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Solo: all the latest news for the next standalone Star Wars movie

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Rogue One demonstrated that audiences will turn out to theaters to watch a Star Wars movie that’s not about the Skywalker family, and the next standalone film will show off the early days of a young Han Solo.

Solo will star Alden Ehrenreich in the titular role, while Donald Glover will play his scoundrel friend, Lando Calrissian. Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Joonas Suotamo have also joined the cast as supporting characters. The film was originally helmed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, but they were fired midway through production and replaced with Ron Howard.

What's the latest news about the film? How does it differ from the saga films and Rogue One? What will happen in this film that will shape the Han Solo we know and love? Follow along for all the latest news, trailers, and commentary.

Solo will hit theaters on May 25th, 2018.

  • Sep 6, 2018

    Andrew Liptak

    The novelization of Solo: A Star Wars Story adds new depth to the film

    Photo by Andrew Liptak / The Verge

    Solo: A Star Wars Story hit theaters earlier this summer, pulling off a satisfactory story, despite a rocky production, and giving a definitive origin to one of the franchise’s best-known heroes, Han Solo. If you’ve seen the film, you know the story: Han Solo escapes a rough childhood as a street rat, gets kicked out of the Imperial Academy, falls into a life of crime with a couple of gangsters, and ends up running into Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian. A newly released novelization of the movie by Mur Lafferty layers on some additional scenes and character development and subtly changes the tone of the story from a straight-up action / heist film to one that explores the nature of servitude in the galaxy far, far away.

    Movie novelizations can be a mixed bag. Some are quick adaptations of the film’s script that allow studios to get a little extra income on top of their box office returns. Others are full-fledged novels that expand and add to the film in question and can stand on their own next to the film. Lafferty’s adaptation of the film does a bit of the latter, turning the origin story of Han Solo into an intriguing meditation on one’s personal freedom and autonomy, but it falls just short of building even further on Ron Howard’s film.

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  • Jun 1, 2018

    Tasha Robinson and Bryan Bishop

    Where should Star Wars go after Solo’s box office disappointment?

    Photo by Jonathan Olley / Lucasfilm Ltd.

    Over the Memorial Day weekend, Lucasfilm’s latest feature, Solo: A Star Wars Story, debuted to disappointing box office returns. It was the weekend’s top-grossing movie, but the $103 million domestic take was well below Disney’s expectations, set by the openings for recent series installments Rogue One ($155 million) and The Last Jedi ($220 million). 

    The armchair-quarterbacking started immediately, with trade publications musing over whether Disney overpacked the film-release calendar by piling Star Wars movies atop Marvel Cinematic Universe movies, and whether turning Star Wars into a twice-yearly cinematic outing meant the series was no longer appointment viewing. Above all, pundits are wondering whether Disney and Lucasfilm will pull back on their plan to make more Star Wars “anthology” films, a series of standalones outside the direct continuity that George Lucas originally laid out when he revealed that 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope was intended as the fourth chapter in a nine-film story. So far, those anthology films consist of Rogue One and Solo, with films centered around Boba Fett and Obi-Wan Kenobi both in development. While Solo unquestionably leaves room for sequels, the film’s box office take suggests the market for them could be shaky.

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  • May 31, 2018

    Andrew Liptak

    Solo demonstrates that the Star Wars expanded universe hasn’t been forgotten

    Image: Bantam Spectra

    Solo: A Star Wars Story debuted on May 24th, delivering an origin story for one of the franchise’s best-known heroes. The film has underperformed at the box office, setting off a wave of questions about the future of the film franchise. But fans might be interested in a different future entirely — the future of the now non-canon expanded universe, which lives on in a new form in Solo.

    Some spoilers for Solo: A Star Wars Story ahead.

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  • May 29, 2018

    Keith Phipps

    Solo takes Star Wars’ fixation on self-sacrifice in a cavalier new direction

    Jonathan Olley /Lucasfilm Ltd.

    Warning: Spoilers for Solo: A Star Wars Story, Rogue One, and The Force Awakens ahead.

    Halfway through 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, I started getting a sinking feeling. I was enjoying the movie, but its intentions were just starting to sink in. Rogue One doesn’t fully hide its seams. It’s a stitched-together production, but it’s easy to get swept up in the narrative. And then it becomes clear that not all of the heroes — maybe none of the heroes — are going to make it out alive. And though I was fine with that, I began wondering how I was going to explain it to my five-year-old, who was sitting next to me.

