Hold up: Han Solo's real name might not actually be Han Solo?

One of the most iconic characters in cinema history may have a secret past that involves an entirely different identity. Han Solo, the cocky space pirate from the Star Wars franchise, may have had a different name when he was younger.

This comes straight from Walt Disney Company CEO Bob Iger, who spoke briefly about the upcoming Young Han Solo movie during a presentation at University of Southern California earlier today. In a wide-ranging discussion, Iger mentioned that they’re currently filming the still-untitled Young Han Solo film, which “picks up with Han Solo when he was 18 years old and takes him through when he was 24. There are a few significant things that happen in Han Solo’s life, like acquiring a certain vehicle and meeting a certain Wookiee that will happen in this film. But you will also discover how he got his name.”

Does Iger simply mean how Solo earned his reputation as a galactic scoundrel? If so, that’s a pretty strange way to phrase it. It sounds an awful lot like he’s saying that “Han Solo” is actually a nickname or assumed identity of some kind. What could possibly have made Han need to change his name? Maybe he was on the run from some gangster in a deal gone bad?

A change like that would be seismic for the Star Wars community, many of whom are diehard fans who know Solo was originally a green-skinned gilled alien that looked more like Swamp Thing than an arrogant pilot. The interesting thing is, Han Solo’s name was always Han Solo in George Lucas’s earliest drafts of the original Star Wars, even though the character hadn’t yet evolved into his eventual human persona as he would in subsequent drafts. So good or bad, whatever might happen in a Young Han movie to reveal that he once had a different name would be way off the mark from what Lucas first envisioned. It’s now up to The Empire Strikes Back writer Lawrence Kasdan and his co-writer and son Jon Kasdan to come up with a good reason for the change. No pressure or anything, guys.

Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the Young Han Solo film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, and Thandie Newton, and will arrive in theaters on May 25, 2018.

Images: Lucasfilm

Ben Pearson
Ben is an entertainment journalist who has written about movies online for nearly a decade. He loves the Fast & Furious franchise, prefers Indiana Jones to Star Wars, and will defend the ending of Lost until his dying day. He shook Bill Murray's hand once (so he's got that going for him, which is nice). Ben lives in Los Angeles with his wife.