Ron Howard continues to tease his take on Han Solo with the latest photo hinting at the film showing what might be the spice mines of Kessel. After the firing of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Howard quickly came aboard the second Star Wars standalone film to help right its course. Ever since he joined, Howard has tried to fix the narrative surrounding the project by releasing pictures almost daily of what is happening from the set.
This antic has brought about some nice tidbits of information along the way for some but has also annoyed those who see what Lucasfilm is trying to do with these photos. That said, the latest tease from Howard appears to confirm the spice mines of Kessel may finally make an appearance.
Howard posted the latest in of his regular set photos to Twitter today, showing an underground rocky hallway ending in an elevator shaft that definitely gives the traditional appearance of a mine. His caption is simple, only saying "Spicey?" which is a pretty clear nod toward the infamous substance "spice," which, as far as we know in Star Wars canon, is the primary resource of Kessel. One of the very first lines in A New Hope was actually C-3PO referencing the danger of those mines, saying "We'll be sent to the spice mines of Kessel, smashed into who-knows-what!" Thanks to this newest simple tease, it looks like fans will finally get to see their favorite smuggler make a trip to the infamous location.
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) September 20, 2017
The inclusion of Kessel naturally brings up references to the fabled Kessel Run Han uses as a benchmark for the speed of the Millennium Falcon when trying to impress Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope. While current Star Wars canon doesn't specify the exact nature of the Kessel Run, it's assumed it's a famous smugglers' route considering the context. However, it's possible it could also be a race or daredevil course of some kind. It hasn't been specified yet, but whatever it is, the Millennium Falcon (possibly flown by Han Solo) supposedly makes the run in under 12 parsecs. Maybe we'll finally learn exactly what that means when the untitled Han Solo movie arrives in May.
One of the aspects of this inclusion that makes it even more interesting is the theory some have that Han may be lying about his record-setting time. Han doesn't exactly have a reputation as trustworthy person in the galaxy when we first meet him. While he could definitely be the one to actually complete the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs, it would not be totally surprising if he's making the stat up or if Lando (or even another previous owner of the Falcon) was the one piloting the ship when it occurred - or maybe it's just an unprovable legend that has always followed the ship. Who knows, maybe his true time actually was 14 parsecs like Rey thought in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.
Now that the mines of Kessel appear to be confirmed, how they factor into the story is unknown. Han is famously in debt to Jabba for dumping a load of spice before being boarded by authorities. While that particular adventure may not come into play, it's certainly a possibility. Should Lucasfilm continue to harken back to quick moments from previous films, they will have to continue to toe the line between adding history to the character and eliminating any mystery he has left.
Source: Ron Howard
- 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