ByFranco Gucci, writer at
I'm an avid movie fan whose favorite movie ever is Back to the Future. I'm the type of person that if I like a TV show, I'll binge watch it
Franco Gucci

Despite a brief period of turmoil, the Han Solo spinoff project is looking more promising as time goes on. Ever since he took over the directorial duties from Phil Lord and Chris Miller in June, Ron Howard has been having a ton of fun sharing things from the set via social media, pretty much throwing Disney's penchant for secrecy out the window. Thanks to Howard, we've gotten our first look at 's Lando Calrissian, young Chewie, and even a new R2 unit. Now, the director has shared a major new detail from the charming smuggler's "solo" adventure:

The Empire Is Coming

Howard took to Instagram to post a picture of the helmet of an Imperial officer resting on a command panel:

Howard decided to tease us further in the caption "The Empire Looms Large."

It's worth noting that the Empire making its presence felt in the film could tie in with previously established Star Wars mythology quite nicely. While Obi-Wan and Luke are bargaining with Solo to take them to Alderaan in , Han tries to give them an idea of the Millennium Falcon's speed:

"I've outrun Imperial Starships. Not the local bulk cruisers mind you, I'm talking about the big corellian ships now."

That means the Nerf Herder has had run-ins with the Empire in the past. I'm just spitballing here, but going by 's picture, wouldn't it be great if Han's spinoff showed us at least one of Solo's past encounters with the Empire?

From everything we've heard so far about the movie, it looks like the story will ditch the larger-than-life shenanigans of the Force and focus on the Star Wars underworld, and that's a unique opportunity to show us a more grounded side of the Empire. How do they interact with one another on that level? How do they change the dynamic of a planet controlled by warlords like Jabba the Hutt? We saw a glimpse of that in Rogue One, but it's exciting to think it will be explored further here.

Could We See The Death Star?

Some fans pointed out that the control panel in the picture looks an awful lot like the Death Star's. My nerd excitement got the better of me at first and for a moment, I thought the Empire's most dreaded weapon would be seen in the film. But putting my geeky tendencies on the sidelines, I realize that there's a slim chance the will appear.

In , the weapon was treated as a political scandal and a secret to the rest of the galaxy. Its initial attacks were even covered up as something else, therefore I doubt that Han, a smuggler in-training, would have known about it while it was still a secret to the rest of the galaxy,

It's even more improbable if we consider that the Death Star's construction started sometime during Revenge of the Sith, when Han Solo's standalone adventure takes place right between Sith and A New Hope. The weapon probably still has a few development years left.

What About Darth Vader?

[Credit: Lucasfilm]
[Credit: Lucasfilm]

Last month fans freaked out over a false a rumor that suggested would appear in the movie. Now we know for sure that the Empire will somehow play into the story, and that makes me wonder: Could we see good ol' Darth pop up? It's a definite possibility.

However, even if it happens we should probably not expect him to have a major role. Like I said, this will be the story of Han and his growth as a criminal, so I doubt there's room for the vastness that Vader brings to the table. With that said, even if his famous helmet isn't seen on screen, we should probably expect at least one reference to the iconic villain.

Even if Darth Vader doesn't make an appearance, the Empire has a lot of potential to shine without those two elements, so I'm excited to see what the film will do with it.

The Han Solo spinoff flies into theaters on May 25, 2018.

What do you think about the Empire making its presence felt in Han Solo's spinoff adventure? Will we see Darth Vader or the Death Star? Let me know in the comments!

(Source: Ron Howard)


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