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With Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story now in theaters, audiences have fresh insight into the legendary smuggler known as Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich). The prequel film has thoroughly fleshed out Han's character and provided a clear look at how he turned into the anti-hero who debuted in A New Hope. The film covers a lot of ground, and it leaves us wondering if we need any more full-blown Han stories for the foreseeable future. In fact, now that Solo: A Star Wars Story has debuted, Han Solo should remain a fixture in this corner of the Star Wars galaxy, but he should never take center stage in a story of his own again.
To be clear, I am not implying that we shouldn't see Han Solo or Alden Ehrenreich in future Star Wars stories. Instead, I am saying that Han needs to shift back to his position as a secondary player in the galaxy and serve as a supporting character for the other stories that Lucasfilm wants to tell. These could be the potential spinoff films about Lando Calrissian or Boba Fett, or they could tell stories about entirely new sets of characters. We saw Han's story, and now he can be the one who carries us through to the other stories.
There's already precedent for this type of character to work in another Disney-owned franchise. Specifically, Samuel L. Jackson's Nick Fury has helped to tie the Marvel Cinematic Universe together ever since his shocking debut at the end of the Iron Man credits back in 2008. Without ever fronting a solo movie of his own, Nick Fury has become one of those characters who weaves in and out of the various films to create a profound sense of cohesion between The Avengers. He's never the focus of the story, and the intentional decision to leave him on the sidelines creates a more profound sense of mystique around him.
Following the debut of Solo: A Star Wars Story, the Star Wars franchise can do the same thing with Han. Now that we have seen his origin story and learned so much about him (such as the origin of his name and how he got his hands on the Millennium Falcon) there's an argument to be made that we've already learned too much about the character. With this approach, Han can step back out of the spotlight and provide his usual roguish charm without taking up too much attention that could otherwise go to newer or more interesting characters.
That's my take on the matter, but what's yours? Give us your thoughts on the future of Han Solo in the Star Wars franchise in the poll, below! Beyond that, make sure to catch Solo: A Star Wars Story in theaters right now, and mark your calendars for the December 20, 2019 release of Star Wars: Episode IX!