Disney / Giphy

Why would Han Solo, apolitical smuggler, appear in the upcoming Star Wars movie about the many Bothans who died?

Earlier today, the “Young Han Solo Standalone Film” shortlist came out. The list of potential Solos is a bunch of pretty doofy dudes—Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, James Franco’s palatable younger brother Dave, Logan Lerman, the good boyfriend from Brooklyn Emory Cohen, Blake Jenner, Jack Reynor, and Clint’s son Scott Eastwood—and suggests that we may enter Shia LaBeouf/Crystal Skull territory sooner than many of us hoped. 

The shortlist was first reported by Variety, who speculated that Disney might be looking to fill the role long ahead of the film’s planned May 2018 release date so “the new Solo could have a small cameo in Rogue One ... before appearing in his own standalone pic.” The introductory cameo is standard procedure in the Marvel/Disney Universe and it’s no surprise that Disney would want to replicate a successful strategy for Star Wars—it works in service of Disney’s interests. But does it work in Star Wars’s? 

Rogue One follows the Bothans who stole the plans that led to the destruction of the first Death Star (many of them died). What does Han Solo, who wants nothing to do with the Rebellion at that point, have to do with that? And, presuming that the Bothans stole the plans a few weeks or months before the destruction of the first Star Wars movie, does it even make sense for them to cross paths? It seems like something Han would have mentioned to Mon Mothma.