Han Solo is a young man in the movie Solo: A Star Wars Story. This obviously places the film before Episode 4, but its relation to Episodes 1-3 confuses me.

Darth Maul makes an appearance at the end of Solo: A Star Wars Story. I thought this meant the movie takes place before Episode 1 prior to Darth Maul's death. However, some people are suggesting this is the "back from the dead" version of Maul from rebels and takes place after he is cut in half. Seemed much simpler to me that the Solo movie simply takes place before Episode 1, but now I'm unsure!

When does the movie "Solo: A Star Wars Story" take place in relation to Episodes 1-6?

  • 4
    How could it be prior to E1 if the Empire is involved? Remember, "The Clone Wars" cartoon series is canon. Consider that and that the Empire is active in the film and that can get you close to an answer.
    – NKCampbell
    May 25, 2018 at 2:15
  • Bingo! That makes a lot of sense haha. So obvious, too : ). Maybe write up an answer and I'll accept it. Just seems strange to me that they would rely on the cartoon series to fill the blanks between two feature films when the audiences differ so much.
    – Behacad
    May 25, 2018 at 2:25
  • @Behacad Presumably in future media (Ehrenreich is signed for up to three movies, there's talk of Lando, Obi-wan, and Boba Fett spin-off movies, etc.) they will fill in the movie audiences on what happened. Until then, definitely more of a reward for viewers of the TV show.
    – Jimmy M.
    May 25, 2018 at 4:52
  • @Behacad: Phantom Menace was released in 1999, Solo in 2018. I’m not sure they felt they needed to fill in any blanks, as I’m sure plenty of people watching Solo didn’t know who the weird red dude was. They did show Maul’s metal legs in the movie, although it was subtle enough that the people who I watched the movie with missed it, and also presumed Solo must be set before The Phantom Menace. Jun 2, 2018 at 9:36
  • You could say the same thing about Han Solo or Luke Skywalker in The Force awakens! Hah
    – Behacad
    Jun 2, 2018 at 19:47

4 Answers 4


We can actually use Chewbacca's stated age in the movie, compared to his stated age at the end of the Clone Wars, to determine fairly accurately when Solo: A Star Wars Story takes place.

Within the movie, Chewie tells Han his age.

Han Solo: 190 years old?

[Chewie howls again]

Han Solo: You look great!

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) - Quotes - IMDB

Based on this answer from Wad Cheber to the question "How old is Chewbacca?", we get a Disney canon answer to Chewbacca's age at the end of the Clone Wars.

He was a Wookiee, after all, and he knew passion. His were a proud people, a people who had lived for hundreds of years peacefully on their wooded homeworld of Kashyyyk until the Clone Wars. He had been younger then, just one hundred and eighty, and he had fought the Separatist battle droids. He had witnessed the betrayal of the clones and the beginning of the Empire. He had seen his people, his brothers and sisters, his family, put in chains and sold as slaves throughout the galaxy. He had been put in chains himself, and just the memory of it made a growl rise in his throat.

Star Wars: Journey to The Force Awakens: Smuggler's Run - A Han Solo & Chewbacca Adventure

Since the Battle of Kashyyyk was fought in 19 BBY (which we see during Star Wars: Episode III), and Chewie has aged approximately ten years in the process, we can reasonably determine that the movie starts in 12 BBY, then jumps forward three years for the rest of the movie to take place in 9 BBY. This places it after Episode III, before Rogue One and Episode IV, and before Star Wars: Rebels.

  • Is Chewie pushing 250 in the next movie then? He looks spry and has a kick-ass hair care regime Nov 8, 2019 at 10:03

The film takes place between episodes 3 and 4. This is evident from the fact that the Empire is in existence, as it was established in Revenge of the Sith; and the plot clearly takes place before A New Hope. As Darth Maul seems to have been saved from apparently certain death after having his torso split apart in A Phantom Menace (he appears in The Clone Wars with a robotic lower body), his presence in the film does not seem to pose a continuity error.

  • Thanks. Care to comment on what Star Wars media tells us Darth Maul has been resurrected?
    – Behacad
    May 25, 2018 at 2:44
  • @Behacad Maul returns in S04E21 of the Clone Wars TV series, and dies (for good) in S03E20 of the Rebels TV series. He appeared in many episodes in between May 25, 2018 at 3:06
  • Just to add that Clone Wars and Rebels are considered Disney canon.
    – Hans Olo
    May 25, 2018 at 7:37
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    More precisely: -10BBY (Before Battle of Yavin) according to the Visual Guide.
    – Neow
    May 25, 2018 at 8:04
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    @hyprfrcb: Maul's a powerful dark side Force user but he seems to have rejected the Sith by the time of Rebels (I've not seen Clone Wars) and isn't using the title of Darth, so the rule technically holds true. That said, Palpatine always seems to have treated it more as the Guideline of Two - he was grooming Anakin while Dooku was still around and has no problem recruiting and training other Force users, like the Inquisitors in Rebels or the Astarte siblings in the Darth Vader comics (who were explicitly vying to replace Vader).
    – Withad
    Jun 20, 2018 at 14:03

Well, in the movie the Empire already exists, so it must be between episode 3 and 7. But this is before we meet Han and Chewie in Mos Eisely Cantina. So it must be between episodes 3 and 4, probably a couple years before Rogue One.


Maul makes his first appearance in Star Wars: Rebels in the episode "Twilight of the Apprentice," which takes place in 3BBY, meaning it takes place three years before A New Hope. At that point, Maul had lost any galactic importance and lived a lonely, hermetic life. Since Maul is still in control of a powerful criminal organization in Solo, we can assume the film takes place before that point. Maul claimed to have been trapped on the planet Malachor for "years," but we don't know if that's true or not.

Maul's latest canonical appearance prior to the rise of the Empire, which we see plenty of evidence of in Solo, is in the prologue of the novel Ahsoka, which takes place concurrently with Revenge of the Sith, in 19BBY. At this point, Maul still has criminal connections, meaning Solo takes place sometime between 19 and three years before A New Hope if Maul lied, and between 19 and five years if he didn't.

Since Han is in the military for three years, we can further narrow that down to either between 16BBY and 3BBY or 16BBY and 5BBY for the main plot of the film.

  • What about the "Rule of Two"? Why Disney broke that, by keeping alive three Sith lords alive?. Truly only Palpatine and Darth Vader are the true line for the rule, but the death of Darth Maul supposedly allows Palpatine to have a new apprentice, ensuring no other dark force sentient being is present?
    – Brethlosze
    Jun 17, 2018 at 6:43

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