A long time ago in a galaxy really rather close to home, George Lucas unleashed Star Wars upon the moviegoing masses, introducing one of the very first high-profile space Westerns to light up the silver screen. Since then, the franchise has taken many cues from the Western genre both in terms of characters and locations – think of Boba Fett or the Mos Eisley Cantina. One such example of a Western trope is, of course, Han Solo, the roguish outlaw who will soon be placed front and center for Chris Miller and Phil Lord’s 2018 origin story.
Expected to enter production soon after the turn of the year, Miller and Lord’s anthology film is still in search of an official title – surely Han Solo: A Star Wars Story is too obvious? – though while speaking to Variety about the overall status of the rejuvenated Star Wars franchise (via /Film), Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy noted that the Han Solo spinoff will incorporate elements of heist and Western movies.
This moves closer to a heist or Western type feel. We’ve talked about [Frederic] Remington and those primary colors that are used in his paintings defining the look and feel of the film.
That certainly makes a lot of sense. Solo is a character that thrives in those arid environments; he’s a smuggler first and foremost, and is constantly evading law and order while plundering exterior planets for loot and treasure. As for the aesthetic, the painter Kennedy refers to here is Frederic Remington, a 19th century artist famous for his portraits of the American West. If Rogue One is set to chronicle a Rebel heist in gritty fashion, Chris Miller and Phil Lord look set to take the anthology format and craft a story that is decidedly different from the core timeline, and that can only be a good thing.
Lastly, with Emilia Clarke now on board, the principal cast for the Han Solo spinoff includes Alden Ehrenreich as the title lead and Donald Glover, who landed the role of the young Lando Calrissian only a few weeks ago.
Expect the Han Solo anthology movie to check into theaters on May 25, 2018. Next to tumble off the Star Wars conveyor belt is Rogue One on December 16 of this year, which is reportedly eyeing up an opening weekend in the realm of $130 million across North America.