The first teaser for Solo: A Star Wars Story premiered during the Super Bowl on Sunday, and we’ll be posting the full trailer later this morning (UPDATE: here it is). But even the little bit of footage seen yesterday has revealed a big surprise: parts of Han Solo’s origin story from the Expanded Universe are coming back into the canon.
Even though Lucasfilm long ago rebranded the Expanded Universe as “Legends” and took them out of the official movie canon, the characters and stories from the EU can still make their way into the movies when it doesn’t conflict with the new films. Solo: A Star Wars Story was already incorporating some of the EU (the characters Tag and Bink), and the Super Bowl teaser suggests a popular EU storyline may also form the backbone of the movie.
In A. C. Crispin’s Han Solo Trilogy, Solo was a homeless orphan pickpocket on Corellia who was kidnapped by space pirates, working under Garris Shrike until he escaped as a teenager. He briefly worked as a smuggler before trying to become an Imperial pilot. That plan fell apart when he refuses an order to kill a Wookiee named Chewbacca who was breaking the law in an attempt to free Wookiee children from slavery. Solo and Chewie become smugglers, and Solo wins the Millennium Falcon off Lando Calrissian in a card game.
Some of those story beats seem to play out in the trailer, although Solo appears to have started out as a pod racer instead of a street urchin, and we already know from an in-canon Star Wars novel that Chewbacca met Solo in a different manner: Solo freed Chewbacca from enslavement, rather than saving him from an execution.
Screen Rant points out a way to incorporate both storylines and bring in the Kessel run. “Han [could] find [Chewbacca] on the planet Kessel. This bleak world is the origin of a narcotic known as spice and Star Wars Rebels has established that the Empire uses Wookiee slaves on Kessel.” There’s also a possibility Emilia Clarke’s character of Qi’Ra may end up being similar to a Han Solo Trilogy character:
Lucasfilm are keeping details under wraps, but it’s possible Qi’Ra will serve the same purpose as A. C. Crispin’s Bria Tharen. Crispin realized that it wasn’t enough for Han to be disgusted with the Empire; he also had to have reason to distrust the Rebel Alliance. Tharen was introduced as a love interest who committed herself to the Rebel cause, and actually manipulated Han in order to aid the Rebellion. Left bitter and frustrated by the fate of the galaxy, Han resolved to sit the politics out. He refused to commit to either side, setting up his arc in A New Hope.
Or maybe her character smuggles space dragons? That would be cool.