‘Solo’: Is Disney Already Looking to Make a Han Solo Sequel?
The future of Star Wars is still up in the air, but there are new rumors about what may be coming next. Solo: A Star Wars Story is set to hit theaters soon, but the wait for the next Star Wars movie after that will be an excruciating 18 months en route to December 2019’s release of Episode IX. Beyond that? Little is known. We’ve been given hints, such as Rian Johnson’s mystery trilogy, but no official announcements about stories that are being written.
The latest rumor has another anthology movie in the works, and this one is a sequel (of sorts) to Solo. Let’s take a look at that (page 5), plus other news and rumors as it relates to the upcoming Star Wars movies.
Han’s home has become an Imperial shipyard
According to YouTuber MIKE ZEROH, Han Solo’s home planet of Corellia is under Imperial occupation. In the trailer when we see a planet covered in smog with Star Destroyers being assembled in the sky, that’s Corellia. Apparently, the Empire has turned the planet into a major manufacturer of weapons and ships. As you might suspect, that doesn’t sit well with Solo, who has no love for the Empire.
It’s here, likely very early in the movie, that we’re introduced to a young Han Solo. It’s said that the character is a young street thief, working for a Corellian crime boss. From there, Solo attempts to enroll in the Imperial Navy to become a pilot, but ends up being kicked out for “having a mind of his own.”
Much of this backstory about Han is either previously known or could have been guessed, but the information regarding Corellia is interesting and adds an extra layer to the character.
Next: Fan service a-plenty
Cameos, cameos, and more cameos!
After the success of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Solo hasn’t gone light on the fan service. There are a ton of rumored cameos, including unlikely Imperials such as Darth Vader and Grand Moff Tarkin and slightly more likely acquaintances such as Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt. In the case of Jabba, it seems as though his appearance is all but confirmed.
Rogue One featured cameos from important Star Wars characters like Vader, Tarkin, and Princess Leia. But even characters with less to do with the central plot of the movie popped up, and that includes R2-D2 and C-3PO. Will the franchise’s most famous droid duo continue their custom of appearing in each and every live-action film? It’s hard to see how they fit in Solo, but you can bet director Ron Howard found a way.
Next: Contradicting reports on a main villain
Enfys Nest, man or woman?
One of the main baddies of the movie is Enfys Nest, a masked and dangerous leader of a pirate-gang, the Cloud Riders. Not much is known about Nest or the actor under the mask, who has been kept mysterious for one reason or another. And given recent trends toward better balance among gender in lead roles, it probably wasn’t a major surprise to anyone when a French magazine leaked that Nest is a woman.
But not so fast, apparently. A recent description from Star Wars Insider magazine says the following about the character:
Busy carving out a nefarious reputation as the violent and enigmatic leader of a gang of swoop-riding pirates, the Cloud Riders, the deadly Enfys Nest is an extremely dangerous and brutal marauder. With his face always obscured beneath a fearsome helmet, Nest is deadly, athletic, and percussively vicious.
Notice that this description clearly states Nest as a male character. Whether this bad guy is actually a bad girl or not remains to be seen. Maybe that French magazine let loose what was supposed to be one of the bigger reveals from the movie?
Next: Some (un)required reading
Last Shot, a Han and Lando story
As they did with Catalyst: A Rogue One Novel and Rogue One, Disney commissioned a novel to be released as a lead-up to Solo. Catalyst takes place well before the events of the movie it ties to, looking at the beginning of the Death Star project during the Clone Wars and Galen Erso’s involvement. Last Shot, which was released on April 17, jumps ahead in the timeline to the post-Empire era to find Han and Lando working together on an important mission.
And just like with Catalyst, Last Shot (by Daniel Jose Older) isn’t required reading before heading into the theater. However, it does give some context to the characters that was previously unknown. Readers are introduced to Lando’s sidekick in the movie, a droid by the name of L3-37.
There is also quite a bit of new information about Han and Lando in their younger years, and their relationship is explored. For the diehard Star Wars fan, it’s worthy reading.
Next: Is Disney already planning another Solo film?
Rumors of a sequel, of sorts
Remember that rumor that Enfys Nest is a woman? That only gets louder here. According to Star Wars News Net and some anonymous sources, Disney and Lucasfilm will introduce the character in Solo but have even bigger plans down the road.
Enfys Nest is a female. It is not a big role, but it is important. She (the actress) worked closely with Woody Harrelson. She is signed for two more movies, presumably Solo sequels.
There were rumors in the early stages of production that Disney was eyeing more than one Solo movie, in the event that the first one was a major success. Creating, let’s say, a trilogy based on the adventures of Han Solo, Chewbacca, and Lando prior to the events of Star Wars: A New Hope makes sense, if it can be done in a way that won’t offend the easily offended sensibilities of Star Wars fans. But it’s possible that Nest will simply be introduced in a minor role, only to take on bigger roles in future, non-Han Solo movies.
Next: But what about that other rumored movie?
What about Kenobi: A Star Wars Story?
To update, this is what we know about the future of Star Wars; Solo will be followed by Episode IX, and at some point, a live-action series created by Jon Favreau will debut. Johnson is set to create a new trilogy, while Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss will be getting their own series of movies. If we are to assume that a Solo semi-sequel featuring Enfys Nest is on the way as well, that’s a lot of Star Wars content.
But what about the long-rumored Kenobi movie? Quite possibly the spin-off that fans most want to see is one featuring Ewan McGregor reprising his role as Obi-Wan Kenobi. The rumored film would take place on the desert planet of Tatooine, at some point during the timeline between Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.
With all these other projects going on, our fear is that Kenobi has been pushed to the backburner.
Next: Is a major expanded universe character returning?
Mara Jade in Episode IX?
Speaking of novels, fans of the original Star Wars expanded universe know that one of the most famous and popular EU characters is Mara Jade. Originally a Force-sensitive assassin of Emperor Palpatine, Jade ends up falling in love with Luke Skywalker in the post-Empire era. She and Luke get married and start a family, and that’s the beginning of several stories featuring the Skywalker bloodline.
Of course, all of that is now considered Legends and is no longer a part of official Star Wars canon. However, it has been hinted that more Legends characters are going to be integrated into canon (like Star Wars Rebels did with Grand Admiral Thrawn) in upcoming movies. And apparently, Episode IX has put out a casting call for a female lead, age 40-50, by the name of “Mara.”
Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that this is Mara Jade. The rumor could be off base, or “Mara” could simply be a code-name — although, admittedly it would be a cruel trick to play on diehard fans. If the rumors are true, what kind of role could Mara Jade have in Episode IX? Has she secretly given birth to yet another member of the Skywalker family tree?
Next: This famous actor may show up in Solo.
Will Clint Howard join the Star Wars universe?
For those asking themselves whether Ron Howard’s brother, Clint, would make it into the Star Wars universe, the answer is an emphatic YES. Ron tweeted an image from the editing studio that appears to show Clint in Solo, possibly inside some sort of prison. The guess here is that it’s not a big role, but just another sly wink to the audience in the form of a cameo.
Clint making a small appearance is a hallmark of Ron’s projects. He played Johnny Bark in two episodes of Arrested Development, and has made appearances in movies such as Cocoon, Splash, and Apollo 13. He’s one of Hollywood’s most decorated “background” actors, having 245 acting credits to his name despite having very few major roles.
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