We Now Know Exactly When SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY Will Take Place In The Franchise Timeline

Courtesy of publisher Del Ray, we have a better understanding of where Solo: A Star Wars Story fits in the complex timeline of the Star Wars franchise. Hang on, because it's about to get complicated.

We already knew that, as a prequel, Solo: A Star Wars Story would take place at some point before A New Hope, but Star Wars is a huge franchise with deep lore. There's a lot that happened before Han met Luke in that Mos Eisley cantina and now we have a better idea of just when in the franchise timeline the upcoming standalone Solo film will be set. 

Publisher Del Ray has posted a timeline of its many Star Wars novels, all in chronological order. Interestingly, Solo is set before both the animated Star Wars Rebels television series and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story movie, making it the first big screen flick to take place after the rise of the Empire in 2005's Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith chronologically.

More specifically, Solo takes place between the novels Star Wars: Tarkin and Star Wars: Thrawn. James Luceno's Tarkin novel is set 14 years before the original 1977 movie. Disney CEO Bob Eiger had previously revealed that Solo would span the course of 6 years of Han Solo's life, from ages 18 to 24. Since Han is around 29-years-old at the time of A New Hope, it would mean that the new movie is about 11 years ahead of the original trilogy, giving the studio ample time to work with.

In addition to the official novelization of Solo, there's Last Shot: A Han and Lando Novel - a book that is said to take place between Solo and A New Hope as well as explore post-Return of the Jedi. The brief description for Last Shot reads:
 

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 Falcontries 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 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.

With Disney and Lucasfilm bouncing all over the Star Wars timeline with standalone films and novelizations, the web will only get more complicated moving forward. 

Solo: A Star Wars Story flies into theaters May 25, 2018.

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