Long before the First Order reigned over the galaxy, there was the Galactic Empire.
Brought to power under the watchful eye of Emporer Palpatine (AKA Darth Sidious), last Supreme Chancellor of the Republic, the Empire ruled the cosmos with an iron fist, and it wasn’t until Alliance forces cobbled together a resistance effort in the form of Rogue One – which was designed to steal blueprints for the Death Star – that the pendulum swung back in the Republic’s favor. All of these events (and more!) precede A New Hope, the first Star Wars movie ever to grace theaters.
But just as Gareth Edwards broke away from the Skywalker saga to craft his own standalone story, director Ron Howard will circle back to that window of time between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope to delve into the origins of one Han Solo. Set to explore the young smuggler’s formative steps into adulthood across a six to seven year period, Howard’s spinoff has selected Alden Ehrenreich to be the young Solo, who will be donning that iconic leather jacket opposite Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Donald Glover as the effortlessly charming Lando Calrissian.
Story-wise, it’s unclear what Ron Howard and his team have in store, but thanks to this ominous set pic (above), we know the Empire will have a presence in the movie. Of course, given the time period in which Lucasfilm’s Han Solo offshoot is set, news that Howard plans to incorporate Imperial forces isn’t all that surprising.
Lucasfilm and Ron Howard’s unnamed Han Solo movie will be with us on May 25th, 2018. Before exploring the origin story behind the galaxy’s greatest smuggler, though, the Powers That Be will be directing our attention to the release of The Last Jedi on December 15th of this year.