A young Han Solo standalone film blasts into theaters May 25th, 2018.

A young Han Solo standalone film blasts into theaters May 25th, 2018.

by Shawn “Obi-Shawn” Crosby

Remember when – a long time ago in the 1980’s and the 2000’s – fans of Star Wars had to spend every few years on the edge of their seats for new theatrical releases to continue the story? Apparently, never again. Disney is maintaining Bob Iger’s promise to shareholders and fans to make certain the Saga is ever-present by announcing one more piece of its “6 films in 6 years” program kicking off with the release of new trilogy film Star Wars: Episode VII: The Force Awakens on December 18th, 2015.

Alternating with the films that continue George Lucas’ original storyline will be three anthology films that cover other stories in the universe, with characters both well-known and unknown having their day on the silver screen. The most recently announced of these films brings favorite smuggler Han Solo to the fore, with the promise of new backstory that fills out his enigmatic history.  Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, the film-making pair behind hits The Lego Movie and the 21 Jump Street reboot, will be directing what appears to be a story of a younger Solo’s exploits. Described as “how young Han Solo became the smuggler, thief, and scoundrel whom Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi first encountered at Mos Eisley,” it begs the question- who can they find to fill Harrison Ford’s riding boots? Only time will tell (Chris Pratt) but I imagine (Chris Pratt) it will be a heated search (Chris Pratt).

Say Miller and Lord, “This is the first film we’ve worked on that seems like a good idea to begin with. We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us. This is a dream come true for us. And not the kind of dream where you’re late for work and all your clothes are made of pudding, but the kind of dream where you get to make a film with some of the greatest characters ever, in a film franchise you’ve loved since before you can remember having dreams at all.”

It’s a dream come true for us too, guys. No pressure or anything.

In demand in Hollywood, Miller and Lord already have a busy schedule; a Flash project for WB, more Jump Street and LEGO projects, and a production deal with Sony on a future Spider-Man film. To help them out, the project will be written by Lucasfilm alum Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, The Force Awakens) and son Jon Kasdan (Freaks and Geeks, Dawson’s Creek). Also in on production duties is Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy (Back to the Future, Jurassic Park).

Book-ended by Anthology heist film Rogue One (directed by Godzilla‘s Gareth Edward, release on December 16, 2016) and a rumored Boba Fett film for 2020, the Solo story is set to be released on the Star Wars anniversary date of May 25th, 2018.

Can’t wait that long for some Han and Chewie action? Give The Han Solo Adventures novel series – Han Solo at Star’s End, Han Solo’s Revenge and Han Solo and the Lost Legacy – a read in the meantime. Penned by late NPR Star Wars Radio Dramas scribe Brian Daley, they offer some great tales and pre-Disney, Lucas-approved background on The Man Who Shot First.

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