Catching up on the recent tidbits, news, and rumors about Solo: A Star Wars Story

It’s been a while since I’ve posted something about Solo: A Star Wars Story, but we’re starting into the home stretch as we get closer and closer to the worldwide debut of the movie on May 25 in just under fifty days!

Many assume that we will get the final trailer for the movie very soon in advance of Infinity War (which is a very good guess), and it’s likely that the promotion for the film will kick into high gear now that we’re getting close and now that The Last Jedi has been promoted for home release.  So we’re going to take some time to catch up on what’s been happening regarding Solo recently, including: reported details on Enfys Nest, a Denny’s ad that gives us a look at a new location and new characters, details on the world premiere of the movie, new tidbits on the credit of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, some Ron Howard tweets and Instagram photos, and more.

So let’s catch up on the talk Solo has been generating recently.

Some reported details on Enfys Nest

One of the most mysterious figures in the movie is Enfys Nest, a villain about whom we don’t know much more.  As a reminder, this is Nest:

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.52.25 PM

In the last day or two we’ve gotten more reported details on the mysterious figure, starting with the fact that Enfys Nest is a female.  Star Wars News Net reported it and it seemingly has been confirmed by a piece of French merchandise, which according to SWNN translates to say:

“Enfys Nest, an extremely dangerous marauder, has quickly forged an infamous reputation for herself and her gang of pirates – the Cloud Riders.”

SWNN’s report cites an unnamed source saying,

“Enfys Nest is a female. It is not a big role, but it is important. She (the actress) worked closely with Woody Harrelson. She is signed for two more movies, presumably Solo sequels.”

So in other words, here’s what we’ve learned (assuming this report is true):

  1. Enfys Nest is a female – This has led to some speculating that Enfys is secretly Qi’ra (since there are rumors/speculation that Qi’ra is actually the film’s main villain), but it certainly doesn’t have to be Qi’ra and most probably isn’t.
  2. Enfys Nest won’t be the main villain – SWNN compares the role of Nest in this film – which the source said isn’t a big one – to the role of Jabba the Hut in Return of the Jedi, and that would seem to be an apt comparison.  Jabba wasn’t the main villain of the entire movie, but for a particular part of the film he was.  That’s probably similar to what Nest’s role will be… which, again, paves the way for there being another villain we don’t know about.  Qi’ra?  Beckett?  We know that this film will show us at least in part why Han Solo is more cynical about things when we meet him in A New Hope, and a close friend betraying him would certainly seem to do that.  So it’s a real possibility that the film’s real villain is hiding in plain sight (while others would hold out hope for Boba Fett), but we just don’t know yet.
  3. Enfys Nest and Beckett?  – The source said that the actress for Nest worked closely with Woody Harrelson, who plays Tobias Beckett in the film.  The trailer showed us a glimpse of what looked like Beckett facing off with Nest on the train, so it’s important to note that this doesn’t necessarily mean they’re allies.  But it does make it seem that whatever role Enfys Nest plays in the film – and it’s reportedly important though not huge – will be tied in with Beckett’s character.
  4. Enfys Nest has options – It is interesting that the actress for Enfys Nest (whom we still don’t know) has signed on for three films total, according to this report.  It’s not uncommon for actors/actresses in franchises like this one to sign on for multiple films just in case (even Felicity Jones had a sequel option in her contract and, well, we know what happens to Jyn Erso in Rogue One), so this isn’t all that surprising.  However, it does further some rumored belief that Lucasfilm could potentially do another Han Solo movie should this one turn out well, and it at least gives the impression that Enfys Nest is a character that would be worth bringing back if such a film were to occur.  But at the moment we shouldn’t read too much into this aspect, instead just filing it away in case a sequel is green-lighted.

Denny’s ad shows off a key location

Denny’s this week launched their marketing campaign for Solo, and they did so with an impressively-done advertisement that features a number of intriguing creatures, a key location, and a beloved Wookiee before then showing two kids pretending to be Han and Lando playing sabacc (but actually trading cards, which is Denny’s promotion).  Here’s the ad:

We’ll get to the creatures in just a moment, but here’s a significant tidbit: according to Making Star Wars, the location of the advertisement is the same location where in the film Han beats Lando in sabacc to win the Millennium Falcon.

That’s a cool piece of information and it’s something I’m really excited to see play out in the movie, and from the looks of the lodge it’ll be a pretty interesting atmosphere for the famous moment to go down.

New creatures showed off – including Therm Scissorpunch!

