"You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon?" At long last, Star Wars fans were given their first look at how Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) came into possession of the "fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy" when the trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story debuted during the 2018 Super Bowl.
The highly anticipated prequel zips into theaters May 25—and, as always, plot details have been shrouded in secret. In fact, it wasn't until last month that Lucasfilm shared an official synopsis: "Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover), in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga's most unlikely heroes." In addition to Ehrenreich, Glover and Suotamo, the summer blockbuster stars Emilia Clarke as Qi'Ra and Woody Harrelson as Beckett. Paul Bettany, Warwick Davis, Thandie Newton and Phoebe Waller-Bridge were cast in undisclosed roles—and Bettany replaced Michael K. Williams during last year's reshoots.
Behind the scenes, Solo: A Star Wars Story went through a number of changes. Phil Lord and Chris Miller were initially hired to direct the movie, working off a script by the father-son team Lawrence Kasdan and Jon Kasdan. In June 2017, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy said that the directing duo would be leaving the project, effective immediately, due to differing "creative visions." In a statement, Lord and Miller said, "Unfortunately, our vision and process weren't aligned with our partners on this project. We normally aren't fans of the phrase 'creative differences' but for once this cliché is true. We are really proud of the amazing and world-class work of our cast and crew." Ron Howard was brought in to replace Lord and Miller. Principal photography was completed in October, just three months after Howard took control. To fans' delight, he documented his experience making Solo: A Star Wars Story on social media.
The release date for Solo: A Star Wars Story was specially chosen to mark the 41st anniversary of Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope, in which Harrison Ford originated the role of Han Solo.