Star Wars fans were sent into a frenzy this weekend when a photo of a movie theater cup was posted to social media. While that doesn't sound exciting all on its own, the reason for the reaction was the inclusion of Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo.
Because no images of the main character in Solo: A Star Wars Story have been revealed yet, many assumed this was an accurate look at the new actor as he'll appear in the film. While that's not exactly false, it's not true either.
The cup came from Harkins Theaters in Arizona. Every year, they offer theater goers a new Loyalty Cup, encouraging people to bring it back on every visit for discounted drinks. And every year, the design changes to feature characters from upcoming releases.
Full shot of Han pic.twitter.com/I2p5oyyl8A— Mike DeRose (@livetheforce) November 11, 2017
The 2018 cup features characters like Deadpool, Gamora, and more, lending further credence to its accuracy. But the cup's designs weren't commissioned by Lucasfilm, nor were they based off of artwork or images from Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Harkins Theaters commissioned a local marketing company working with artist Landon Armstrong, who created the image of Han Solo. Armstrong used the face of Ehrenreich as he appeared in the cast photo posted at the beginning of production, back when Phil Lord and Chris Miller were still involved in the movie.
The artist then composited Ehrenreich's face on top of an older photo of Harrison Ford in his Empire Strikes Back outfit, creating an idealized version of the actor's appearance as the character.
Lucasfilm is typically very hands on with their intellectual property, requiring multiple approvals from licensors before they sign off on a final product. That kind of scrutiny likely doesn't trickle down to local theater chains and their own promotions.
Whether Lucasfilm knew about the cup's design before hand isn't clear, but given all of the commotion it made they might know now. Hopefully Harkins doesn't get in trouble for promoting their film.
Though this isn't exactly accurate, we still don't know how Ehrenreich will appear. Who knows, maybe Armstrong made a really good guess and its right on the money. Hopefully we get that first trailer soon and can find out for ourselves.
Solo: A Star Wars Story premieres in theaters on May 25, 2018.