Star Wars' memorable rogue Han Solo is getting his own solo series at Marvel Comics, according to Entertainment Weekly. Scheduled to launch in June, the five-issue series is written by Marjorie Liu, and illustrated by Star Wars cover artist Mark Brooks.
“This is a Han Solo who doesn’t quite know who he is anymore,” said Liu. “He doesn’t think about politics, and suddenly he’s thrust into this life-or-death struggle for beliefs he didn’t even know he cared about — and it has changed him. He doesn’t want to believe that change, but he has.”
Han Solo will be set between the original Star Wars and Empire Strikes Back movies, just as is Marvel's core Star Wars title. The series will follow-up on the pirate's penchant for space races, this time entering in one called the Dragon Void Run.
“Han’s been dreaming of entering this thing for his entire life,” Liu said. “He finally gets the chance, except there’s a catch: Leia thinks there are spies in the Rebellion, and she doesn’t dare send anyone else to retrieve these vital informants who are on various planets in the system."
This Star Wars story is surprisingly inspired by another 1970s and 1980s movie franchise: Cannonball Run.
"I started thinking about this old movie from the ‘80s that I really enjoyed, which is Cannonball Run. I thought, okay, what if this is sort of like Han Solo in Cannonball Run in space?" explained the writer. "So, I played with that and it finally came together in the story where there’s this infamous starship race. It’s the pilot dream race. Everyone wants to be in it, everyone dreams of winning it. The race is sort of a cover that will allow him to go on this mission for [Leia], but at the same time, even though the race isn’t a priority, it’s a real struggle for him because he knows he needs to focus, but he’s on the race of a lifetime."
In addition to Han, Chewbacca and Leia, Liu will also be introducing new characters to the mix -- including one who could be a better pilot than Han himself.
"Yeah, so for example, the race itself is called the Dragon Void Run. It’s been around for thousands of years. One of the pilots is this legendary female alien who is called Loo Re Anno," Liu said. "She’s never lost a race, she’s part of a dying species. She might be the last of her kind, these aliens that don’t really have a home planet. They’re nomads. In fact, her people actually founded the Dragon Void Run thousands of years ago. She feels like this is going to be perhaps her last race for good, so she’s in this thing and she’s dignified and everyone’s a bit in awe of her. She takes a special interest in Han because he’s a very different pilot from the ones she’s used dealing with. He reminds her of herself at a much different time in her life."
Liu originally pitched several different ideas for Marvel's Han Solo series, and they all had the same core view of the character.
"I turned in several different ideas, but the core of them — what I kept at the front of my imagination: He’s this working-class dude who lives paycheck to paycheck who has a business to run," said the writer. "He’s the Han we know and love. He’s a con artist, he’s a smuggler, he’s this wisecracking, streetwise dude, but he’s got this internal conflict where there wasn’t one before. He’s really trying to figure out who he is."
Disney and Lucasfilm have already scheduled a Han Solo origin film for release May 25, 2018, with The LEGO Movie's Christopher Miller and Phil Lord directing.