Solo: A Star Wars Story star Alden Ehrenreich confirms he signed a three-picture deal with Lucasfilm. Headlining a major studio tentpole is no easy task, but Ehrenreich's job is arguably tougher than most. He is tasked with following the footsteps of the living legend Harrison Ford, who perfectly embodied Han Solo over the course of four Star Wars films. Ford is so synonymous with the part, few believed anyone else could convincingly bring life to Han, though early returns from the Solo footage illustrate Ehrenreich has the swagger and bravado we've associated with the role.
In the past year since Solo embarked on its whirlwind journey to the big screen, Lucasfilm has started to iron out the future of the Star Wars franchise. With projects like Rian Johnson's trilogy and a film series from David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, it looks like the studio is finally ready to move beyond the classic Skywalker saga. However, there's always the potential they could return to the old guard, as illustrated by the details of Ehrenreich's contract.
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"Three. I don’t know if that’s officially, uh, public. But—yeah."
It's worth keeping in mind that multi-movie contracts are standard issue for franchises. Felicity Jones reportedly had a sequel option as part of her Rogue One deal, but there's little chance Jyn Erso shows up on the big screen again. Ehrenreich's contract isn't a guarantee Lucasfilm will in fact make a Solo trilogy. Obviously, the reception to this summer's film will go a long way in determining the young Han's future. If Solo is well-received and performs strongly at the box office, then it could spawn followups. There's definite business incentive there, since Han is one of the most beloved characters in Star Wars lore and Solo depicts the beginning of his smuggling career. Per the spinoff's placement on the timeline, Solo ends roughly five years prior to A New Hope, meaning there's plenty of room to fill in more areas of Han's past if the filmmakers choose.
Of course, the key here is ensuring there are strong enough stories to warrant two more outings for Ehrenreich. Solo naturally lent itself to a compelling character arc, which explores how the idealistic scoundrel transforms into more of a jaded cynic. The goal of co-writers Lawrence and Jon Kasdan was to show how Han became the character we first met in A New Hope, so it'll be interesting to see if there's anything left to tell after we see Solo. Watching Han and Chewie run jobs for Jabba the Hutt or encounter Boba Fett sounds like fun, but there needs to be a meaningful through-line to get audiences invested. After five movies that cover a majority of Han's life (plus non-movie canon materials), it may be time for everyone to move on.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019