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  • Tasha Robinson

    May 24, 2018

    Tasha Robinson

    Chewbacca actor Joonas Suotamo explains the Wookiee mask, movement, and mentality

    'Solo:  A Star Wars Story' Photocall - The 71st Annual Cannes Film Festival
    Photo by Tristan Fewings / Getty Images

    When 31-year-old Finnish actor Joonas Suotamo first stepped into the role of Star Wars’ towering, hairy Wookiee character Chewbacca for 2015’s The Force Awakens, he repeatedly dodged press questions about which scenes he appeared in. Peter Mayhew, who originated the role in 1977’s A New Hope, was also playing Chewbacca in some scenes, but he was having mobility issues and using a cane. Suotamo was eager to tell the story of how he ended up on Star Wars as his first film acting gig. He was a “borderline jobless” basketball player who was living with his mother until he answered a worldwide casting call for a 7-foot actor with blue eyes. But out of respect for Mayhew, he wanted to keep quiet on when exactly he stepped into the role. 

    As of The Last Jedi, Suotamo became the new full-time Chewbacca, and in Solo: A Star Wars Story, he plays the Wookiee again at a much earlier time in his life when he first met longtime partner Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and they started adventuring together. For Suotamo, playing Chewbacca isn’t just about turning up on set in costume. He closely studied and shadowed Mayhew on film and on the set, and he eagerly talks about his complicated choices in bringing across the character through physical movement and vocal inflections. I sat down with Suotamo in Chicago to talk about the secrets of how Chewbacca’s mask works, the script that lays out what Chewie is saying in English, and what most people assume about his costume.

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  • May 16, 2018

    Andrew Liptak

    This video sums up why Ron Howard gets director credit for Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Last June, Lucasfilm made a stunning announcement: directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller had been fired from the production of Solo: A Star Wars Story, several months into filming, and were replaced by director Ron Howard. This video from Andrew Saladino’s YouTube film essay series The Royal Ocean Film Society helps outline why it’s Howard, rather than Lord and Miller, who gets credit as director for the film.

    Lucasfilm brought Lord and Miller onboard in 2015 to direct the film, and the pair were present throughout the pre-production and well into filming before they were fired and summarily replaced. Since then, it’s emerged that Lord and Miller will be listed as Executive Producers on Solo, rather than getting any sort of director credit.

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  • Bryan Bishop

    May 15, 2018

    Bryan Bishop

    Solo: A Star Wars Story — our spoiler-free review

    Photo by Jonathan Olley / Lucasfilm Ltd.

    For a film franchise that’s more than 40 years old, Star Wars has had a surprisingly hard time finding its voice lately. J.J. Abrams’ The Force Awakens successfully relaunched the series after a 10-year cinematic hiatus, but some fans felt it copied George Lucas’ original 1977 film too closely. The standalone Rogue One: A Star Wars Story attempted to use the fantasy world to tell a gritty wartime tale, but Disney was ultimately unhappy with the result, and writer-director Tony Gilroy was brought in to help Gareth Edwards’ film over the finish line. Last year, writer-director Rian Johnson pushed the series in intriguing new directions with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but that also led to fan complaints — this time, that the installment had veered too far from the franchise’s basic tenets.

    The current gatekeepers’ struggle to define Star Wars after Lucas’ retirement has put a spotlight on the troubled production of the series’ latest film, Solo: A Star Wars Story. After six months of shooting, original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street) were fired from the production over creative differences, with Apollo 13’s Ron Howard stepping in to replace them. And Howard didn’t just provide some tweaks on the way to locking the movie up; he reportedly reshot 70 percent of the film, work so extensive that at least one role had to be recast entirely due to scheduling conflicts. If Star Wars is dealing with an identity crisis, no film should provide more on-screen evidence than Solo.

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  • May 6, 2018

    Andrew Liptak

    Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian asked a pointed question about race in Star Wars on last night’s Saturday Night Live

    Donald Glover was the host of last night’s Saturday Night Live, and appeared in one sketch as his character in the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story: Lando Calrissian. There, he asked a question that’s been raised a lot about the Star Wars universe: where the hell are all the black humans in space?

