It's been revealed where Solo: A Star Wars Story is set in the larger franchise timeline. Since the project was announced, fans have known it's a prequel covering Han's exploits prior to A New Hope, but the finer details of its placement haven't been completely unveiled. This is always a topic of interest whenever a new Star Wars movie is around the corner, as viewers enjoy piecing the entire canon together to see how it all fits. And with the events of Rogue One happening literally days before the original film, some have wondered if Solo would follow suit and conclude with Han and Chewie entering the Mos Eisley cantina on that fateful day.
Lucasfilm has been ramping up marketing for Solo ahead of its May release date, and part of that entails revealing what tie-in books will hit shelves. In addition to the official novelization of the movie itself, there's also Last Shot - a book that begins before Solo and ends after Return of the Jedi. For those wondering how these new arrivals fit into the pre-existing lore, they've now been added to the official Star Wars timeline.
Publisher Del Rey (responsible for many of the canon books) updated the timeline on their website to include both Last Shot and Solo. As you can see, both are positioned after James Luceno's Tarkin novel, which is set 14 years before A New Hope. Timothy Zahn's Thrawn follows Solo.
Previously, Disney CEO Bob Iger stated Solo would span across six years, following Han from ages 18-24. Since Han is said to be roughly 29 in A New Hope, this means the spinoff will begin about 11 years before the original trilogy. The Del Rey timeline more or less confirms Iger's comments were accurate, give or take a year or two. In the teaser trailer, Han mentions he's been running scams on the street since he was 10, but that looks to be more of an exposition bit to establish his character than something we'll actually see onscreen. This means Solo is set during the heyday of the Galactic Empire (which was fairly obvious after the Super Bowl TV spot), well before the Rebel Alliance became a realistic threat. When the credits roll on Ron Howard's film, the one-two punch of Scarif and Yavin will still be 5 years away in-universe.
It's a smart decision on Lucasfilm's part to ensure there's some breathing room between Solo and A New Hope, as it allows them some leeway when crafting new stories. Outside of the possibilities for books and comics, star Alden Ehrenreich is rumored to have a three-picture contract with the studio - suggesting Solo sequels could be on the table. Lucasfilm is moving forward with a new trilogy by Rian Johnson and another separate series from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, but if Solo is beloved, they'd be foolish to not revisit this corner of the galaxy at some point in time.
Source: Del Rey
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019