The Denny’s ad showed off a number of new creatures in the lodge.  Given the nature of the Denny’s ad we can’t be totally sure whether all of these creatures and characters will appear in the movie, but given the fact that Denny’s worked closely with Lucasfilm, Skywalker Sound, Neal Scanlan, and Neil Lamont on the advertisement, it’s a pretty safe guess.  Here’s a look at the new creatures seen in the ad:

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We do have a name for two of those creatures, as they’re featured on the Denny’s trading cards (which you can see here): Therm Scissorpunch (below left) and Argus “Six Eyes” Panox (below right).

I have to say: Therm Scissorpunch is a pretty great name.  I love it.

Solo “right on schedule”

Due to the drama during the course of filming for the movie, some fans are predisposed to believe that the movie will be a disaster.  The filming process admittedly wasn’t smooth sailing, but what ultimately matters is the finished product – and we obviously haven’t seen that yet.  Some are worried that the film is terrible or behind schedule, but at least when it comes to the latter we know that’s not true.  Ron Howard tweeted last week that the edit is locked and the score is done, putting the movie right on schedule:

Tweeted just under two months before the film’s worldwide release, having the movie’s edit locked and score finished seems perfectly fine to me and seems right in line with the standard expectation in filmmaking.  The verdict on the film is yet to be rendered, but at the very least fans shouldn’t presume that the shooting drama put things behind schedule for a May 25 release.  Solo has stayed on target.

Along those lines, Howard also shared a photo on Instagram of some of the editing process, including a new shot of Han Solo:

Solo to premiere at Cannes!

Solo: A Star Wars Story will premiere at the Cannes Film Festival next month on May 15.  It’s a surprise decision because Lucasfilm has recently premiered the Star Wars films in LA, but Cannes is where Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith premiered, and Entertainment Weekly’s Anthony Breznican has a good summary of why this international film festival in France played a key role in the beginning of George Lucas’s Star Wars universe.  This news means that the premiere of the film will come ten days before the May 25 release date, so we won’t be waiting too much longer before we hear reviews of the film.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller taking executive producer credit

The original directors of Solo, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, were fired last summer over differences with Lucasfilm – which reportedly dealt largely with disagreements with Kathleen Kennedy and Larry Kasdan, a deviation from the script, and other related concerns.  Recently, they revealed that they have opted to take an executive producer credit on the film.  Speaking at the GLAS Animation Festival in California, Miller said, “We were really proud of the many contributions we made to that film.  In light of the creative differences, we elected to take an executive producer credit.”  That seems like the right thing to do for all parties, because Lord and Miller deserved (and needed) credit for their numerous contributions to the film, particularly in development, but Ron Howard has overseen such an extensive product since taking over as director that he deserves that credit.  So I think this is a great solution for how to divide the credit.

Script the same?

Vulture talked with an unnamed Solo actor and got some details on the filming of the movie, as this actor said that Lord and Miller were unprepared for a movie of this scale and were shooting thirty takes per scene (for the record, a spokemen for the directors denied this).  That’s interesting, but what’s also noteworthy is that this actor says that the script didn’t change.  “It’s exactly the same script,” the actor said.  “They’re filming exactly the same things.  There’s nothing new.  [Lord and Miller] used whole sets.  But Ron is just using parts from those sets.  I guess they’re not shooting wide angle.  Maybe to save money.”  If this is true (and we can’t be certain, since the actor’s comments on Lord and Miller’s shooting was denied and since the actor’s later comments on The Last Jedi underperforming was suspect analysis), but if it’s true then it matches much of what we heard at the time: the disagreements were mainly over Lord and Miller themselves, not the script.  In fact, some of the major reported disagreements between Lucasfilm and Kennedy and Lord and Miller was that the directors were straying too far from the script, which Lucasfilm liked and which was written by Star Wars legend Larry Kasdan with his son Jon.  So it makes sense that Lucasfilm would stick with the script rather than the directors, so it shouldn’t be surprising if the script didn’t really change all that much (unlike with Rogue One‘s reshoots).  It would merely just confirm much of what was reported earlier.

Ron Howard working on the opening

Ron Howard recently shared on his Instagram account a picture of him working on the opneing to the film, with the screen showing the iconic “A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…” line.

I would imagine that this film will begin in a similar way to Rogue One – that is, with the “A long time ago” opening but then without the Star Wars fanfare or an opening crawl, as a way to distinguish it from one of the Skywalker films.

Press tour has begun

Two weeks ago, Ron Howard posted a picture on Instagram of some of the key figures from the film on an early press tour.  From left to right: Donald Glover (Lando Calrissian), Alden Ehrenreich (Han Solo), Ron Howard (director), Jon Kasdan (co-writer), Larry Kasdan (co-writer), and Joonas Suotamo (Chewbacca).

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