Star Wars will return to the Cannes Film Festival with the global premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story, debuting out of competition on May 15.
Solo is not the first Star Wars film to debut at the star-studded event. Two of the prequel trilogy films, Episode II: Attack of the Clones and Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, also premiered out of competition in 2002 and 2005, respectively. Entertainment Weekly has additional details about the film festival’s ties to the franchise and Star Wars creator George Lucas.
Solo stars Alden Ehrenreich, stepping into Harrison Ford’s shoes as the young Han Solo, with Donald Glover as the Lando Calrissian, previously played by Billy Dee Williams. Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke, Westworld‘s Thandie Newton, and Woody Harrelson also have prominent roles in the movie.
The journey to Solo‘s release has been a turbulent one. Much like the first Star Wars standalone film, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, released in 2016, Solo has had some production issues—to the point when Lucasfilm fired the film’s original directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, for “creative differences.” Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy replaced them with Hollywood veteran Ron Howard, and Lord and Miller will received executive producer credits.
Disney and Lucasfilm released the official teaser trailer to the next standalone film in the Star Wars franchise in February, and Howard confirmed via Twitter at the end of March that another full-length trailer would follow soon, although an exact date has not been announced yet.
Troubles on set reportedly settled down once Howard took the helm, based on Vulture‘s recent interview with an anonymous actor, who described two very different production environments before and after the directorial change. Given that it is a Star Wars film, Solo is almost guaranteed to do well at the box office—even the much maligned prequel films broke records.
Sales expectations might be a bit lower for a few reasons, including the production issues but also that Solo is an anthology installment and not one of the core “Skywalker Saga” films like 2015’s The Force Awakens or 2017’s The Last Jedi. But a debut at a prestigious event like Cannes could go a long way in glossing over those troubles and shoring up expectations with some old fashioned Hollywood effects: glitz and glamour.
The 2018 Cannes Film Festival will run from May 8 through May 19. Solo will be released worldwide on May 25, the same date the film that started it all debuted in 1977.