Alden Ehrenreich to play a young Han Solo and 7 other things we learned from Star Wars Celebration Europe


The Star Wars Celebration Europe event, held in London over the weekend, saw many things come to light in relation to the sci-fi franchise.

Perhaps the most exciting piece of news for fans is that Alden Ehrenreich has been cast to play a young Han Solo in a new spin-off flick, taking over the reigns from Star Wars stalwart Harrison Ford.

The 26-year-old Hail, Caesar! star appeared on stage at the event on Sunday along with Star Wars: The Force Awakens actor John Boyega, to reveal Disney has chosen him to play the part.

Alden Ehrenreich (left) is to play a young Han Solo in a new Star Wars film, taking over from Harrison Ford (right)

Speaking to the audience, he said he was "very, very excited" to be taking on the role in the as-yet untitled film, set before original 1977 Star Wars flick A New Hope and reportedly set for release in 2018.

Alden impressively fended off competition from around 3,000 actors for the part, and the excited young star also explained that he auditioned for "around six months".

'The coolest part of the audition process was I went on the [Millennium] Falcon,' he revealed.

But Alden's big new role wasn't the only exciting thing we learned from the Star Wars Celebration Europe extravaganza. Here's a breakdown of seven other cool things to come from the convention, held at the ExCeL Exhibition Centre in the British capital.

Mark Hamill spoke at the Star Wars Celebration Europe event on Friday

1. Mark Hamill has revealed the next instalment in the Star Wars franchise will have an even better catchphrase than "May The Force Be With You", believe it or not...

The Luke Skywalker actor, who appeared in the original trilogy and reprised his role in 2015's The Force Awakens, appeared at a panel on Friday.

He teased: "I was looping Episode VIII yesterday and it has so many great catchphrases.

"Rian Johnson (the writer/director) is a genius. There is dialogue in there I can see on T-shirts. You will forget all about May The Force Be With You."

2. The Rogue One: A Star Wars Story poster was revealed, and it looks awesome

It was one of the most hotly-anticipated moments of the entire weekend, and fans were left delighted when the first official poster for Rogue One was unveiled, and then shared on Twitter.

The image reveals the Death Star cut over a blue sky on the planet Scarif, over a beach fight, a hint at what is to come in the film set before Episode VI: A New Hope.

The movie - starring Felicity Jones in the leading role of Jyn Erso - is set for release on December 16 in the UK.

3. Darth Vader is set to return in Rogue One (and so is the man behind the voice, James Earl Jones)

Darth Vader is back for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story

A new trailer for Rogue One was revealed to the lucky audience of thousands at the London-based event and, while the clip is not yet available online, everybody is now privy to the details.

The main thing taken from the trailer is that original Star Wars villain Darth Vader is back, with his trademark heavy breathing used over the end of the teaser along with a glimpse of his terrifying form.

Also getting fans up in arms is the news that original Vader voice actor James Earl Jones is reprising his role for Rogue One.

4. Carrie Fisher accidentally let slip a major spoiler alert about "Han's funeral" and everyone has gone nuts

Carrie Fisher seemingly revealed there will be a funeral for Han Solo in the next Star Wars film

Carrie Fisher, aka Princess Leia, seemingly made an error during a panel discussion with actor Warwick Davis, in which she was questioned over her knowledge of the time period between Return Of The Jedi and The Force Awakens.

Apparently, having mistaken his query to mean between The Force Awakens and the forthcoming Episode 8, the 59-year-old actress said "Han's funeral..." before quickly correcting herself.

Does this mean that Han Solo (played by original actor Harrison in 2015's The Force Awakens) will finally have his big send off, or was she just teasing the fans to add to the hype?

5. Star Wars: Episode VIII will delve deeper into the characters, as opposed to its all-action predecessor

Fans loved Star Wars: The Force Awakens for its gripping, all-action style and endless excitement. But at the convention, it was revealed by the film's director Rian Johnson that they'll be taken on a more intimate voyage into the characters themselves.

'The second film is where we start zooming in on the characters and getting to the heart of them, challenging them, and pushing them deeper,' he revealed.

6. There will be an unexpected cameo in Star Wars: Episode VIII from Rogue One director Gareth Edwards

With so many obvious overlaps in the many Star Wars films, it should come as no surprise that there is one more to add to the mix.

It was announced on Sunday that Rogue One's director will made the tiniest of cameo appearances in Star Wars 8, and the official movie Twitter account posted a picture of the film-maker in costume for his fleeting appearance.

7. Rogue One's leading character Jyn Erso is a hero with a difference

Felicity Jones revealed more details about Jyn Erso

While little has yet been revealed about Felicty Jones' Jyn Erso's origins were revealed, the British actress did explain that she is poles apart from other notable Star Wars protagonists.

Speaking to the packed-out crowd, she said: "I feel there's one major difference between Jyn Erso and other Star Wars heroes like Rey and Luke."

"And that main difference is that Jyn is not a character asking 'Who am I and where have I come from?' We know that about her. And that fact is what propels the story and is the beginning of her journey and how we found out what her cause is."

Felicity Jones as Jyn Erso in Rogue One