– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Disney and Lucasfilm certainly took a risk when they decided to shoot for a Han Solo movie. Not only is this an iconic character in pop culture and film, but he’s a character that’s only been portrayed by one man: the legend Harrison Ford. To top it all off, he’s a character we’ve seen at a young age, and one that we know exists as Harrison Ford in the current continuity in STAR WARS: THE FORCE AWAKENS. As such, going back into the STAR WARS timeline and having him be portrayed by a different actor was always a tall order.

But amidst all this, there was a potential in. Sure, it would always be jarring initially, but Lucasfilm had an opportunity to introduce the character ahead of the release of his own standalone film. Enter the rumors of Han Solo appearing in the first STAR WARS anthology film, ROGUE ONE. It seemed like a win-win for the studio. If they introduce the new actor Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo in that film, they’re able to get that first jarring appearance out of the way. Should his appearance be received well, they’d already have audiences on board for his standalone film. In many ways, it’s the same way Spider-Man was introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR.

So, is it true? Would Han Solo be appearing in ROGUE ONE? 

Speaking with Extra TV, director Gareth Edwards quashed any theories regarding the beloved smuggler.

“I’m not sure if I’m allowed to do this,” he told the outlet, “but I think I should. I can put [this] to bed. Han Solo’s not in the movie.”

This claim was backed up by Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy. But in addition to the Han Solo rumor, she also put an end to the (less substantiated and more ridiculous) rumors that Hayden Christensen would be returning to the franchise in the ROGUE ONE iteration of Darth Vader.

“No. That is not true,” she said bluntly. “I can confirm that. He is not.”

While Christensen is not incredibly loved by fans, the CLONE WARS TV series did a lot to make his character, Anakin, a heck of a lot more likable. As such, under this new Disney direction, there was hope that they’d be able to redeem the actor. 

Maybe next time.

What do you think of the news that both Han Solo and Hayden Christensen will not be present in ROGUE ONE? Let us know your thoughts down below!

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY hits theaters on December 16, 2016.

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.