UPDATE: Solo co-writer Jon Kasdan has revealed Anthony Daniels does cameo in the film, but not as C-3PO. The original article follows.
It appears Solo: A Star Wars Story is going to include a couple more familiar faces, as Mark Hamill suggests R2-D2 and C-3PO will cameo in the upcoming spinoff. The dynamic droid duo have been an integral part of the franchise from the very beginning, serving as audiences' gateway into the galaxy far, far away during A New Hope's first act. Since then, they're the only characters to appear in every live-action Star Wars movie to date. Their roles have fluctuated between main players (the original trilogy) and brief cameo (Rogue One), but they've always been there.
If there was a Star Wars movie to break this tradition, Solo would be the most likely candidate. Set years before the original trilogy, Ron Howard's prequel primarily takes place in the galactic underworld, as a young Han looks to establish himself as one of the best smugglers. Since Han didn't cross paths with Artoo and Threepio until that fateful day at Mos Eisley, it would be reasonable to assume the droids wouldn't be featured in Solo. However, it sounds like their inclusion is one (of many) franchise connections viewers have to look forward to.
Related: Solo Cast & Character Guide
Hamill was a guest on the Washington Post's Cape Up with Jonathan Capehart podcast (hat tip Star Wars News Net), where he was asked about C-3PO's long-standing service to the Skywalker family (which dates back to Anakin building him on Tatooine). In his response, Hamill seems to have let the cat out of the bag:
[Anthony] Daniels was so happy, ’cause he’s in every single Star Wars movie. Every single one. All the Prequels, he’s in Rogue One, he’s in Solo… Whoops! I hope that’s not, erm… But anyway, he’s in Every. Single. Star Wars movie. That’s not such a reveal – all Star Wars fans expect him to be in every movie.
As we've detailed before, there are ways for Artoo and Threepio to show up without contradicting Star Wars canon. During the events of Solo, the droids served Bail Organa and went on missions for the Alderaan senator (as seen in Star Wars Rebels). Since the Empire has a part to play in the spinoff (Han signs up for their flight academy), it's possible the droids show up in the background of a scene in an Imperial spaceport. Or, since C-3PO knows about the spice mines of Kessel, the robots could be there instead. If executed properly, seeing Artoo and Threepio would make for a fun Easter egg. Howard probably shouldn't call attention to the droids (their Rogue One appearance was criticized in some circles), but making it more of a "Where's Waldo?" scenario could creatively keep the droids' perfect attendance record intact.
Some may be disappointed Hamill spoiled what was meant to be a cool surprise, but this development isn't the greatest shock. As he says, audiences have come to expect the droids when they settle down to watch a new Star Wars film, so it arguably would have been a bigger deal if the two weren't in it. Lucasfilm is smart about maintaining continuity within the franchise, so the droids' appearance isn't going to retroactively create any blatant plot holes for the previous movies. Now fans know to keep their eyes peeled for the pair when Solo opens later this month.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019