We are nearly a year from the opening of Solo: A Star Wars Story, and what we do know is that there will be no relation between the new Han Solo movie and the Han Solo origins movie, that being an EPIC prequel detailing Han’s journey from his beginnings as a scrappy thief and smuggler to his initial interactions with the Empire as a court jester in the Imperial Senate. This isn’t going to be where the ‘Last Jedi’ Episode IX is either, with that one being left up to the studio. But there is another Han Solo movie in development, and everyone who turned up at the Los Angeles premiere of Solo on Tuesday was understandably excited for more, and expected to know exactly where Solo 1’s storyline overlaps with the the untitled Han Solo origin movie.
And boy did everyone want to know. According to Variety, everyone, including the director, was slightly miffed about the lack of answers, with Ron Howard saying he was “frustrated” at the lack of specifics. Luckily, there were other talking points and kernels of info that could be inferred from the footage shown at the premiere, and, since we were already fairly safe in assuming the films were unrelated, we were just left with some general understanding of the general theme of the two films. One of the biggest talking points was that, in Solo, Alden Ehrenreich’s Solo is being torn between pursuing his father (played by Donald Glover), who used to own a number of flights and planes and ultimately entrusted him with a position in the Senate, and his smuggler roots, which he may use to draw more power out of the criminal underworld, and to come to the aid of the heroes in Han’s head, who we’re going to miss. In a later scene, it is revealed that Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra plans to threaten Han to kill Solo’s “mother,” Lando Calrissian, if he doesn’t give her the Falcon. This is based on the premise that he is fearful of her ability to align with criminals and allude to powerful operators with violence.
And on that note, Emma Stone was excited to hint at a different sort of hero of the audience’s own creation, saying, “It is definitely not afraid to show of the worlds outside of our borders.” So what would it look like if the Star Wars series went the Italian-American direction? Angela Lansbury was a guest at the premier, and recently stated her hopes that she could go behind the camera for the next Star Wars movie, although that would probably be in the form of a Disney family comedy like Jungle Book: Origins. Lupe Fiasco was on hand to unveil the song “We’re Not Done” from the new anthology film, and the film is expected to focus on a character called Inspector Clouseau, a young black policeman whose career is derailed after clumsily catching a suspect (and getting into trouble with a super secret club called Penton. Yep, we’re going to have to guess that’s a reference to the French gangster Étienne Clouseau).
Ultimately, this Han Solo movie should be judged not based on its exact relation to the newer “Han Solo” film, but instead on how good it is for the space-opera format. For instance, Anthony Daniels announced that he’d been to visit Han Solo’s spaceship, the Millennium Falcon, and saw that it had a couple of upgrades made for the new movie. Those include two extra flight panels to expand its vision and a new face on the ceiling, which will presumably be the C-3PO. It’s about time for a lazy watch of Star Wars, but if Lucasfilm doesn’t start branching out into different genres, the space opera films are still set to continue leaning towards the same old stuff. And that should be the case, if the new films stick to the path they were set off on.