No spoilers! But these new shots from 'Solo' give us broader insight into the 'Star Wars' standalone

Solo: A Star Wars Story

release date 05/25/18
February 07, 2018 at 09:00 AM EST

Falcon heavy

Lucasfilm Ltd.

The Millennium Falcon looks radically different in Solo than in any of the other Star Wars films. What’s with the closed nose that we’re used to seeing as a prong?

“I wonder what that could be?” Ron Howard says coyly. “You’ll have to see. The Falcon is a character in the movie, without a doubt. That machine is a defining factor in Han’s future. Every aspect of this movie moves, shifts, and transforms in very interesting and yet plausible ways.”

Meet L3-37

Lucasfilm Ltd.

Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge plays this mechanical character via motion-capture. She’s got a more idiosyncratic personality than your typical droids. She’s more human — which probably means more emotional and slightly less rigid.

Her name is a reference to “leet,” the practice of replacing certain 1etters in w0rds with numb3rs that 100k simi1ar.

There’s a reason some of her parts look familiar, too, even though she’s unique in the galaxy. More on her tomorrow as part of the “Rogue’s Gallery” during EW’s Han Solo Week.

Mudtroopers on Mimban

Lucasfilm Ltd.

At first, this photo didn’t look like much. Some dirty Imperial officers and a medical droid in a hazy photo. But then Lucasfilm revealed where it was set: Mimban. It’s a name that will delight Star Wars completists because the planet has one of the longest histories in galactic lore.

Keeping with this universe’s tendency toward planets with one dominant ecosystem, Mimban is a swamp world, a marshland. It has an atmosphere full of thunderstorms, so its sky is perpetually overcast and the land is always draped in mist.

The planet was the setting of the 1978 novel Splinter of the Mind’s Eye by Allan Dean Foster, which took place two years after the events of the original Star Wars and saw Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia stranded on the muddy planet while Darth Vader searched it for a Force relic known as the Kaiburr crystal.

The novel is no longer canon, but as the first major follow-up story to Star Wars, predating even The Empire Strikes Back, it remains dear to the fans who’ve been following since the beginning.

Ed Miller/© 2018 Lucasfilm Ltd. All rights reserved.

Kyber crystals later became part of the canon as the key element that powers a lightsaber — and in Rogue One, we learned they were harnessed to channel the energy blast of the Death Star. But Mimban has already slipped back into the official narrative in other ways.

It was the site of many battles and even got a mention on the animated series The Clone Wars. In Star Wars legend, it’s the site of several Imperial mining operations, which raid the world of its resources to fuel the Empire’s war machines.

Exactly what the Empire is doing there in Solo has yet to be revealed, but fans can rest assured that Mimban is still a limitless resource for Star Wars storytellers.

Coming up: A Q&A with the new Han Solo — Alden Ehrenreich

And later: What Harrison Ford contributed to the making of Solo.

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