone who’d listen that one day he would be a pilot, too, like his daddy.
Of course, the Denny’s commercial isn’t Star Wars canon on account of being, well, a freaking Denny’s commercial. But, it seems to be a riff on some old, outdated bit of Star Wars canon. If Solo is going to make the Last Jedi novelization’s change official, it’ll have to supplant the preconceived notion most fans have that Han won the Falcon because he’s a card shark. Especially since prior to this, dice rolls in Star Wars have had much different stakes, like the ownership of a slave child. Sorry, did I say “dice?” I meant “chance cube.”
Correction: The podcast Star Wars 7x7 noted on Twitter that there actually is a version of sabaac that involves dice. “Corellian Spike” uses a pair of six-sided dice, and according to Star Wars: The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary, Han and Lando played that variant when Han won the Falcon. The Denny’s commercial is correct, it would seem.
Solo: A Star Wars Story opens on May 25 2018.