Solo: A Star Wars Story celebrated at Cannes

Chewbacca hit the red carpet at Cannes Tuesday, accompanied by Stormtroopers and other co-stars in the latest film in the Star Wars franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story. The spin-off provides background on Han Solo.

The Cannes red carpet looked like an inter-galactic runway as the Star Wars spin-off Solo: A Star Wars Story premiered at the film festival. Director Ron Howard and the stars of the latest installment in the popular series —  including 16 Stormtroopers — joined the festival public on the Croisette Tuesday evening.

Fans were thrilled, especially when actress Emilia Clarke, best known for her role in Game of Thrones, arrived. Joonas Suotamo, aka Chewbacca, likewise drew a lot of applause out on the carpet, where he paused for autographs.

Read more:'Solo: A Star Wars Story' clip debuts at the Super Bowl 

Filmfestspiele Cannes 2018 | Filmstill Star Wars: Solo: A Star wars Story

Alden Ehrenreich embodies the young Han Solo

How Han Solo became a smuggler in outer space

In the latest spin-off of the Star Wars series, Alden Ehrenreich plays Han Solo, the space smuggler and pilot of the legendary Millennium Falcon — the spaceship in which he saves the galaxy along with Chewbacca, Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia in Star Wars Episode IV.

Originally played by Harrison Ford, the role was recast with a younger actor in Solo, as it is a precursor to the original series and the pilot is still young, freshly driven out of the Academy for failing to adapt.

Sent on an important mission by dodgy gangster Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson), Solo is accompanied, among others, by his new, loyal friend Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), and by Qi'Ra (Emilia Clarke), who knows him like no other. The journey takes the team through gloomy parts of the galaxy, into an underworld full of shady characters, criminals and gamblers.

Directors switched out during production

Speaking about the film at Cannes, Oscar-winning director Ron Howard, who was brought on after the movie was already six months into the production process, said the movie was essentially a rite-of-passage story. "I treated it like it was a true story," Howard said. "I tried to treat it in as an authentic way as I could."

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Audiences, he said "expected to be transported as well as to have fun" while watching Star Wars movies, and this tale, which shows how Han Solo became the character Harrison Ford earlier embodied, should not let the franchise's die-hard fans down.

Frankreich Cannes Premiere

Stormtroopers stood watch and greeted guests at the premiere

The third film out of the Star Wars universe to have been shown in Cannes, Solo: A Star Wars Story celebrated its world premiere just a few days prior in Los Angeles. It was one of the most-anticipated showings at Cannes this year. Disney Film Studios responded to that hype with a major beach party, where Stormtroopers greeted guests arriving on the black carpet with twinkling stars, as though they were making their way through the galaxy.

Solo: A Star Wars Story opened May 10, 2018 in the US and will premiere in theaters across Europe May 24, 2018.


The new spin-off: Solo: A Star Wars Story

The latest film tells the story of a young Han Solo. Actor Alen Ehrenreich plays the renegade space pilot with humor and respect for the original character, portrayed by Harrison Ford. Taking place before Episode IV, the film explains how Solo got to know his Wookie pal Chewbacca.


The dream team from the original trilogy

In 1977, the smuggler Han Solo, Princess Leia and Luke Skywalker appeared for the first time on the silver screen. The trio was central to episodes IV-VI, (Star Wars, 1977; The Empire Strikes Back, 1980; Return of the Jedi, 1983), and met again decades later in Episode VII - The Force Awakens, from 2015.


Traveling in time

Since 1977, Star Wars enthusiasts have been regularly celebrating the release of a new episode. They don't mind the jumps in the timeline. A real Star Wars fan knows exactly "when" each episode is set. The events in Rogue One take place between Episode III - Revenge of the Sith and Episode IV - A New Hope, the new title for the original Star Wars movie.


The Jedi Knights

In the Star Wars universe, members of the Jedi Order use their power to do good. The Force gives them superhuman abilities. For example, they can move objects using their mind. Their strongest weapon is the lightsaber. The most famous Jedi Knights are Luke and Anakin Skywalker (the latter is shown right in the picture), Obi-Wan Kenobi (left) and Master Yoda.


Grand master Yoda

Yoda is the most powerful Jedi Knight of all time; he knows how to use the Force like no other. For over 800 years, he has been training young disciples, known as Padawan learners, to become Jedi Knights. His language is strange; his words are wise. He is only 66 cm (26 inches) tall, but even his largest opponents know the Jedi Master should not be judged by his size.


'Do or do not. There is no try.'

In Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back, Yoda trains the young Luke Skywalker. Luke is very insecure and does not believe in his powers. Yoda teaches him the Jedi philosophy and new mental skills. He also warns him not to let negative feelings take over: "Anger, fear, aggression. The dark side are they. Once you start down the dark path, forever will it dominate your destiny."


