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5 'Star Wars' Facts Fans Should Know Before Seeing 'Solo: A Star Wars Story'

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Solo: A Star Wars Story is the second "stand alone anthology" film that Lucasfilm has attempted since Disney took the reigns. The first, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, was a one-shot deal with no prequel and no sequel. (Well, OK, maybe one could consider A New Hope the direct sequel.) That showed how the plans for the Death Star came to Princess Leia. Now we have Solo, which shows how Han Solo came to be who he is. Before heading to the theater, here are some Star Wars facts to know ahead of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

One of the biggest is that Solo was actually a long time coming. Before Lucasfilm came to a deal with Disney in 2012, they were looking at other options, including having George Lucas start up the film production arm again for live-action films without help. (They would be the first since 2005's Revenge of the Sith.) In preparation for that Lucas himself wrote a treatment for Star Wars: Episode VII. Meanwhile, he hired his old friend Lawrence Kasdan to come in and put together a script for "a stand-alone" Han Solo movie.

Then the Disney deal came through and Kasdan got moved over to writing the new Episode VII for his new bosses. But Kathleen Kennedy liked the Solo concept and held on to it, and the rest is history.

Han Solo's Home Planet Is Corellia

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Prior to Disney taking over the Star Wars universe, there were dozens upon dozens of novels which made up a Lucasfilm sanctioned "Expanded Universe." In them, Han Solo's entire life story was sketched out, from his home planet to her death. Those books have passed into "Legends" under Disney, but the movie is keeping some of the core concepts, including Han's home planet of Corellia.

In the original idea, the planet was the head of its sector and occupied by Imperial forces as a show of strength to those around them. Here it's more of a backwater, a planet that's fallen on hard times, and straining under the Imperial rule that strips it of its natural resources while giving nothing back.

'Solo' Is Set 10 Years Before 'A New Hope'

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In terms of timeline, this is the earliest the reboots have gone back in time towards the dreaded "prequels" of the early aughts. In the Disney approved novelization of the final years of the war against the growing empire before the rise of Darth Vader, Chewie is part of the fight and is 180 years of age.

In the Solo trailer, Chewie announces he's 190, giving fans an exact timeline. There are 19 years between the end of The Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope, so this falls smack dab in between them.

Lando Won The Millenium Falcon In a Game of Sabacc

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The Millenium Falcon is actually seen in the prequels, owned by someone else, so it's an old ship even before Han ever sets eyes on her. But the current owner, Lando, has been taking very good care of his baby. She's his classic car, the kind you get detailed on a regular basis, and the interior and exterior gleam.

It's important to note that Lando won his baby by playing a game of cards known as Sabacc. Sabacc is a very well know gambling game in the galaxy, and there are tourneys every year. It's at one of those tournaments that Han originally meets Lando, and convinces him to join their mission

It's A Space Western

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Solo isn't like other Star Wars films we've seen so far. Those have been what one might call "Space Operas" tragic tales of family sagas that stretch over generations and galaxies.

But a space opera wasn't what Lucas originally set out to do. His original concept comes from 1950s westerns, just set in space. That famous crawl at the beginning of every Star Wars movie? Taken directly from an old-time western. Solo is the first time anyone at Lucasfilm has taken a crack at what Lucas' original core idea was, complete with a band of outlaws, a desperate heist on a train, and a soundtrack that sounds like Indiana Jones In Space.

Solo Could Be The First Of Its Own Trilogy

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Alden Ehrenreich revealed recently that Lucasfilm didn't sign him for a single film, they signed him for a potential three films. So though this is the second stand-alone "anthology" film, movies which are supposed to dot the landscape between trilogies, don't expect everyone to die at the end of this one like they did in Rogue One. After all, three of them need to live to get to A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back.

But more importantly, Lucasfilm sees this as an opportunity to turn yet another angle of the Star Wars universe into a trilogy. After all, trilogies are what they do best.