Just one day after offering up a mysterious Han Solo set photo, director Ron Howard decided to take things up a notch today, sending out two brief videos from the set. One video revealed that he was setting up for a crane shot, as he pans over a large area with massive green-screen walls in the background, which appears to be a junkyard with large pod racer engines in the background. The director all but confirmed this junkyard location with his second video, which he revealed is "where speeders go to die," showcasing a disassembled speeder.
Neither of these videos, which surfaced on the official Ron Howard Twitter, shed any light about how this location fits into the story. It's possible that Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) has to visit this junkyard to find parts for his iconic ship, the Millennium Falcon, but that's only speculation at this point. It also hasn't been confirmed that these large objects in the junkyard are actual pod racer engines, but it's certainly possible. Fans haven't seen any actual pod racing in the franchise since the first prequel, The Phantom Menace, but it's possible that we could see some pod racing in this movie, although that has yet to be confirmed.
While it's possible that this could be filmed on a back lot, it seems that this junkyard is being filmed on location, although it isn't ultimately clear where these scenes were being filmed today. Like most of director Ron Howard's videos and photos, there are no cast members present, so it isn't clear if stars like Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke or others will be present for this shoot. It's also unclear when production may be over, since there were reportedly three or four weeks left of shooting when Ron Howard took over, and he's been filming for longer than that. It's possible that he's using the five weeks of reshoots that were already built into the schedule, but that has yet to be confirmed.
One of the most intriguing stories about Han Solo to surface lately came up a few weeks ago, when we reported that Spencer Wilding, the actor who portrayed Darth Vader in the blockbuster spin-off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, has signed on for an unspecified role in Han Solo. Naturally, this sparked speculation that Darth Vader would have some sort of presence in this movie, which is set 10 years before the events of A New Hope. Still, his casting hasn't been confirmed by LucasFilm, and it only came to light after a convention he was supposed to attend revealed that the actor couldn't make it, because he was currently occupied with shooting the new Star Wars movie, and Han Solo is the only Star Wars movie being filmed at the moment. Spencer Wilding later denied that he was shooting anything at all, and that the convention got the information wrong.
Disney and LucasFilm have still maintained that Han Solo will hit its release date of May 25, 2018, which is also the 41st anniversary of the very first Star Wars movie, A New Hope. With filming still ongoing, though, and a brief production shut-down after the firing of Phil Lord and Chris Miller, it wouldn't be surprising to see the production shift this movie to a December release date, which would keep it in line with the release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens (December 18, 2015), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (December 16, 2016) and the upcoming Star Wars: The Last Jedi (December 15, 2017). Take a look at these new videos from the set of Han Solo below.