Given how Disney hurled the Star Wars Expanded Universe into the trash compacter, there have been questions as to how Solo: A Star Wars Story would handle Han Solo’s origin. A new clip seems to confirm that part of his EU background has made it into Disney’s new canon. Plus, Thandie Newton’s Val finally gets to speak. And she sounds pretty tough.
The clip, shared on Jimmy Kimmel Live, focuses on Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and Val as they plot to steal some shit during an Imperial assault on what looks to be Mimban (also from the Expanded Universe). They’re disguised as ground troopers, but they’re really bad at it—as pointed out by Han (Alden Ehrenreich), an Imperial soldier who’s eager to join their mission.
This is interesting for three reasons. First, we finally get to hear Val speak, and she’s snarky and kind of a badass. Second, we see how Tobias Beckett and Han first meet on Mimban, an encounter that will have a major impact on the film and Han’s life. And finally... it seems to confirm something we’ve long suspected: Han’s origin story from the Expanded Universe has been made canon. At least in part.
In the original EU, Han was an ex-Imperial soldier who rose through the ranks with his sweet pilot skills, only to leave the Empire because he was too damn noble. Here, it’s been changed up a bit. Based on this and previously released clips, Han wasn’t always a smuggler. He became a soldier for the Empire because he dreamed of becoming a pilot... only to get stuck as some nobody ground trooper on Mimban with zero prospects. Faced with that kind of future, who wouldn’t want to join up with Tobias and Val and become a smuggler?
We’ve seen a lot of changes to Star Wars since the EU was decommissioned, but it’s nice when pieces of that saga many of us loved for decades are brought into the new universe. And, in this case, the changes they made actually make a lot of sense. Just avoid the midichlorians. We don’t talk about those anymore.
Additional reporting by James Whitbrook.