Star Wars fans are busy counting down the days until J.J. Abrams' Episode VII - The Force Awakens comes flying into theaters, but Lucasfilm is occupied with planning the longterm future of their massive franchise. After Disney dropped $4 billion to acquire the studio three years ago, they've made it clear that they're not just going to produce a sequel trilogy set in the core saga. In between the new "episodes" will be so-called "Anthology films" that are standalone projects telling new stories in the galaxy far, far away (like Star Wars Rogue One in 2016).
The second of these films (believed to be coming out in 2018) hit a snag recently when original director Josh Trank departed the director's chair. As Lucasfilm searches for a replacement, rumors about the movie's storyline have come out. The persisting belief is that this will operate as a Boba Fett origin story, but new speculation indicates he'll be joined by some Original Trilogy favorites.
Schmoes Know is reporting that none other than Han Solo will be making an appearance in the second Anthology movie. Allegedly, the film takes place between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope and will flesh out the conflict between the bounty hunter and smuggler - a rivarly we only saw hints of in the earlier films. Solo is said to be part of the "focus" of this film, so in a way he would serve as the "antagonist" of sorts (considering this is true at all).
Fans who have long been following the Star Wars rumor mill are well aware this isn't the first time it was theorized Han and Boba would have an on-screen reunion in one of the spinoffs, but this new report has fresh details that we haven't heard before. In addition to Han, Schmoes is also saying that classic characters such as Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, and Bossk (a bounty hunter shown briefly in Empire Strikes Back and further featured in Clone Wars) will also have a role to play in the movie. Their sources wouldn't elaborate past that, just indicating that they would "make appearances throughout."
Seeing as that Han and Boba are two of the franchise's most popular characters, one can understand the business sense behind including the Corellian smuggler in the proceedings, but is it the best decisions creatively? Part of the appeal of the Anthology films is that they are not connected to the main saga, meaning that they open a bevy of opportunities for filmmakers eager to play in this sandbox. A film all about Boba Fett is an exciting proposition in it of itself. Throwing Han into the mix seems like a wasted opportunity to tell a new story set in the universe, as Han was hardly the only prey Fett hunted.
Of course, Solo's inclusion in the film doesn't instantly spell doom and gloom. Even though Star Wars has a sensitive history with prequel movies (which this most certainly would be), there's still a chance the new director can crack the so-called "prequel code" and give us a narrative that keeps us guessing, even when we know the end point (see: Better Call Saul). And seeing more time dedicated to the dynamic between Han and Boba might even make Empire a better watch than it already is with whatever revelations are in the Anthology film. Lucasfilm could play with our expectations and make it a fun ride - especially if we get a 'shoot first' Han, deep in his smuggler's life.
Schmoes Know also supplied another tidbit on the second Anthology project, concerning who might step in as helmsman. Their sources say Jon Favreau (Iron Man) and Matthew Vaughn (Kingsman: The Secret Service) are apparently circling the project, but so far no replacement has been hired. If those two are in the running, they would definitely be good choices, since they have had success handling major genre films in the past.
It goes without saying readers should take all this information with a healthy grain of salt, but this second standalone feature is shaping up to be the "bounty hunter film" we've been awaiting ever since Boba Fett made his debut. If it comes into fruition, fingers crossed it can deliver on the potential it has.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens hits theaters December 18, 2015; Star Wars: Rogue One on December 16, 2016; and Star Wars: Episode VIII (subtitle TBD) on May 26th, 2017.
Source: Schmoes Know