The untitled Han Solo has been through quite a bit of production woes. It also doesn’t seem to have intrigued many fans, this is my own personal perspective based on social media and article comments etc. The latest rumor has split the fan base as well. Lets look into it and talk about what it could mean.
First the rumor, Vader will be in Han Solo. Now all indications say that IF this is true then it will be a small part, likely as small or smaller as the role Vader played in Rogue One. There are two schools of thought on this, the first is Vader is awesome and more Vader is better. The second is shoehorning in Vader alters Hans backstory and feels gimmicky.
The Empire Looms Large pic.twitter.com/IN7GiiJtXY
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) August 16, 2017
Another rumor may help provide context for the Vader rumor, namely that the Death Star will be in Han Solo also. The tweet above is a big part of this rumor, and it’s backed by Entertainment Weekly, a highly respected news outlet. To be fair, the rumor is based on a helmet and a control panel, which could mean a lot of things. That said, it doesn’t seem impossible. The Vader scene could take place with him overseeing an early stage of the Death Star’s construction. After all, we saw its beginnings at the end of Revenge of the Sith, and the Han Solo movie takes place between RotS and ANH.
Vader is awesome. There is no denying that, and its hard to argue with the idea that more Vader is a good thing. It would also mean that Vader would be the one thing tying EVERY Star Wars story told on the big screen together. Only three characters have been in every star wars so far Vader(Anakin, Helmet in TFA), C3PO, and R2. It is doubtful that R2 or C3PO will be in Han Solo, though I could be wrong, so having Vader in Han Solo would be a way of keeping a theme. The question is how do you fit Vader in?
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) September 20, 2017
I honestly believe there are about three ways it works, all of which don’t have Vader and Han ever interact. First would be Vader threatening an Imperial officer that is tracking Han and his smuggling activity. After all, Han did brag about outrunning the Imperials and I wouldn’t be surprised to see this on screen. The tweet above hints at the “spice smuggling” that could take place, possibly related to this scenario. The second is if Woody Harrelson’s character Garris Shrike, has dealings with Vader. This would fit in with what we have learned of Vader through the comics as he goes outside of the Imperial command and operations on a regular basis. It could even spur the arc that Han goes on through the movie. A third possibility is a young Han as an Imperial cadet. In Legends, this is a part of Han’s backstory and possibly explains why he is so familiar with Imperial protocol in the OT. A side-scenario of this last one is the cadet Han could be part of how Han saves Chewie from the Empire, gaining the lift-debt.
It’s pretty important that all of these scenarios that Vader and Han don’t interact. This is primarily because that would diminish Han’s lack of belief in the Force. An encounter with Vader has a strong likelihood of changing that.