The Millennium Falcon takes center stage in Empire's Solo: A Star Wars Story subscribers cover. In just a handful of weeks, Lucasfilm will release the fourth film of their Disney era, a spinoff/prequel that details the smuggling adventures of a young Han Solo. It's no secret the film faced quite an uphill battle to make it to the big screen, going through an unprecedented director switch that saw Ron Howard take over for the fired Phil Lord and Chris Miller. However, things have been going quite well recently, with Howard locking his edit and the full trailer earning a positive reception.
At the top of Lucasfilm's to-do list right now is to drum up hype and anticipation for Solo over the next month. It appears part of their marketing strategy in this homestretch is to give the movie a big push in the latest issue of Empire magazine, as a famous ship is the main attraction on the new cover.
Related: Solo's Official Runtime Revealed
Empire revealed it today. Designed by Dan Mumford, the cover is an illustrated rendering of what should be one of Solo's key set pieces - the Falcon's daring escape from TIE fighters and a Star Destroyer. Many fans have theorized this is the famed Kessel Run, but that hasn't been confirmed at this point in time. You can check it out for yourself in the space below:
Every Star Wars film that's featured the Falcon in a meaningful capacity (it made a blink-and-you'll-miss-it cameo in Revenge of the Sith) has made sure to give the iconic vehicle one standout action sequence. Previous instances include the asteroid field chase, Rey and Finn's escape from Jakku, and the Battle of Crait. Given the space cloud chase's prevalence in marketing (it's been featured in both trailers), this should be Solo's contribution to that ever-growing list. It'll be fun to watch the sequence in full and see how Han gets out of this particular mess. The trailer showed already one memorable character moment from this scene, where Chewbacca appoints himself as Han's co-pilot. With Han's tendency to swindle people and skirt his way around the truth, it wouldn't be surprising if Chewie was the more talented of the two. He did just fine navigating the salt mines of Crait by himself - after Force Awakens stressed the importance of having a co-pilot in the Falcon.
Since Solo is going to be a focus of the new Empire, it means fans will probably get new images and details to sift through as they count down the days until the film's premiere. Of course, Lucasfilm isn't going to reveal anything too revelatory at this point in promotion, but it would be nice to know more about the central heist and character dynamics. In particular, the villains have been pushed to the back-burner and are extremely secretive, even by Lucasfilm's standards. Maybe Enfys Nest and Dryden Vos will be areas of interest in the magazine's coverage.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019