Ron Howard photo drops hint about when the Han Solo spin-off movie is set

This photo might suggest how young Young Han Solo really is

Director Ron Howard, having recently taken over the directorial mantle on the Han Solo film, has posted a photo that’s proved exciting and troubling for Star Wars fans.

Continuing the tradition of posting semi-revealing on-set photos to social media, the latest image from the production shows a black helmet, worn typically by the Empire’s Death Star troopers, sitting on a computer console.

Ron Howard captioned the image: “The Empire Looms Large”. See the tweet and image below.

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Though this is not concrete proof that the Han Solo film will feature the Death Star, it suggests that the prequel movie is set somewhere in the surrounding years of Rogue One and the 1977 film Star Wars, later retitled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope.

As Digital Spy note, Han Solo only learns of the Death Star’s existence during A New Hope so the Empire’s planet destroyer, if present, must be part of a sub-plot or only alluded to. It would also mean that Alden Ehrenreich’s version of Solo would only be a few years junior to Harrison Ford’s, if that.

The future of the film was thrown into doubt last month after its initial co-directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, were fired after reportedly giving the movie “a screwball comedy angle.”

However, Woody Harrelson has reassured fans that there’s nothing to worry about, saying that “the force is still very much with it”.

Star Wars’ Han Solo spin-off film will be available in cinemas on May 25, 2018.