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Solo: A Star Wars Story is the upcoming second Star Wars Anthology film produced by Lucasfilm Ltd. that, like the first Anthology film, Rogue One, is not a part of the main Star Wars Saga. The movie will cover the backstory of the famous smuggler, Han Solo, in the years before his appearance in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope. Other than Han, several other characters from the original trilogy will be returning, including Han's wookie sidekick, Chewbacca, and Lando Calrissian.
Origins EditThe earliest incarnations of a live-action depiction of young Han Solo, before the events of Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope, 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—though Chewbacca ultimately did make a cameo appearance during the battle.
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 met Lando Calrissian, who first appeared in Star Wars: Episode V The Empire Strikes Back.
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.
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. 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. On March 8, 2016, Iger confirmed that the film was an "origin story about Han Solo and Chewie."
Several thousand actors auditioned for the part of Solo, before Alden Ehrenreich was officially announced during Celebration Europe. Additional casting announcements revealed that Donald Glover would play Lando Calrissian and Emilia Clarke would play an unannounced role.
Production EditPrincipal photography began in January 2017, with a working title of "Star Wars: Red Cup". By March, a film crew was present in Fuerteventura, Spain. One of the three rewards in the 2017 Force for Change fundraiser will be a role in the 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. Entertainment Weekly reported that Lord and Miller encouraged and 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.
On June 22, it was announced by Lucasfilm that Ron Howard would take over directorial duties for the film. Howard had previously worked with Lucasfilm to direct the 1988 fantasy film Willow, starring veteran Star Wars actor Warwick Davis. After the announcement, Howard said that he had been a fan of Star Wars since the beginning—he worked with Lucas on the film American Graffiti, pre-dating A New Hope—and that he found it "gratifying to be asked to lend my voice to the [Star Wars] universe."
On October 17, Ron Howard tweeted a video where he thanked the Star Wars community and announced the title to be Solo: A Star Wars Story.
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. Despite the firing of Lord and Miller, Lucasfilm has maintained that the film is still on schedule for its intended release date.
- Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo
- Woody Harrelson as Beckett
- Emilia Clarke as Kira
- Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian
- Thandie Newton
- Phoebe Waller-Bridge
- Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca
- Ian Kenny
- Jon Kasdan as Bink
- Toby Hefferman as Tag
- Warwick Davis
- Paul Bettany
- Clint Howard
- Douglas Robson
- Michael Kenneth Williams (Scenes cut)
- Miriam Amy as Extra
- Deepak Anand as Sheesha Smoking Guest
- Richard Dixon as Elite Citizen
- Guinevere Edwards as Market Trader
- Marta Głowacka as Dancer
- Sarah Sayuri Hare as Space Bar Girl
- Ian Harrod as Imperial Officer
- Ty Hurley as Imperial Fleet Trooper / Space Port Technician
- David Kline as Fleet Trooper
- Chido Kunene as Airport Civilian
- Kamil Lemieszewski as Skipper at Dryden's Ship
- Adam Lezemore as Alien
- Emily Ng as Extra
- Glenn Povéy as MO Man
- Jacqueline Ramnarine as Bar Patron
- Tom Riverman as Civilian / Factory Worker
- Mark Ryder as Bar Patron
- Daniel Ryves as Extra
- Sarah-Stephanie as Dancer
- Swami Valentini as Extra
- Robbie Waite as Civilian Traveler