Han Solo has always been a special character in the Star Wars universe. An exemplar of the appeal of the films, his gritty hero with a heart was part of the glue that held the Original Trilogy together. Fans of the not-so-scruffy looking nerf herder, worried about how his role in Star Wars: The Force Awakens would affect his role in the galaxy, have little to fear. It appears there is plenty of new Solo to enjoy.
News of the smuggler’s anthology film is certainly welcome, but it also comes with a caveat. Although the standalone film will explore his early years, another actor will portray the rebel leader rather than Harrison Ford. Han Solo fans won't have to worry about casting, though, for Marvel's latest addition to his backstory.
Today, the House of Ideas announced a five-issue story arc titled Star Wars: Han Solo. The first issue is due out this June. The new series was written by Marjorie Liu (Dark Wolverine) and features artwork by Mark Brooks (Cable & Deadpool), with cover art by Lee Bermejo (Suiciders). Apparently, the first issue will address the legendary figure’s continuing role in the rebellion, although they don’t specify exactly where in the original trilogy this takes place (it looks to be between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back). Here’s Marvel’s description:
"Han Solo has finally entered his ship into the Dragon Void Run – an infamous high-stakes race across the stars. You know, the race Han has dreamt of winning. Only there’s a catch – his entry into this legendary race is a top-secret undercover mission for Princess Leia and the Rebellion! Will he keep his mind on the mission? More importantly – can he manage to pull it off while still maintaining his lead in the race?!"
Here is the cover for issue #1 and a sneak peak at the new miniseries:
Fans curious to find out more about Han Solo’s life will be excited for all the upcoming adventures featuring the character. With a rumored cameo in the upcoming Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and his standalone, Lucasfilm is slowly filling us in on the mystery and history of our favorite scoundrel. Solo’s upcoming comic book looks as though it showcases the fascinating and somewhat unexplored period following Star Wars: A New Hope. And this adventure appears to delve into Solo's early transition from smuggler to rebel hero, as well as his evolving relationship with Princess Leia Organa.
Since Disney and Lucasfilm officially declared the Expanded Universe non-canon, it’s been curious to see which aspects of its lore will be made canon. The EU offered a great deal of background information on the venerable General. Books like the Han Solo Adventures and Han Solo Trilogy novels detailed his younger days, including adventures with Lando and how he met Chewbacca. Works like the Legacy comic book series also explored Solo’s later life with Leia and his children. And even though aspects of the EU have been loosely adapted, such as the Jacen/Ben Solo connection, much of the smuggler’s history has now been made a blank slate. As more materials emerge involving his life, fans will either thrill at the inclusion of old material or enjoyably debate the reason certain aspects of the EU made it in or failed to.
Of course, knowing how sneaky Lucasfilm is about releasing concurrent materials, Star Wars: Han Solo could also contain a nugget or two of information which will tie into the upcoming films. Even if it doesn’t tie in directly (which it likely will, at least to a degree), any Han Solo is good Han Solo.
Star Wars: Han Solo#1 arrives in June.
Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens is now in theaters, followed by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story on December 16th, 2016, Star Wars: Episode VIII on December 15th, 2017, and the Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film on May 25th, 2018. Star Wars: Episode IX is expected to reach theaters in 2019, followed by the third Star Wars Anthology film in 2020.