    In the sketch, Glover’s charming Lando hosts the “first-ever summit for all black humans,” on Naboo, which turns out to include just three attendees. It’s a pointed jab at the lack of diversity in the Star Wars films.

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  • May 4, 2018

    Andrew Liptak

    Solo: A Star Wars Story tickets are now on sale

    Image: Jonathan Olley /Lucasfilm Ltd.

    For the second time in six months, there’s a new Star Wars film hitting theaters. Solo: A Star Wars Story premieres on May 25th, and tickets have just gone on sale.

    Sales begin today on what’s an unofficial Star Wars holiday: May 4th. You can get tickets for major chains, including AMC, Cinemark, Alamo Drafthouse, and IMAX. You can also pick up tickets through online retailers such as Fandango,, and Atom Tickets. Most theaters will be screening the film a bit early as well: tickets are on sale for Thursday, May 24th, beginning at 7PM.

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  • Apr 29, 2018

    Andrew Liptak

    A new featurette for Solo: A Star Wars Story shows off a reckless Han Solo

    Lucasfilm has released a featurette called “Becoming Solo,” which delves into the world of its upcoming film, Solo: A Star Wars Story, and where its titular hero fits into it.

    Solo director Ron Howard opens the video by saying that this film shows off a world that we really haven’t seen much of in the franchise: one in which the Empire holds complete control. He notes that everyone is struggling to survive, and that Han is a rare “free spirit.”

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  • Apr 21, 2018

    Andrew Liptak

    The new Star Wars novel goes deep into the past and future of Han Solo

    Photo by Andrew Liptak / The Verge

    Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters in just over a month. The standalone Star Wars film follows in the footsteps of Rogue One: a story that stands apart from the “saga” backbone of the franchise, ie, the story of the Skywalkers and their fight against the forces of evil in the galaxy. But unlike Rogue One, which featured a cast of brand-new characters to the franchise, Solo will focus on one of the franchise’s best-known characters: Han Solo.

    As we come closer to the film’s release date, one thing that has stood out about Solo is how unenthused everyone seems to be for it. Unlike The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi, Solo is a film that, up until recently, I kept forgetting would be the second Star Wars film to hit theaters in under six months. There are a lot of reasons for that: the production woes, a trailer that didn’t drop until just months before the film’s release, but most of all, a general attitude of, “Do we really need to know more about the origin of Han Solo?”

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  • Apr 15, 2018

    Andrew Liptak

    A new teaser for Solo: A Star Wars Story explores the early days of Han’s friendship with Chewie

    Lucasfilm has released a new teaser for its upcoming film Solo: A Star Wars Story, showing off a bit more of Han Solo’s early days and his friendship with Chewbacca.

    We’ve already seen a couple of trailers for the film, which show off a bit of the criminal underworld of the universe, as well as the film’s Wild West vibe. This new teaser is short, but it shows off a bit more of the film’s titular hero, Han Solo. There’s a bit more of the train heist that we’ve seen in the other trailers and quite a bit more of Han and Chewie’s interactions — including when Han first learns Chewie’s name.

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  • Apr 10, 2018

    Andrew Liptak

    Lego’s new TIE fighter for Solo: A Star Wars Story shows how sophisticated the toys have become

    In 1999, Danish toy company Lego made a huge announcement: it had signed a license with Lucasfilm Ltd. to produce a series of toys based on the Star Wars films, the first time in the company’s history that it made such a deal. The move wasn’t without major qualms within the company; for decades, it had eschewed such deals, but competition from other toy brands loomed, and company officials worried about being overtaken. The decision would ultimately propel Lego to become one of the largest toy companies in the world.

    In the intervening two decades, Star Wars Lego kits have become a core product for the company, with new kits featuring hundreds of characters, ships, and locations from the franchise being rolled out annually. With Disney’s acquisition of Lucasfilm back in 2012, that tide of products is not likely to let up any time soon.

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  • Apr 9, 2018

    Andrew Liptak

    Let’s break down the new trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

    The latest trailer for Solo: A Star Wars story has hit the web, and it’s our best look at the film yet. As with any new trailer for a Star Wars film, there’s a lot to see and unpack for fans of the franchise, so as we did with the first teaser, let’s break down what we saw.

