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Will we be seeing Han Solo and Darth Vader again sooner than expected? Plus JJ Abrams talks about casting the new Han Solo

January 13th, 2016 by Marc Comments


The big news this week for Star Wars fans was Variety revealing Disney and Lucasfilm’s casting shortlist for the Han Solo spinoff movie. However, while that film has a release date set for May 25, 2018, the next project on the radar is Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which will land in cinemas at the end of this year.

Interestingly, buried at the bottom of Variety’s report (via Squareeyed)  was an interesting detail that whoever succeeds Harrison Ford as the galactic rogue will be making a cameo appearance in the aptly named Rogue One.

The report claims there is still one month left of principal photography on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and that Han Solo may have a small cameo in this spinoff, before moving on to the Han Solo standalone. Both Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the Han Solo spinoff take place in the intermitting period between Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan confirmed earlier this month that the Han Solo solo movie will be set 10 years before the events of A New Hope. According to the report, Han Solo co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller will make a final decision on who will portray the iconic character in the next two weeks. Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Dave Franco, Jack Reynor, Scott Eastwood, Logan Lerman, Emory Cohen and Blake Jenner are among the top contenders listed by Variety.

The Star Wars Anthology: Han Solo spinoff will focus on how young Han Solo became the smuggler and thief leading up to meeting Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan in A New Hope. Phil Lord and Chris Miller (The Lego Movie) are directing from a script co-written by Lawrence Kasdan (Star Wars: The Force Awakens) and his son Jon Kasdan (In the Land of Women). The May 25, 2018 release date marks the 41st anniversary of A New Hope.

In related news:

Previously, reported in July that Darth Vader would also appear in the film, making that two of the most iconic characters in the anthology. Here’s what Devin Faraci wrote for their report:

“I ran into a good source this past weekend and, over drinks, was told a nugget that should make people pretty intrigued: Darth Vader will be in Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One. He will not be the main antagonist but he will be working behind the scenes, pulling strings and will appear onscreen. Literally, I’m told – he’ll be showing up via viewscreen or holo projection or something. Will our heroes actually run into the Dark Lord of the Sith in person? My source wouldn’t say. My source was also mum about Grand Moff Tarkin, who was of course the commander of the fully operational Death Star.”

Talking to Variety at the Television Critics Association press tour, JJ Abrams expressed his relief to have the movie out there and to have had it received so well: “I’m just incredibly relieved that the movie’s out and it was well-received, and I’m more excited when I hear that people went to see the movie with their parents who took them to see the original movie when they were kids, or who took their own kids who maybe had never seen a ‘Star Wars’ movie and who fell in love with Rey [Daisy Ridley] or found Finn [John Boyega] to be someone that they wanted to be for Halloween.

“Those kinds of stories are frankly infinitely more impactful and gratifying than all the numbers — which are wonderful, and I’m very grateful to everyone who went to see the film, but it’s mostly exciting to hear that people actually went and had the experience.”


As a fan himself, we can imagine he is happy that there’s a lot of love for the new movie, but he moved on to talkin about Han Solo, starting off with his fate in the movie: “We knew we needed to do something that was bold and maybe unexpected,” he said.

He was then asked if he has anything to say about the shortlist of actors in talsk to play the younf Solo: “Nope. I wish I had something to say, but I don’t. I haven’t turned my attention to that.”

Though he was happy to offer one piece of advice for the man who will be Solo: “Watch Raiders of the Lost Ark,” Abrams said. “It’ll all be right there.”

We couldn’t agree more, JJ… well, except maybe to say watch Empire Strikes Back?

Marc is a self-confessed nerd. Ever since seeing Star Wars for the first time around 1979 he’s been an unapologetic fan of the Wars and still believes, with Clone Wars and now Underworld, we are yet to see the best Star Wars. He’s a dad of two who now doesn’t have the time (or money) to collect the amount of toys, comics, movies and books he once did, much to the relief of his long-suffering wife. In the real world he’s a graphic designer. He started Following the Nerd because he was tired of searching a million sites every day for all the best news that he loves and decided to create one place where you can go to get the whole lot. Secretly he longs to be sitting in the cockpit of his YT-1300 Corellian Transport ship with his co-pilot Chewie, roaming the universe, waiting for his next big adventure, but feels just at home watching cartoons with his kids….