When it comes to stringing together the events of the ever-expanding Star Wars franchise, sorting out Legends vs Canon is just the beginning of your difficulties. Luckily, a new timeline has been put together by the fine folks over at Del Rey Books, the official publication line for Disney’s Star Wars novelizations. That’s all well and good for the book-readers among us, but what does that have to do with the movies? Well, it turns out that, since the movie novelizations exist side by side with standalone stories, the Del Rey timeline gives us a good idea of just when the upcoming Ron Howard movie Solo: A Star Wars Story takes place.
As THR pointed out and as the timeline suggests, the events of Solo will take place before both Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and the ongoing adventures of Disney’s animated series Star Wars Rebels. This puts Solo after Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith, making it the first movie in the chronology to arrive after the rise of the Empire. But we can get a little more specific than that.
Solo is nestled between the novelizations “Star Wars: Tarkin” and “Star Wars: A New Dawn”, set 14 and 11 years before the original Star Wars movie events, respectively. The novel “Star Wars: Thrawn” also takes place after these events, as will, presumably, the book’s sequel that’s due out this year, but it’s unclear if there are any connecting events in those stories. What will certainly impact the tale of Solo is the novel “Star Wars: Last Shot”, the synopsis of which follows below:
Even the fastest ship in the galaxy can’t outrun the past. . . .
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. . . .
It’s been ten 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.
We’re guessing that Solo will take place somewhere within the “Then” storyline, of course, and since the movie’s synopsis keeps the focus on the Millennium Falcon and the meet-cute between Han and Chewie, we also know that Solo will see the gang coming together to pull off a heist. Could this mysterious transmitter be the MacGuffin of the whole thing?
Solo opens on May 25th.