Of all the Star Wars directors in the past few years, none have teased as much information about their films than Ron Howard on the set of the untitled Han Solo movie.
Howard tweeted a photo yesterday of what appears to be an elevator shaft. The director didn’t include a specific caption for the photo, but continued his tradition of hinting at what it could be through a teasing statement or question, prompting even more questions.
Howard’s “Spicey?” question could be a winking nod back to former White House press secretary Sean Spicer’s appearance at the Emmy Awards on Sunday. What’s more likely, however, is Howard referencing the spice mines of Kessel. Star Wars fans will know that the Kessel Run refers to a hyperspace route that was used by smugglers to transport the illicit spice to their customers. The Kessel Run is incredibly difficult and dangerous as it nearly collides with celestial objects, Han Solo infamously made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs — which sounds odd, when you consider that a parsec is a measure of distance, not time.
Remember this scene in Star Wars: Episode IV?
The classic Star Wars expanded universe had an explanation for this involving black holes, but since that version of canon was wiped away for the new trilogy, no solid explanation has surfaced since. Perhaps the Han Solo movie will provide one?
If Howard was hinting at the Kessel Run scene, it would support longstanding rumors that the untitled Han Solo movie will explore some of the smuggler’s most important occurrences in his life that led to him becoming the character we met him as in 1977. Having Han complete the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs alludes to the Millennium Falcon captain’s career as a smuggler and winning the ship itself in a bet with a young Lando Calrissian. The mines of Kessel are also worked by enslaved wookiees, a very good place for Han to meet his life-long partner, Chewbacca.
The photo could also be just a simple distraction to keep Star Wars fans engaged with the movie and anticipating what’s to come, but that seems very unlikely. Howard previously gave us the first look at a young Calrissian, played by Donald Glover, in a series of Instagram posts and tweets.
The untitled Han Solo movie, which was supposed to be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller until they departed the project earlier this year, will be released on May 25, 2018.