Based on the reported release date for LEGO's upcoming young Han Solo spinoff product line, the second Star Wars anthology film is keeping its scheduled May 2018 release date. The project, of course, went through a drastic shake-up recently when previous directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired following creative differences with Lucasfilm. Oscar-winner Ron Howard valiantly stepped in to help pick up the pieces and will see Han Solo through the finish line. With the new helmsman on set, production will run until September - roughly eight months before the movie's theatrical premiere.
Since this situation is quite unprecedented, many fans were wondering if the director switch would bring about a delay in Han Solo's release, but it appears those concerns are hardly warranted. Like every Star Wars film, Han Solo will have a bevy of tie-in merchandise, and the store date for the first wave of LEGO sets indicates the standalone is staying on track for next summer.
According to Brick Fanatics (hat tip Star Wars News Net), Han Solo LEGO materials are said to hit retailers on April 20, 2018. Typically, licensing partners unveil their products shortly ahead of a tentpole's debut (see: the previous years of Force Fridays), so it stands reason to believe Lucasfilm is sticking to the plan and won't postpone Han Solo. While the movie's release date can always change, it isn't surprising this is the case. The studio swiftly hired Howard just two days after dismissing Lord and Miller, so they were definitely committed to the May date.
Though Han Solo was thrown for a loop late in the game, things may not be as dire as they seemed at the outset. Per reports, a majority of what Lord and Miller shot is "very usable" and Disney licensees were pleased with a sizzle reel they saw. This means Howard doesn't need to do a massive overhaul of the film and is simply steadying the ship with a calming presence. He also has plenty of time to complete the movie, as there are still more than 10 months before Han Solo is supposed to come out. That's a nice buffer to have, since it allows the creative team the luxury of not having to rush things. If Rogue One was able to handle its extensive reshoots in nearly half that amount of time, then a veteran like Howard should have no issues keeping Han Solo on course.
It will be interesting to see if Lucasfilm addresses Han Solo in any capacity during the live-action film panel at next week's D23. The Last Jedi looks to have a presence at the expo with a behind-the-scenes featurette planned, but things have been quiet on the Solo front for now. If nothing else, it would be nice if Howard recorded a video message from the set to assure attendees and fans all is well as he journeys into the famed galaxy far, far away.
Source: Star Wars News Net
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019