We were originally told that the “spin-off” films are to be origin stories, but later learned Han Solo will not be. At least, Han Solo will probably establish the character that we see at the beginning of A New Hope. So the movie itself is a backstory. However, we still might expect that a backstory will be presented in the movie that describes how Han got to the place he is in the Han Solo movie. You might call this Han’s “back-backstory”. I’m going to take a moment and contemplate how and what might be be presented in the upcoming film.
First, let’s take a moment to touch base on the timing of the currently untitled Han Solo film. By the way, since it’s untitled, I will just refer to it as Han Solo or the Han Solo film. This movie takes place between Episode III and IV, and probably about 10 years before IV. Han would be about 29 years old in ANH, so he would be 19 in Han Solo.
It will not be, “Here’s where he was born and this is how he was raised.” I think what it will be is what was he like 10 years earlier [than A New Hope]—maybe a little earlier, you’ll get a glimpse.
So we definitely don’t expect a “fully detailed from birth” story. However will there be absolutely no exposition? I would expect a few sentences here and there referencing something in the past. We might also see a flashback scene, or have the movie begin at an earlier time, much like Rogue One. Given Kasdan’s quote, I don’t expect such an intro/flashback scene to take place with Han as a kid, but it might show an earlier adventure, much like the way Raiders of the Lost Ark begins with the opening temple scene.
When does Chewbacca come in?
The Expanded Universe, now Legends, Han Solo saved Chewbacca from enslavement from the Empire. Because of this, Chewie swore a life-debt to Han. It isn’t clear if this will be the exact same story that will be true in the new canon. This is partly because it has been partially altered in some planned story telling from George Lucas. In particular, it was planned that Han would actually show up in Revenge of the Sith as a 10 year old boy, and possibly be part of a group of “lost boys” on Kashyyyk that were friends with the Wookiees, pictured above. In this concept, Han was the taller boy in the middle. Sure, it’s possible that Han could have saved Chewie either before or after this time, but it would make the most sense for after. Nevertheless, this story is at odds with the Legends explanation of their connection.
So, will the story group stick to this story? Will we get a throw-away line about Han growing up on Kashyyyk?
Yoda. Seriously?? Yoda?
The part about the origin story for Han Solo above is two-fold. It was actually explored by George Lucas as part of Revenge of the Sith, and, remarkably, the only person that Han had dialogue with was Yoda, according to early drafts. The image above shows a brief exchange between Han and Yoda. The quote reads:
Han Solo: I found part of a transmitter droid near the east bay…It think it’s still sending and receiving signal.
Yoda: Good. Good. Track this we can back to the source. Find General Grievous, we might…
So Han Solo actually knew Yoda, according to the since abandoned drafts of RotS. This raises the question, given a possible history between Han, Chewbacca and Yoda, could we see Han and Chewie visit Yoda in hiding on Dagobah? The idea seems a bit bizarre, but I’m not the first person to propose such a thing. That said, it seems very unlikely. That is, it will feel kind of forced in a bad way. People sometimes complain about the “small galaxy” connections, and this could at least come across like a bad one.
Han Solo may have had a wife before ANH, Sana Starros. She was introduced in Star Wars comic #9, and Han denied that she was actually his wife. Eventually he admitted that he was married, but it was only to get back at some crime lord. This past relationship is canon, albeit a convoluted one. Will we see Sana in Han Solo?
I certainly thought about the possibility that one of the rumored ladies to be in the film would be playing Sana, as did many people. I don’t think that either Tessa Thompson or Zoe Kravitz (far left and center above) were ever confirmed as of this writing, but who knows what discussions are going on. Given that the history between Han and Sana is canon, I can’t help but wonder if this relationship could even be part of the movie. It could be something like an easter egg like a quick mention or image, or it could be part of a bigger plot point in the movie. At this point it’s anyone’s guess whether Sana will actually be in the movie, but they might have introduced her into Han’s canonical history for bigger reason than just a few comic book issues.
Lando and the Millennium Falcon
We definitely know Lando is going to be played by Donald Glover, but it’s unknown at what point we will see them in their friendship the movie will begin. With regard to the Falcon, we do know that Lando “lost [the Millennium Falcon] to [Han] fair and square”. I would love to see a card game, presumably in a sabacc match. The game has already been seen in a recent episode of Rebels Idiot’s Array. The question is, will we see this legendary game that won Han the Falcon on screen, or will it be part of his back-backstory?
Now canon, from The Force Awakens: The Visual Dictionary, we know that Han won the Falcon in a particular version of sabacc called “Corellian Spike”. In fact, according to this image, Han still keeps the golden dice used in this variant of sabacc that he used to win the ship. Seeing these dice used in the move, and the dice roll that won the ship would be a nice touch, adding connective tissue to The Force Awakens, as well as providing a cool scene. Either that, or these dice that are kept on the ship could be mentioned in passing as the reason for Han owning the ship.
It is certainly possible that people will say that Han is such a famous character that he needs no introduction. However, some minor exposition that deepens the lore and shows where he is coming from could be great. Whether it will end up being something predictable like these or something out of left field is anyone’s guess, but speculation is half the fun of Star Wars.