Three months from the theatrical release of Solo: A Star Wars Story and we should start asking questions about when the movie takes place just as much as we wonder what the film will be about. Thanks to the Random House-owned Del Rey Books — publisher of Star Wars novels under the purview of the LucasBooks imprint — fans have a nifty chronological timeline of when each book (including movie novelizations) takes place. Now, it's obvious that Solo will be set sometime after Revenge of the Sith and before A New Hope, but where in that rough 19-year period does Han's origin fall?
According to the snippet of timeline below, Solo's main action occurs between the events of Daniel José Older's Last Shot and Timothy Zahn's Thrawn. The former will be part of a roster of books meant to fill in the gaps in the lead-up to the spinoff movie, while the latter is about the rise of Grand Admiral Thrawn (aka Mitth'raw'nuruodo). While not seen in the live-action movies, Thrawn plays a major part in the Expanded Universe as well as Star Wars Rebels, where he is voiced by Mads Mikkelsen's older brother Lars.
Speaking of Rebels, Solo is also set before the show and John Jackson Miller's A New Dawn, which is a prequel to the animated series, taking place six years prior. Given the available chronology of Rebels and New Dawn in relation to Episode IV, it is safe to assume that Han's cinematic origin story is set over a decade or more before the original trilogy begins.
Since the scruffy-looking nerf herder is supposedly 29 in A New Hope, then Solo has to focus on a Han in his late teens for the timing to work out. As Alden Ehrenreich is currently 28 years old, some suspension of disbelief is required, but an easy workaround is that aging in the Star Wars universe is different from our own. Just because these characters look human doesn't mean they are, and therefore their bodies deteriorate at a slower rate? Yeah, let's go with that.
Solo: A Star Wars Story was directed by Ron Howard and smuggles into theaters on May 25. No date or author has been set for the film's novelization just yet.