Disney and Lucasfilm are bringing Star Wars to Comic-Con International for the first time this week, and although reports indicate director J.J. Abrams, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and Force Awakens co-writer Lawrence Kasdan are not going to have a trailer or new footage to share, we do expect to have some important news to share from the presentation.
But even if they don't, we're discovering a lot about the future of the Star Wars saga anyway the day before the San Diego Convention Center opens its doors for preview night. We just learned that the first franchise spinoff, Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One, will feature Darth Vader, and that there's an Anthology movie in the works about young Han Solo.
THR had the scoop that Christopher Miller and Phil Lord will be directing another Star Wars Anthology film for Lucasfilm moments before the news became official on the Star Wars website. This one is focused on a young Han Solo and will be written by Star Wars screenwriting veteran Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan.
The story focuses on how young Han Solo became the smuggler, thief, and scoundrel whom Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi first encountered in the cantina at Mos Eisley.
The Kasdans on Miller and Lord:
"We’re so excited to be working with Chris and Phil, who will bring a fresh new dimension to the Star Wars Universe. They’re two of the smartest, funniest and most original filmmakers around, and the ideal choice to tell the story of Han Solo, one of the coolest characters in the galaxy."
As far back as 2013, the Star Wars spinoffs were described as origin stories for key events and characters and that holds true for the two Anthology movies we now know about. THR claimed that the Han Solo spinoff would be separate from the second one Josh Trank (Fantastic Four) was initially set to direct but Disney has set a May 25, 2018 release date for this new Star Wars Anthology which means it is the same, or that the Trank Anthology film may have been shuffled back and traded for this one.
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We always knew Han Solo would be part of of the spinoff plans, and he was rumored to be the focus of the first one for a long time. Its May 2018 release date is a full year after Episode VIII meaning there's a slim chance a film can still be slotted for December 2018 if Lucasfilm is aiming to ramp up production.
Lord and Miller are having a stellar year, having also been announced as writers for The Flash movie for DC Entertainment and Warner Bros, alongside helping Sony Pictures with their in-development animated Spider-Man movie. They also of course, will be involved with the The LEGO Movie sequel and whatever happens next with the 21 Jump Street franchise - which may or may not crossover with Men in Black. Here's what the pair had to say about Han Solo:
“This is the first film we’ve worked on that seems like a good idea to begin with. We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us. This is a dream come true for us. And not the kind of dream where you’re late for work and all your clothes are made of pudding, but the kind of dream where you get to make a film with some of the greatest characters ever, in a film franchise you’ve loved since before you can remember having dreams at all.”
The challenge with this one will be in how the directors and studio plan to recast Han Solo, a monumental task if there was any. Lucasfilm's willingness to go backwards in the timeline to explore more stories with their most iconic characters however opens the doors to limitless possibilities in storytelling on the live-action side given they can recast any character and tell more stories around the timeline of the original trilogy.
Share your thoughts on the director selection, movie premise and what you want to see from other Star Wars Anthology films in the comments!
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens opens in theaters on December 18, 2015, followed by Star Wars Anthology: Rogue One on December 16, 2016, and Star Wars: Episode VIII on May 26th, 2017, Star Wars Anthology: Han Solo on May 25, 2018.