    Warning: there are spoilers and plenty of speculation for Solo ahead.

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  • Apr 9, 2018

    Andrew Liptak

    Watch the latest trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story

    Disney has released a new trailer for its upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story, giving us a look at the next standalone installment of the Star Wars franchise.

    The trailer gives us our best look at what the film is about. The trailer opens with Qi’Ra (played by Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke) asking Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) if he’s after revenge, money, or something else. Before long, Han is recruited for a job: telling Woody Harrelson’s Tobias Beckett, that he’s a driver and that he’s waited a long time for “a shot like this.” The film certainly has the feel of a heist story: we see Han, Qi’Ra, and Tobias recruit a very suave Lando Calrissian (“Everything you’ve heard about me is true.”), while Beckett tells Han that once he joins, he’s part of this life forever. There’s also plenty of high-flying action as the team trades shots with Imperial troopers and fend off TIE fighters in the Millennium Falcon.

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  • Star Wars and Solo Cup team up for a partnership made in pun hell

    Getty Images, whitewish

    The marketing brains behind Solo: A Star Wars Story would like you to know they have wed the film’s name in branding matrimony with the most obvious pun you, me, or they could think of: Solo cups, the No. 1 choice for college kids playing beer pong and people who can’t remember which box their dishes are packed in.

    Walt Disney Studios is currently threatening Star Wars fans with “an extensive worldwide promotional campaign” that, in addition to Solo, will include Denny’s, Esurance, General Mills, Nissan, and Symantec. These partnerships will include “compelling experiences” and “relevant activations.” In the press release, Solo also encouraged whatever demographic exists at the center of the Venn diagram involving Star Wars fans and cup enthusiasts to visit their website and “SOLOBRATE good times.” No one has explicitly called Solo cups the official cup of the Millennium Falcon, but as someone who scored reasonably well in reading comprehension in college, I’m thrilled to cut through the cruft and award it that title myself. Brands!

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  • Breaking down all of the hidden clues from the new Solo: A Star Wars Story trailer

    The first full trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story is finally here, and it’s a long-overdue look at the next Star Wars film. We’ve been a bit worried about this one. The film lost its directing pair midway through shooting, and we’ve been wary of the premise. Do we really need a story about the origins of Han Solo?

    This first teaser does give us something to look forward to, and we’re going to take a close look at what we saw.

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  • Feb 5, 2018

    Andrew Liptak

    Watch the first full trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story

    During last night’s Super Bowl, Lucasfilm released a brief teaser for Solo: A Star Wars Story, saying that a full trailer was coming today. The teaser showed off a new-looking Millennium Falcon, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Chewbacca, and Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo. This morning, ABC’s Good Morning America dropped the promised full trailer.

    This full trailer shows off the origins of one of Star Wars’ most iconic heroes: Han Solo. In it, Ehrenreich’s Solo says that he’s been running scams since he was a kid, was kicked out of a flight academy for “having a mind of my own,” and says that he wants to be the best pilot in the galaxy. He meets with Woody Harrelson’s new character Beckett, who tells him that he’s putting together a crew.

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  • Feb 4, 2018

    Andrew Liptak

    Watch the first teaser for Solo: A Star Wars Story

    After weeks of waiting, Disney has finally released the first official look at the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story , in the form of a brief teaser during this evening’s Super Bowl.

    The teaser opens with an Imperial recruiting officer asking a recruit what branch he’s interested in joining, to which he’s told, “I’m going to be a pilot, the best in the galaxy.” Along the way, we get some glimpses of a new-looking Millennium Falcon, Woody Harrelson (playing a new character named Beckett), Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Chewbacca, and a brief glimpse of the film’s titular character, played by Alden Ehrenreich. Interspersed throughout are some all-too-quick action scenes involving fighters, speeders, and some massive vehicles that look like Star Wars-ified trains.

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  • Dec 30, 2017

    Andrew Liptak

    John Williams will compose the theme for Solo: A Star Wars Story

    American Film Institute’s 44th Life Achievement Award Gala Tribute to John Williams - Show
    Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for Turner

    A veteran of the Star Wars universe is returning to the franchise for next year’s entry, Solo: A Star Wars Story. Variety says that composer John Williams will write the theme for the upcoming standalone film.