The Sith

The Sith are an Order on the dark side of the Force. Sith are mostly former Jedi Knights who have left the light side hoping to obtain more power. Famous Siths include Darth Vader, Darth Maul and Darth Sidious. Pictured here is Darth Tyranus, who was known as Count Dooku when he was a Jedi.


'Luke, I am your father'

Darth Vader used to be Jedi Anakin Skywalker. Wanting to save the life of his wife and unborn children, he was pulled into the dark force by the Galactic Emperor himself. Anakin then became Darth Vader, while his children Luke and Leia were rescued and hidden. Twenty years later, Luke and Vader met again in a climatic confrontation, where the son discovered that the grim figure was his father.


Emperor of the Galactic Empire

He is actually a charismatic member of the Senate governing a large planetary republic. But secretly, Sheev Palpatine is a Sith Lord named Darth Sidious. He calls for an uprising against the Republic. He rises to the position of Supreme Chancellor and then Emperor, aiming to rule on the entire universe. He is responsible for the worst of all weapons...


The Death Star

The Death Star is the Imperial super-weapon. It's the size of the moon and is devastatingly destructive. Princess Leia witnessed a cruel demonstration of its power, as a blast from its superlaser destroyed her home planet, Alderaan. The Death Star had a weak point, allowing the rebels to strike back and destroy it — but the next Death Star was already under construction.


The stormtroopers

Controlled by the dark side of the Force, hundreds of thousands of soldiers — the stormtroopers — are the main ground force of the Galactic Empire. They have always been loyal to the supreme commander, the Galactic Emperor, and follow their superiors — such as here, Kylo Ren — without questioning them. In Episode VII, stormtrooper Finn breaks with this tradition and joins the good guys.


Jabba the Hutt

Along with humanoids, the Star Wars universe features a few inhuman creatures, such as the powerful criminal Jabba the Hutt, a disgusting monster who has unfinished business with the ex-smuggler Han Solo. In order to reinforce his demands, he enslaves Princess Leia. The bikini worn by actress Carrie Fischer in that scene has become legendary.


All Terrain Armored Transport (AT-AT)

The Imperial weapons' massive size alone is already meant to frighten opponents. The four-legged AT-AT walkers are combat vehicles that can move quickly on any terrain while transporting troops. Their heads contain tons of the destructive projectiles. A similarly evil combat device is the two-legged All Terrain Scout Transport, or AT-ST.


Flying duels

While the Death Star was still being built, the ships of the Imperial fleet were holding the fort. Pictured here is a gigantic Star Destroyer, flanked by small and maneuverable starfighters that combat the Rebels in their own rapid ships, leading to fast-paced duels. In 1977, Star Wars creator George Lucas established new standards in special effects with these spectacular scenes.


The music

Composer John Williams wrote the soundtrack to all Star Wars films. The main theme and the dark march accompanying Darth Vader are world famous. The song "Cantina Song" from Episode IV also became instantly cult. It is played by the alien band Figrin D'an and the Modal Nodes in the original 1977 film.


Han Solo's sidekick: Chewbacca

Smuggling belongs to Han Solo's past by Episode VII, and his relation with Princess Leia is also over — even though they are married. After many years, they meet again, and once again, their goal is to fight against the Empire. They're all older — except Han Solo's loyal friend, the Wookie Chewbacca, who accompanies Han until the end. His growl is legendary.


The droids

Already present in the first films, the golden know-it-all droid C3PO and his small beeping counterpart, R2D2, make up one of the most iconic twosome of film history. In Episode VII, another cute robot joined them: BB-8 (left). These three droids are loyal to the main characters and have already saved them from perilous situations.


A new heroine

Introduced in Episode VII, Rey is a new heroine whose origin still hasn't been explained. Is she the daughter of Leia and Han Solo? Or Luke Skywalker's? No one knows what happened in the 30 years after Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. Rogue One invited audiences to go back in time to find out.


Rogue One

This stand-alone spin-off movie is set in the period between Episode III and IV. The Empire is building its first Death Star and wants to test its destructive power. As Star Wars fans know, it can destroy a whole planet with a single blast. The Rebels want to steal the design plans for the weapon. The whole story runs parallel to the original Star Wars narrative.


Rey's journey continues in Star Wars: The last Jedi

Just before Christmas 2017, the eighth part of the Star Wars saga was released. In Episode VIII - The Last Jedi, Rey tries to win over Jedi recluse Luke Skywalker and bring him back into the Resistance. Meanwhile, the "First Order" wants to completely annihilate the rebel army led by Leia Organa. Poe and Finn do their best to prevent this.

ct/eg (with dpa)