Back in June, Phil Lord and Chris Miller left Lucasfilm's Han Solo spinoff under something of a cloud. It didn't take long for Lucasfilm to announce a replacement though, with legendary director Ron Howard stepping in to finish the film.
One of the greatest challenges facing Howard was how to win the fans back. Concern was building over this as-yet-untitled spinoff, and Howard needed to prove to the fans that he was a safe pair of hands. Howard took a smart approach, launching an entertaining campaign on social media that's dropped countless plot hints, and reignited interest in this upcoming Star Wars anthology film.
But what has he actually revealed so far? This post will collect all Howard's most tantalizing hints, and analyze them to see what they suggest about the film...
It's generally believed that Han Solo will be introduced as a pod racer on his homeworld of Corellia, who somehow catches the Empire's watchful eye. If these rumors are true, this image suggests that we'll see some of those speeders — and probably pods — wind up in a serious state of disrepair.
In one of the most startling posts to date, Howard hinted at a strong Imperial presence in the Han Solo film. Curiously, this type of helmet is typically associated with the Death Star project. Fans have struggled to work out what this might mean, but a recent rumor may have finally given us a clue.
It's recently been suggested that the Han Solo film will see everybody's favorite scoundrel visit the planet Iridium. This world was home to a band of pirates, who used crystals to drain the shields of targeted ships. They may even be the highly-sought-after Kyber Crystals, which ultimately powered the Death Star's superlaser. If they really are using Kyber, the pirates of Iridium would definitely be of interest to the Death Star project. That would certainly explain the mysterious presence of a Death Star helmet!
Exploring The Underworld
Back in September, Ron Howard took fans by surprise when he announced his old pal Paul Bettany would be joining the cast of the Han Solo film. Bettany appears to be in costume, and that — combined with the reference to the Outer Rim — suggests he's playing an underworld figure.
This particular tweet left fans delighted. Howard's caption clearly hints that this shows a spice mine. Spice is an addictive drug mined on certain key planets in the Star Wars galaxy, most notably Ryloth and Kessel. It's a safe bet that the world in question will be Kessel, as Han's pre-Rebellion career involved smuggling spice for Jabba the Hutt, who had business on Kessel. This may also be where he picks up Chewbacca, as Star Wars: Rebels has previously shown Wookiee slaves used in Kessel's mines.
Perhaps most excitingly, the Millennium Falcon's greatest feat has always been clearing the Kessel Run "in less than 12 parsecs." That boast has always seemed to be a strange one, not least because a parsec is a measurement of distance, not of time. Is it possible we'll finally see the famous Kessel Run?
Now this one's generated a lot of debate! Many fans are convinced that one of these shadowy figures is the silhouette of Boba Fett, suggesting the Han Solo movie may well explain the bad blood between Han and Boba. Other fans remain unconvinced.
This was perhaps the most frustrating teaser to date. Howard is inviting fans to translate this alien script, but it doesn't appear to be the typical Star Wars language of Aurabesh. Instead, it appears to be derived from an ancient script created by Ralph McQuarrie when designing the Yavin 4 set.
It's worth noting that some fans have suggested this is actually Mando’a, the language of the Mandalorians. That could dovetail nicely with the possible silhouette of Boba Fett in the previous image. In reality though, this mysterious language doesn't quite match up with Mando'a, so it's unlikely.
Thandie Newton is playing one of the most mysterious characters in the Han Solo film. A popular fan-theory suggests that she's playing Sana Starros, a character who was created by Jason Aaron in the Star Wars comics. Sana shocked fans all across the world when she introduced herself as Han's ex-wife! It's worth remembering that the current range of comics and novels are all considered equally canon to the films. That means it would be logical for Sana to appear in this movie.
Eagle-eyed fans focused in on the insignia on Newton's jacket, partly covered by Howard's hand. It appears to be the Imperial logo.
Needless to say, smuggling is a dangerous profession. This scene appears to show Woody Harrelson's Beckett running through the corridors of the Millennium Falcon. It's believed that Beckett will act as a mentor figure for Han, and this image suggests he may even have been part of the Falcon's crew.
The characters of Tag and Bink were originally created back in 2001, and were an amusing part of the old #StarWars Expanded Universe. Often seen infiltrating the Empire, these two clueless Rebels were frequently retconned into key moments of galactic history. Their adventures were highly entertaining, and the two Rebels were always played for laughs. We can assume that they'll be providing comic relief.
The #HanSolo spinoff may have had a troubled history, but Ron Howard is a master of his trade. He's also proved to be a genius when it comes to using social media, dropping countless tantalizing hints as to the film's plot. He's teased everything from worlds to characters, and even hinted that the shadow of the Death Star looms large over the anthology film. We'll keep you up-to-date with the latest announcements as they come out!