Solo: A Star Wars Story is a movie that celebrates the franchise’s roots and gives fans many of the moments only hinted at in the Original Trilogy. It features a younger Han meeting Chewie for the first time, the future Rebel hero’s early days at the Imperial Academy, and even how he won the Millennium Falcon from Lando in a game of sabacc.
The movie even take us to a planet that is at the very core of Star Wars‘ Expanded Universe. Yes, Han Solo’s origin story finally introduces the planet Mimban to the film saga. As revealed by EW in an exclusive image, Han visits Mimban during his early adventures across the galaxy.
Here’s the image:
Mimban should ring a bell for fans of the original EU novel from 1978, Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Alan Dean Foster, who also ghost wrote the novelization of A New Hope and recently penned the novelization for The Force Awakens. Splinter of the Mind’s Eye was famously commissioned by George Lucas as a potential low-budget sequel to Star Wars had the movie been a failure.
The story takes place two years after the events of the first film. It’s set on one planet and features a much more intimate cast of characters. Luke and Leia, along with Threepio and Artoo, are forced to land on Mimban, a muddy and rainy swamp planet, while on a mission to recruit the people of Circarpous IV to the Rebel cause. On Mimban, they suddenly find themselves in a race against the Empire to locate the mysterious and powerful Kaiburr crystal (a concept first introduced in one of Lucas’ earliest drafts of the Star Wars script and finally made canon in The Clone Wars animated series). The heroes also come face to face with the dreaded Darth Vader…
You can pretty much guess how it goes from there if you’ve not read the book. It’s a cat and mouse game that ends with a big duel. The farm boy and the princess prevail, with many more adventures to come.
Interestingly enough, the novel doesn’t feature Han Solo since Harrison Ford hadn’t yet signed on for a sequel at the time of its writing. Additionally, since these were the early days of Star Wars, Foster had the freedom to craft the story how he liked as long as it allowed Lucas to recycle many of the props used in A New Hope. Basicaly, the idea was to create a sequel Lucas could shoot for cheap in order to keep his Star Wars dream alive.
We all know how that turned out, of course. The success of the first film allowed for an even better sequel in The Empire Strikes Back while Splinter of the Mind’s Eye became a sort of interquel to the first two installments before being erased from canon by Disney.
Mimban was actually retroactively reintroduced to canon with the 2008 episode of The Clone Wars titled “Rookies.” It was only briefly mentioned on the show. Solo will be the planet’s first appearance on screen.
The planet’s history stretches even further back than Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, too. Mimban was first conceived by Lucas as “the Bog Planet” in his earliest Star Wars scripts. While the Bog Planet was cut out of the 1977 film, Lucas later returned to the idea in The Empire Strikes Back with Dagobah. For a planet most casual fans of Star Wars have probably never heard of, Mimban carries quite a bit of behind the scenes history with it.
For more on Solo: A Star Wars Story, check out our spoiler-free review!