Harrison Ford may be done with the part, but that doesn't mean Han Solo is gone from our screens for good. In fact, he's back in Solo: A Star Wars Story, a new prequel film devoted to everyone's favourite scoundrel.
Much like Rogue One before it, Solo is a prequel set slightly apart from the new trilogy kicked off by The Force Awakens, which focuses on his formative years. With troubled production and the first trailer arriving just months from release, fans were worried that this could be the first dud since those other prequels we're not meant to talk about.
If you're looking for news and trailers from the rest of the year's big releases, make sure to check out our guide to 2018's biggest upcoming films.
Blu-ray release date
While the other three modern Star Wars films released in December, Disney tried a different tactic with Solo. The film is out now, after releasing on 25 May 2018 (the same date the original Star Wars was released back in 1977) in most major markets (including the UK and US).
That means that next on the agenda is the film's Blu-ray, DVD, and digital release. If you're in the US you can get a digital copy, or the Blu-ray or DVD here, while UK readers can also grab the digital release or the Blu-ray and DVD versions right now.
We also know the main Blu-ray special features, but as always bear in mind that these may vary by retailer and country:
- Solo: The Director & Cast Roundtable – Sit down with director Ron Howard and the stars for an intimate and entertaining discussion of the film’s making.
- Team Chewie – See what it takes to bring your favorite Wookiee to life in this lighthearted look behind the scenes.
- Kasdan on Kasdan – Iconic Star Wars screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and son Jonathan share what it was like to write the movie’s script together.
- Remaking the Millennium Falcon – Track the transformation of the most famous ship in the galaxy, from Lando’s swank and impeccable pride and joy to Han’s stripped-down hot-rod freighter with “special modifications.”
- Escape from Corellia – Get behind the wheel for the making of this high-octane chase through the streets of Corellia.
- The Train Heist – Explore the challenges and thrills of creating this action-packed sequence, including its remote location and spectacular effects.
- Becoming a Droid: L3-37 – Meet the newest droid—and the talented actor who helps bring her to life.
- Scoundrels, Droids, Creatures and Cards: Welcome to Fort Ypso – Take an in-depth tour of the rough-and-tumble bar where strangers mix and gamblers risk all in the legendary card game, Sabaac.
- Into the Maelstrom: The Kessel Run – Join Han and Chewie at the controls of the Millennium Falcon to see how this legendary moment in Star Wars history unfolds.
- Deleted Scenes:
- Proxima’s Den
- Corellian Foot Chase
- Han Solo: Imperial Cadet
- The Battle of Mimban: Extended
- Han Versus Chewie: Extended
- Snowball Fight!
- Meet Dryden: Extended
- Coaxium Double-Cross
- The Millenium Falcon: From Page to Park – An exclusive look at the history of the most famous ship in the galaxy, its origin and development, and how it will translate in one of the most anticipated expansions in Disneyland’s history.
Cast and crew
Harrison Ford is, sadly, a little old to step back into the Millennium Falcon cockpit for a prequel, so for the first time Han Solo will be played by someone else: Alden Ehrenreich, whose biggest part to date was a brilliant turn in the Coen Brothers' Hail, Caesar!
He's joined by a brilliant supporting cast though. First up will be a young Lando Calrissian, played by Donald Glover (Community, Atlanta) who's as well known for his acting as for his music, under the pseudonym Childish Gambino.
That's not all though. Game of Thrones' Emilia Clarke will also join the crew as new character Qi'Ra, along with Woody Harrelson, Paul Bettany, Warwick Davis, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge as new droid L3-37. The Millennium Falcon will be pretty full then.
Unsurprisingly, there are also a few cameos from familiar faces. Don't expect Harrison Ford to rock up, but thanks to an accidental slip from Mark Hamill we know one original actor came back: no, not Hamill himself, but Anthony Daniels, who's played C-3PO in every Star Wars film so far. Well, except Solo, because he won't be Threepio here - he plays a Wookiee this time around. Head to Uproxx if you want the (mildly spoilery) details on exactly how he fits into the film.
Perhaps the most encouraging news about the film is the script, which has been jointly written by Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan. If that name sounds familiar, it should - the older Kasdan has been involved in Star Wars ever since he wrote the screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back, and he also contributed to the script for The Force Awakens. They've been working on it for a while, too - the older Kasdan told io9 that he starting working on the script way back in 2012 - before Lucasfilm was even bought by Disney.
Unfortunately, there's arguably less encouraging news about the director's chair. Ron Howard (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind) oversaw the film, which isn't so bad - he's a safe but very capable choice. Unfortunately, he wasn't involved for long - he only joined the film in June 2017, months into shooting, after the original directors left the project.
I'm beyond grateful to add my voice to the Star Wars Universe after being a fan since 5/25/77.— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) June 22, 2017
They were Phil Lord and Chris Miller, best known for The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street, and their inclusion had held the promise of an exciting, unconventional film with a strong sense of humour - exactly what a Han Solo prequel might need to succeed. Unfortunately, Disney execs were unhappy with the footage from their first few months of shooting, leading to the upheaval that saw them replaced by Howard.
That replacement had another casualty too. Howard stepping in meant a raft of new reshoots for the film, but Michael K Williams (The Wire) - previously expected to be in a major role - couldn't make the new dates, and had to be entirely replaced by Paul Bettany.
Poster and photos
The first proper look we ever got of Solo was this early production photo, which gives us a look at the main cast in the Falcon cockpit - out of costume, and joined by original directors Lord and Miller.
The film's first teaser trailer brought with it a quartet of one-sheet posters however, which give us a great look at the film's main quartet, but mostly make us wish we were getting a Lando Calrissian solo film.
After the trailer dropped, we were treated to our first proper stills from the film, courtesy of an Entertainment Weekly exclusive. Our favourite of the lot is this shot of Han and Chewbacca attempting to rob something called a 'Conveyex' (check out Chewie's goggles!), but you should head to EW to check out the other new photos.
After months of waiting, we got our first footage of Solo, a short teaser unveiled during a Super Bowl ad break.
We then had to wait whole hours (hours!) for our second look at the film: a longer teaser trailer, which gives a much better look at the plot ("I'm puttin' together a crew"), Han Solo ("I'm gonna be a pilot. The best in the galaxy"), and the return of Chewie ("RRRAARRWHHGWWR").
Apparently this was meant to be released in January, but was postponed as Disney needed yet more reshoots - a single day's worth - just to finish up the trailer. So enjoy, as a weird amount of work went into bringing this trailer to you.
Luckily they had a bit more time to prepare the next trailer - the first officially dubbed a trailer, rather than a teaser - which gives a proper look at the story, some big character introductions, and more than a few big Star Wars callbacks.
What's the plot?
This is an origin story for Han, and over the film he has his first meetings with both Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian, and plays the infamous Sabacc game that saw him win the Falcon from Lando.
They all get embroiled in a heist, led by Woody Harrelson's mentor figure, to steal space fuel for Paul Bettany's gangster - together with the help of Han's young crush Qi'Ra. Unsurprisingly it all gets a bit more complicated from there, with multiple betrayals, changes of allegiance, and a moral dilemma or two to help shape the young Han into the hero he eventually has to become.
The film also provoked a bit of speculation about Lando's sexuality, though it isn't a major plot point within the film itself. Co-writer Jonathan Kasdan told the Huffington Post that Lando is pansexual, though that's really just his personal head-canon rather than anything in the film itself, as he added: "I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie."