Director Ron Howard has continued his tradition of sharing photographs from the set of the still untitled Han Solo spin-off. But this time, things have gotten a lot darker as the new images have an ominous tone. This could be Howard teasing how he often does, but this could also be a real insight into the theme of the upcoming Star Wars spin-off. The prequel will deal with Han Solo's gritty past as a smuggler in the criminal underground, putting him into contact with some of the worst characters in the galaxy. In. the first photo, it almost looks like we're seeing Darth Vader's silohuette, as that kind of looks like his iconic helmet. But that's just too short to be the rumored Darth Vader, right?

In the new photos released recently, Howard has used the same caption in both: "Shooting a scene about desperate and dark times in the Galaxy." Both images are dark and dusty, while one shows off a distant explosion. Both pictures come to us from Ron Howard's Twitter account and they tease that the Empire is in its heyday, which was indeed a dark time for the Rebellion. Also, keeping with tradition, Howard's photos are more than a little vague and not meant to give away anything about the plot of the Han Solo movie.

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Speaking of the plot, many have noticed some similarities about what has been shared or leaked lately and one particular Han Solo book entitled The Paradise Snare. Last week, Howard shared a picture of a Kessel spice mine, which seemed to be the tipping point for more than a few fans who had already assumed that the movie could be taking elements from the aforementioned book. While obviously, nothing has been officially confirmed, there are more than a few striking similarities between what we know about the movie and The Paradise Snare.

The Paradise Snare was written by A.C. Crispin and published in 1997 and it features a young Han Solo roped into a pilot gig on a spice mine (after going on the run from his former pirate cohorts) which is run as a cult, only to be revealed as a front for The Hutts running a slave operation using drugs to keep the workers passive and on the planet. Another hint is that the Michael K. Williams character was said to be half-human/half-animal, which could be Han Solo's first companion in the novel. But the most telling of all of the similarities come from some pictures that were leaked a few months back that feature the characters in a room with various antiques, which is crucial piece of the novel. We have seen two pictures from that room on the set and one included Paul Bettany.

It appears that things are running pretty smooth for a production that was wrapped in turmoil not that long ago. As production continues, it is sure that Ron Howard will be teasing out more pictures from the set of the Han Solo movie that may or may not prove to be based on the Paradise Snare. If anything, the movie is more than likely taking elements from the story and not a big screen adaptation. Check out Ron Howard's most recent pictures from the set of the Han Solo movie below.

Kevin Burwick at Movieweb
Kevin Burwick