    The move is unusual: Bourne Identity and How to Train Your Dragon composer John Powell will still score the film, but Williams will be responsible for composing the film’s theme. Williams tells Variety that he’ll write the theme for the film, which he will “offer [...] to John [Powell], and to [director] Ron Howard.” If they’re happy with it, Powell will use it as the basis for his score. Williams recently composed the score for December’s The Last Jedi.

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  • Oct 17, 2017

    Andrew Liptak

    Solo: A Star Wars Story is the name of the upcoming Han Solo movie

    Up to this point, we’ve been forced to call Disney’s next standalone Star Wars film the cumbersome “as-of-yet-untitled Han Solo film.” Well, no longer. Today, director Ron Howard announced that the film had finally wrapped production, and that it would simply be called Solo: A Star Wars Story.

    There have been rumors for a couple of months, after Making Star Wars got their hands on a picture of a crew T-shirt. The production’s working title was Red Cup, which now makes sense given that the real-world Solo company produces, well, red cups. The movie is said to follow the early days of Han Solo, well before he met up with Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and a pair of droids in A New Hope. We don’t know much about what that story will entail, although Howard has alluded to locations like Corellia (Solo’s home planet) and Kessel (where he made the infamous Kessel run). The film will also include Tag and Bink, a pair of characters familiar to hardcore fans of Star Wars comics.

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  • Oct 14, 2017

    Andrew Liptak

    Ron Howard teases a pair of unlikely characters in his Han Solo movie

    Image: Dark Horse Comics

    Ever since Ron Howard took over production on the next standalone Han Solo Star Wars film in June, he has posted a number of images from the set, teasing a variety of locations and characters. His latest post hints at the inclusion of a pair of characters from a series of non-canon Star Wars comics, Tag and Bink.

    In a new Tweet, Howard posted an image of a pair of Imperial officers, with the caption “#tagandbink ?”

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  • Jul 26, 2017

    Andrew Liptak

    Bourne Identity composer John Powell will score the upcoming Han Solo movie

    83rd Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
    Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

    Last year, Rogue One marked a small, but significant departure within the larger Star Wars universe: Michael Giacchino, rather than legendary composer John Williams, was in charge of scoring the film. Now, Lucasfilm has announced that another new composer will take the reins for the next standalone film: John Powell, best known for his work on the Bourne and How to Train Your Dragon franchises.

    Powell has produced some excellent soundtracks over the years. His work on the Bourne films is pretty much constantly on in the background when I’m writing. He’s a composer who really excels at driving tension in a film, and I’m really interested in seeing what he comes up with.

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  • Jun 22, 2017

    Andrew Liptak

    Ron Howard is taking over the Han Solo standalone film

    National Geographic's Premiere Screening of 'Genius' in Los Angeles
    Photo by Tommaso Boddi/Getty Images for National Geographic

    In June, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy announced that Phil Lord and Christopher Miller had stepped down as directors for the upcoming Han Solo film, saying that a replacement would “be announced soon.” According to The Hollywood Reporter, the company has announced that Ron Howard will be taking over the film, and will meet with the cast to get production rolling again.

    “At Lucasfilm,” said Kennedy in a statement, “we believe the highest goal of each film is to delight, carrying forward the spirit of the saga that George Lucas began forty years ago. With that in mind, we’re thrilled to announce that Ron Howard will step in to direct the untitled Han Solo film. We have a wonderful script, an incredible cast and crew, and the absolute commitment to make a great movie. Filming will resume the 10th of July.”

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  • Nick Statt

    Jun 20, 2017

    Nick Statt

    Star Wars’ Han Solo spinoff directors were fired in the middle of shooting

    Star Wars Celebration 2016
    Phil Lord, left, and Christopher Miller, right, speaking about the Han Solo spinoff with Episode VIII director Rian Johnson on stage during Star Wars Celebration last year.
    Photo by Ben A. Pruchnie/Getty Images for Walt Disney Studios

    Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy announced this evening that directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are leaving the Han Solo standalone film over “creative differences.” Lord and Miller gained clout in Hollywood for writing and directing The Lego Movie, as well as 21 Jump Street and its sequel 22 Jump Street.

    “Phil Lord and Christopher Miller are talented filmmakers who have assembled an incredible cast and crew, but it’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways. A new director will be announced soon,” Kennedy said in a statement.

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