Alden Ehrenreich makes his debut as the young Han Solo at Star Wars Celebration

Earlier today we took you to the panel about the future of the Star Wars film franchise that took place at the Star Wars Celebration Europe in London. But the Episode VIII news was only half of the story. During the same panel, the directors of the second stand-alone Star Wars Story, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, joined the stage to officially reveal their film’s Han Solo.

It’s long been known that the yet-to-be-titled film would focus on a young Han Solo, and back in May it leaked that they had found their leading man, but it wasn’t until this weekend in at the SWCE event that they put the ribbon on it and showed him off to fans. Yes, in the worst kept Hollywood secret, Hail Caesar!‘s Alden Ehrenreich will be donning the classic character for the film, being directed by the men who successfully brought Lego and Jump Street to the big screen.

Casting Ehrenreich ended months of speculation, with the directors saying they auditioned some 3,000 people for the role. Miller reflected on the weight of the task, “We thought this was the hardest casting challenge of all time. They were the biggest boots to fill…. He is one of the most iconic characters of all time.”

Ehrenreich seemed to have more fun with the process than the film’s creative team did, “I read the sides and I loved them. I auditioned for six months. The coolest part was I went on the Falcon for a chemistry test with Chewbacca. It was unbelievable. It was more exciting than nerve-racking.”

We still don’t know the film’s official title, nor anything about the plot – other than the fact it will star the smuggler in his 20s. If we’re going to serve a guess, maybe it will have to do with Chewbacca and Solo meeting? Or how they got the Falcon? Both?

The Han Solo Star Wars Story will start shooting in the UK by “early February”, and will release on 24th May 2018. Star Wars Celebration Europe, meanwhile, has now wrapped for another year!