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Solo: A Star Wars Story: Release date, cast, plot details

We'll soon get to see way more of Han Solo's life in the Star Wars galaxy before Leia called him a "scruffy-looking nerf herder."

Lucasfilm

Han, oh Han. The next standalone Star Wars movie, which focuses on the origin of the friendship between Han Solo, Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian, is nearly here.

Now playing: Watch this: New Solo trailer gives us a closer look at Lando
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For Star Wars movie fans, Solo: A Star Wars Story marks the shortest wait ever between live-action Star Wars films. Now the film is opening this week, and we've even reviewed it. We'll keep updating this story as the movie's public debut approaches, and even afterward, as we'll no doubt have a few things to talk about post-release.

When does it come out? How long is Solo?

Solo is scheduled to open on May 24 in Australia and May 25 in the US and UK. 

The movie premiered in Hollywood, and early reactions were positive, with a lot of Lando love. The film saw its international debut during the Cannes Film Festival, where it was revealed Solo will run for 2 hours, 15 minutes, the same identical length as Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Here are a few of early social media reactions to the film.

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Donald Glover looks smooth as can be playing the younger Lando Calrissian.

Lucasfilm

What is Solo about?

Well, it ain't a movie about a red Solo cup. The movie's official synopsis says Solo: A Star Wars Story will focus on how a younger Han Solo (played by Alden Ehrenreich), Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) meet each other "through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld."

A large portion of the film does involve a series of heists. During these, you will learn more about the background of each the legacy characters and a little about their allies.

Every clip you can watch right now

Disney already released so many clips. To start with, here's Donald Glover showing you around a pristine Millennium Falcon.

But that's not all. Here's a list of the other clips available:

Cast: Here's who will star in Solo

In addition to Han, Lando and Chewie, the film stars:  

Wait, Han, Chewie and Lando are all going to be strangers? And why haven't I heard of Qi'ra before?

Yep, the latest trailers and TV clips show Han Solo and Chewbacca co-piloting together for the first time, and learning the Wookiee is 190 years old at the time of this film.

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Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke joins Han Solo inside the Millennium Falcon as Qi'ra.

Lucasfilm

As for Qi'ra, Entertainment Weekly reports she's a childhood friend of Solo's who has grown up to be a "woman of many identities, the truest ones hidden away." She does have a big role to play in the film, and you will learn more about her relationship with Solo pretty quickly.

While we don't yet know why she wouldn't be referenced in later Star Wars stories (did anyone expect the new characters of Rogue One to make it out alive?), it's entirely possible she stays in the criminal underworld of the Star Wars galaxy when Han eventually joins the Rebel Alliance.

And if this film ultimately leaves you wanting more details about Han Solo's early adventures with these characters, a series of books focusing on the adventures with both Lando and Qi'ra are also heading to shelves this month.

Is Harrison Ford going to be in it?

No, but maybe they will make a sequel involving him one day? The man's definitely going to be reprising his Indiana Jones role for a fifth film due in 2020, so who knows? 

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Alden Ehrenreich is Han Solo.

Jonathan Olley

Who's the director?

Fun story on that one: Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie) were announced as the movie's directors in July 2015, but after six months of filming they left the project in June 2017 over "creative differences" with Lucasfilm. Ron Howard took over the director role shortly afterward, and he's been teasing the film's set on his social media accounts ever since.

Are we going to see Han's infamous Kessel Run?

That'd be a spoiler. The galactic stunt Han Solo becomes infamous for appears to be heavily referenced, but I won't confirm here whether it's a plot point. I will say both Lego and Hasbro have Kessel Run Millennium Falcon toys that look just like the ship we know, but with a blue design.

But when will Rey and Finn come back? I need more Star Wars!

It's going to be a while for Rey and Finn. Star Wars: Episode IX is due out Dec. 20, 2019, with J.J. Abrams returning as director after starting the newer trilogy with 2015's The Force Awakens. Abrams replaced original director Colin Trevorrow, who stepped away in September 2017.

After that, we know The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson will be kicking off his own Star Wars trilogy, which will have no connection to Luke Skywalker or his family. But we have no idea when that will be. AND another series of Star Wars films are also in the works by Game of Thrones creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss.

Oh, and if the movies aren't enough, there are two Star Wars television series currently in the works. The first will be Star Wars Resistance, an animated series debuting this fall that will take place just before 2015's The Force Awakens. The show comes from creator Dave Filoni, who just wrapped the Star Wars Rebels series, and will feature Poe Dameron and Captain Phasma as voiced by Oscar Issac and Gwendoline Christie, respectively.

A live-action Star Wars TV show helmed by Jon Favreau is also in the works for Disney's upcoming streaming service, but further details on that remain sparse.

This piece was first published Feb. 6, 2018, and is updated frequently ahead of the film's opening.   

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