It’s official! Han Solo: A Star Wars Story has begun production! And earlier than expected. Director Chris Miller, who is working alongside longtime collaborator Phil Lord, tweeted out the announcement which arrives along with the first set photo. He includes a photo of the day’s slate along with this funny one liner, teasing ‘who shot first’.
“Han. First Shot.”
This Twitter quote is in reference to one of Star Wars more controversial moments. In the original Star Wars released in 1977, before it was officially known as A New Hope, George Lucas edited the infamous Cantina showdown between Harrison Ford’s Han Solo and bounty Hunter Greedo to appear as though Han shoots the alien in cold blood. In the 1997 A New Hope special edition, George Lucas went back and edited this scene so that Greedo shoots first. Ever since, there have been fan conspiracies, more than one video essay and a ton of memes about who actually shot first.
Before The Force Awakens arrived in theaters, Chewbacca actor Peter Mayhew began tweeting pages from the original script draft of Star Wars that was quite a bit different from any big screen iteration or edit the movie has endured over the years. Among the many things that are pointed out by the actor is that Han did, in fact, shoot first. It appears that Chris Miller and Phil Lord are going to have some fun with this aspect of the movie and other pieces of lore surrounding the Han Solo character and his legacy.
You’ll notice the slate in the image below contains the title Han Solo: Red Cup. This is just another sly joke on the director’s part, and is a pun playing off the infamous Solo cups that are beloved around the world. The screenplay for Han Solo arrives from father-son duo Lawrence and Jake Kasdan. Lawrence has been with the franchise for decades, having helped pen Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and The Force Awakens. Their story will revolve around a young Han Solo ten years before he meets Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker, joining the Rebellion in the fight against the Death Star.
No official synopsis has been released, but the story is said to revolve around the Kessel Run. And it will show how Han won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian in a game of Sabacc. Alden Ehrenreich is playing the title role, with Community and Atlanta star Donald Glover taking on the role of a young Lando. Emilia Clarke is playing an unspecified character, with Woody Harrelson playing Han’s mentor Garris Shrike, a character introduced in the Legends canon of books. This anthology film will officially make Shrike part of the cinematic canon. It is suspected that Joonas Suotamo, who did all of the action and heavy lifting for Peter Mayhew in The Force Awakes as Chewbacca, will take over the role completely for this spin-off, playing the iconic Wookie.
Han Solo will be in theaters May 25, 2018, just 6 months after The Last Jedi hits theaters. Though there have been plenty of rumors that the movie is being delayed until December 2018 as Disney stakes a claim in the Christmas box office for years to come. The movie is executive produced by Lawrence Kasdan and Jason McGatlin and co-produced by Will Allegra. Take a look at Chris Miller’s first tweet.
— Chris Miller (@chrizmillr) January 30, 2017