With the report that Disney/Lucasfilm has narrowed down their extensive search for a young Han Solo to a handful of hopefuls, some were left wondering, “Why the hurry?” The Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Anthology Film from directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller isn’t due out until May 25, 2018, so there must be a reason behind the rush to casting.
One theory, as of yet unconfirmed but certainly a common-sense one, is that this new iteration of Han Solo will be making a cameo appearance in Gareth Edwards’ "Rogue One: A Star Wars Story."
The first of Disney/Lucasfilm’s anthology movies is currently filming for a December 16th release, so it would make sense to step up the Han Solo casting timetable if the creative teams want to get the younger version of Harrison Ford’s iconic character in front of the cameras. Perhaps similar to how Disney/Marvel has handled their sprawling universe of interconnected films through the use of cameos and end/post-credits scenes, Han Solo may serve as the bridge between the old and new films.
This makes sense for a few reasons.
The big one is that Disney/Lucasfilm has to sell audiences on the new Han Solo sooner than later, so getting him out front and center in their next film is a great way to accomplish that feat without having to have an entire Solo-centric film ready right out of the gates.
The other major reason for the new Solo’s early rollout is that, despite the huge box office performance of "Star Wars: The Force Awakens," Disney/Lucasfilm likely isn’t taking any chances on letting audiences sleep on less-recognizable films, namely the anthology movies.
So while Rogue One may be the most-anticipated film of 2016 according to some polls, having the added hook of giving viewers the first look at the new Han Solo in action would be a solid idea. On a more business-like note, locking an actor in now will make sure that his schedule accommodates Disney’s, and not the other way around, meaning they’ll be available for filming and all sorts of promotional appearances between now and May 25, 2018, and beyond…