Trying to maintain some sort of order in the ever-expanding Star Wars universe can be tricky at best. In April 2014, Lucasfilm announced that the Expanded Universe was being reorganized under the new, non-canon “Star Wars Legends” banner to make way for a new line of continuity, led by principal projects Star Wars Rebels and the Star Wars sequel trilogy, to take shape.
However, a new timeline has been put together by the people at Del Rey Books, the official publication line for Disney’s Star Wars novelizations.
So what does that mean for the movies..? Since the movie novelizations exist side by side with standalone stories, the Del Rey timeline gives a good idea of just how the imminent standalone Solo: A Star Wars Story fits into the grand plan.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, the timeline suggests that the events of Solo will take place before both Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016) and the ongoing adventures of Disney’s animated series Star Wars Rebels, making it the first onscreen project to take place after the rise of the Empire in 2005’s Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith chronologically. In other words, Solo has a three-year window of opportunity, at which point Luke Skywalker was about 8 years old.
It is therefore nestled between the novelizations Star Wars: A New Dawn and Star Wars: Tarkin, set 11 and 14 years respectively before the original Star Wars movie events.
Solo is accompanied on the timeline by the Del Rey tie-in novel Star Wars: Last Shot, the synopsis of which would appear to clarify just who’s in charge of the iconic Millennium Falcon at the start of the movie; taking place before Solo, the synopsis describes “the crew of the Falcon” as “Lando Calrissian and the droid L3-37 at the dawn of an ambitious career.”
The synopsis also refers to Han and Chewbacca as the Falcon’s crew, but it’s already known that the movie will show the first meeting between the two and that Last Shot will feature elements from different points of the Star Wars timeline; it’s safe to say that Han and Chewie will take possession of the Falcon at some point after they’ve met, it’s unknown yet whether it will be “fair and square.”
The full synopsis is below.
Even the fastest ship in the galaxy can’t outrun the past…
THEN: It’s one of the galaxy’s most dangerous secrets: a mysterious transmitter with unknown power and a reward for its discovery that most could only dream of claiming. But those who fly the Millennium Falcon throughout its infamous history aren’t your average scoundrels. Not once, but twice, the crew of the Falcon tries to claim the elusive prize – first, Lando Calrissian and the droid L3-37 at the dawn of an ambitious career, and later, a young and hungry Han Solo with the help of his copilot, Chewbacca. But the device’s creator, the volatile criminal Fyzen Gor, isn’t interested in sharing. And Gor knows how to hold a grudge…
NOW: It’s been 10 years since the rebel hero Han Solo last encountered Fyzen Gor. After mounting a successful rebellion against the Empire and starting a family with an Alderaanian princess, Han hasn’t given much thought to the mad inventor. But when Lando turns up at Han’s doorstep in the middle of the night, it’s Fyzen’s assassins that he’s running from. And without Han’s help, Lando – and all life on Cloud City – will be annihilated.With the assistance of a young hotshot pilot, an Ewok slicer prodigy, the woman who might be the love of Lando’s life, and Han’s best and furriest friend, the two most notorious scoundrels in the New Republic are working together once more. They’ll have to journey across the stars – and into the past – before Gor uses the device’s power to reshape the galaxy.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is set to be released May 25.
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