Months ago, shortly after the announcement that Disney was buying Star Wars and would release Episode VII in 2015, reports came that the original cast of the film was excited about the new films, and that Harrison Ford in particular was interested in reprising the role of Han Solo. Well, Disney was apparently listening, because we're now hearing reports that Han Solo will be returning in J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: Episode VII.
The report comes from El Mayimbe of Latino Review, who actually broke the story on Fox News Latino during an interview. El Mayimbe has a solid track record of reporting early scoops, although many of them go unconfirmed by filmmakers and studios until the film itself is in production, or sometimes even in theaters. Track record or no track record, until an official confirmation comes from Disney, Abrams or Ford himself, we recommend treating this as a rumor, but…
It makes sense that Disney would want a sense of continuity between their new Star Wars trilogy and the classic one that preceded it (in narrative order, at least), and including Han Solo into the mix – even as a cameo – would be an excellent way to A) capitalize on the character's popularity (particularly if they really do have a solo Solo movie planned), and B) clarify to audiences that the new Star Wars movies "matter" just as much as the previous ones, which were all personally directed or overseen by the series' creator, George Lucas. With Lucas officially washing his hands of the franchise, including a familiar, beloved character like Han Solo would be a clear way to show respect for the films that came before, and started the phenomenon, before moving forward in a new direction.
You know… exactly what J.J. Abrams did with Leonard Nimoy in the first Star Trek movie.