This Star Wars article contains spoilers.
Like Rogue One before it, Solo: A Star Wars Story is another prequel to the Original Trilogy. It tells the story of Han Solo’s evolution, from Corellian street rat to legendary smuggler, and bridges the gap further between the Prequel and Original Trilogies. More importantly, it fleshes out more of the story of what happened after Emperor Palpatine rose to power and the Empire ruled unopposed.
Of course, we learn through the course of the movie that the spark of rebellion is already spreading across the galaxy, as Han and his merry band of thieves and con men adventure to Kessel for the motherlode of coaxium. The first seeds of rebellion are brought to you by Enfys Nest and the Cloud-Riders, a rebel cell that wants the coaxium to build bombs and fight back their galactic oppressors.
Fans of the Rebels animated series know that the Cloud-Riders are only one such group fighting the Empire. The Spectres, led by Hera Syndulla and Kanan Jarrus, fought to free the planet Lothal in the days before the Rebel Alliance was officially formed. The fact that there isn’t a formal Rebel Alliance in Solo places it before Rogue One and even most of Rebels.
So when exactly does Solo takes place?
According to the canon timeline, Solo is set 10-13 years before the events of A New Hope. That places it firmly between the end of the Clone Wars and start of Rebels, which opens about five years before Luke, Han, and Leia’s grand adventure. Solo explores only three years of the young smuggler’s life, which leaves a pretty large gap in which to tell other stories about young Han Solo.
Whether those sequels will come to pass is still up in the air, especially now that Solo has failed to meet box office expectations. Of course, this also leaves a lot of space for a Lando movie, a potential Star Wars Story Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy is interested in making down the line.
Disney has been keen on exploring the “interquel” era of Star Wars, but the $103 million Solo made over its four-day opening weekend could put the breaks on other movies set during this point in the timeline. As it stands, there are two other standalone films on the docket, James Mangold’s Boba Fett movie and the rumored Obi-Wan project. We don’t know when these will take place, but there’s a reasonable chance Obi-Wan will take place around the same time as Solo, ten years out from A New Hope, featuring an older Ewan McGregor but not quite the age of Alec Guinness’ version of the character.
As always, we’ll keep you updated!