We're currently just days away from the release of the latest Star Wars anthology film, Solo: A Star Wars Story, which will explore the early days of the galaxy's fan-favorite scoundrel-turned-hero Han Solo. However, franchise founding father George Lucas' original plans initially called for Han's first pre-original trilogy appearance to come much, much sooner.
According to a report from Screen Rant, Lucas had intended for a 10-year-old Han Solo to make a cameo in 2005's Revenge of the Sith as a young orphan on the Wookiee homeworld of Kashyyyk, where he was being raised by -- you guessed it -- Chewbacca. This wouldn't have been mere fan service, either, as Han would have had a critical role to play in the narrative by leading the Jedi to General Grievous. In fact, Screen Rant even posits that "there exists official concept art of a child Han with messy hair and tattered clothes," which indicates that this wasn't simply a premise that was thrown around lightly, but rather an idea that Lucas took quite seriously before ultimately opting against it.
Han's inclusion in Episode III, of course, would have drastically altered not only Expanded Universe/Legends canon but also what's since been folded into the post-Disney Star Wars canon -- specifically in relation to Chewbacca's potential involvement in Han's childhood. Shortly after the rise of the Galactic Empire, many Wookiees were forced into slavery and sent to work in the mines of places like Kessel, while others were simply subjected to cruel experiments. As for Chewie, he and several other Wookiees were tasked with chopping down wroshyr trees in order to feed the Imperial Army. However, he was eventually set free by Han Solo, and as such, swore a life debt to the fast-talking smuggler.
Until now, Chewie’s canonical origins have only been depicted in media such as Marvel’s Star Wars: Chewbacca miniseries by Gerry Duggan and Phil Noto. Even then, Chewie and his people’s enslavement at the hands of Trandoshan slavers was only shown through flashbacks, so it will certainly be interesting to see how much of it is incorporated into Solo.
Opening May 25 nationwide, director Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story stars Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, Emilia Clarke as Qi’ra and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca. They’re joined by Thandie Newton as Val, Phoebe Waller-Bridge L3-37, Paul Bettany as Dryden Vos and Woody Harrelson as Tobias Beckett.