The Han Solo Movie Just Added An Iconic Star Wars Character

When Disney purchased Lucasfilm, they made it clear their intention was to expand the Star Wars universe like never before. We got the first piece of this, Star Wars: The Force Awakens, late last year, but in addition to the Episode movies that continue the Skywalker saga, we’re getting standalone spinoff movies that illuminate heretofore shadowy corners of the Star Wars universe. Rogue One: A Star Wars story gets that ball rolling later this year, but we’re also getting a Han Solo movie. While we know in this case we’ll encounter a young version of the iconic space rogue, we just learned we’ll also meet a younger version of another character, his BFF and partner in crime, Chewbacca.

Talking at the Deutsche Bank 2016 Media, Internet & Telecom Conference, which sounds like a hoot, Disney CEO Bob Iger took a moment to dole out some Star Wars news. According to The Wrap, he confirmed that Han Solo’s hairy pal, the wookiee Chewbacca, will in fact show up in the 2018 Han Solo standalone movie that The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street masterminds Phil Lord and Chris Miller will direct. Iger talked a bit about Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and continued:

We have others in the works, including one, which is an origin story about Han Solo and Chewy. And that’ll come after ‘Star Wars 8’ in 2018. And then there’ll be possibly be more thereafter.

While this is good news, and a welcome reveal for fans, the fact that Chewbacca will show up in the Han Solo movie is not the most shocking tidbit we’ve ever heard. When we first meet the two in the shady Mos Eisley cantina on Tatooine in A New Hope, it’s obvious that they go way, way back. From the sound of this, we’ll likely find out just how far. Perhaps we’ll get to see how they first meet—I can’t help but picture a kind of John Hughes-esque meet cute, but that’s probably just me.

For his part, Chewbacca is much, much older than Han Solo. By the time A New Hope rolls around in the Star Wars continuity, he’s already north of 200 years old. So even when we see a version who is a few decades younger, he’ll still be close to the Chewie we all know and love.

Lucasfilm is currently on the hunt for an actor to play the young Han Solo. A number of names have been mentioned as possibilities, including Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Jack Reynor, Emory Cohen, Dave Franco, and more, though no one has really emerged as a clear frontrunner. There have also been rumors that Han Solo could show up in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, though at this point, the casting would have to be done, or at least close, to get him in under the wire.

It’ll be weird to see an actor aside from Harrison Ford play Han Solo, especially now that we know the character’s ultimate fate. Still, Han and Chewie have had some crazy, heady times, and it sounds like we’re going to finally get to see some of them on screen. The untitled Han Solo film hits theaters May 25, 2018. Are you stoked for more Chewbacca? Let us know in the comments below, or try your hand at some trivia below...

Brent McKnight