The director posted a photo to his Instagram teasing a famous spice smuggling route in the Star Wars universe.
Director Ron Howard has been sharing sneak peeks from the set of the eagerly anticipated spin-off since June, but his latest Instagram post is more than just a glimpse at set props or characters. It teases a whole potential plot point.
The photo, which Howard captioned "Spicey?" features what looks like an elevator built into a rock, and though the image is grainy and dark, you can see enough to confirm that it’s underground. All of those details seemingly point to the location being the Kessel Run, and could mean that fans will get to see a Star Wars event that’s only been mentioned by characters in passing.
The Kessel Run is a hyperspace smuggling route near the Spice Mines on Kessel, a planet which houses criminal labor camps where various species mine the medicinal mineral glitterstim spice. The spice can be turned into a mind-altering drug, and as such, smugglers use the route to get the product past Imperial Guards undetected. Due to the planet’s proximity to a cluster of black holes, as well as the complex piloting involved in having to make drops, pick-ups and tight turns along the route, navigating safely and quickly proved to be quite difficult.
In Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope we learn pilot Han Solo was able to complete the run over a shorter distance than other smugglers when he says "You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon?…It's the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs." And in The Force Awakens, the latest addition to the sequential franchise, fans are reminded of this rather unbelievable feet after Rey boards the Millennium Falcon. "This is the ship that made the Kessel Run in 14 parsecs?" she asks before Han Solo corrects her with, "Twelve!"
Howard’s Instagram photo seemingly confirms that fans will get to see Han Solo navigate that famous "spicey" run in the upcoming film, which opens in theaters May 25, 2018.