Warning: major spoilers for Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is a lot more than just a Han prequel - it sets up several exciting Star Wars spinoff movies to come in the future.
Solo probably looks and feels the most like what everyone was expecting when Disney and Lucasfilm first announced that they'd be producing a separate track of spin-off movies set in a galaxy, far, away: a fill-in prequel starring younger versions of familiar characters, set to classic-sounding music and full of callbacks (or, rather, deliberate foreshadows) to the original series. But unlike standalone war-drama Rogue One, which made a show of obliterating it's entire new cast and capping things off with a sly transition into the opening moments of Episode IV, the Han Solo origin feature seems poised to set up a whole slew of potential stories-to-come of its own.
The most obvious contender is a Solo 2 of some description, given how Alden Ehrenreich's version of the smuggler is still a long way from Harrison Ford, and with the actor on a three-movie contract that's definitely possible. However, there are some more interesting - and probably exciting - options too.
- This Page: How Solo Sets Up Lando, Jabba & Boba Fett
- Page 2: Darth Maul and Crime in The Galaxy
The most obvious, of course, is the prospect of a feature for Han's on-again/off-again frenemy Lando Calrissian. Already iconic as one of the most complex figures of the Original Trilogy and the franchise's most prominent black character for an unfortunately lengthy period of time ("I think he might be only Black guy in the galaxy!", quipped a character in an infamous Family Guy send-up of The Empire Strikes Back), he's played in Solo by currently ultra-hot actor/producer/musician Donald Glover (late of Atlanta and "This is America" in his Childish Gambino persona) and is already being tipped as among the next most-likely characters to be granted a big starring role.
Lando: A Star Wars Story certainly makes sense, given that the whole of Hollywood has been hot to sign the quixotic Glover (a "geek culture" star since Community) to a big franchise deal for years and the post-Black Panther/Wonder Woman "gold rush" by studios to find the next blockbuster property targeting previously under-represented demographics (similar shockwaves are expected from the impending release of the glitzy rom-com Crazy Rich Asians later this year). Plus, apart from business concerns, Glover's conception of the character as a slick, swaggering, more-than-a-little-vain charmer makes for a compelling departure for a franchise that otherwise has concerned itself with a gritty working-class/military vibe.
Boba Fett & Jabba the Hutt Spinoffs
The other two crime characters most linked to Han aren't present in Solo: A Star Wars Story, but Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt do have an off-screen presence. But, as two character long-discussed for the standalone treatment (Boba is finally getting his own movie from James Mangold), Solo definitely lays the groundwork.
Jabba's presence is easy to discern. He's the "big-shot gangster putting together a crew" Beckett tells Han about, and when the Millennium Falcon jumps to hyperspace at the very end of Solo, that meeting is inevitable: next time we see Han and Chewie, they will have tussled with Jabba the Hutt. It was reported last year that a Jabba movie was being considered by Lucasfilm, although no word has been heard since and the reference in Solo is admittedly slight.
More direct is Boba Fett, which now has James Mangold attached as director. This film has been in development since the early days of the Disney-owned Lucasfilm, and does get some clues dropped in Solo: we hear of characters linked to Boba in intimate ways (fellow bounty hunter Bossk and adoptive mother Aurra Sing was killed by Beckett) that perfectly lead-in to an appearance.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019