We’ve known for months that Alden Ehrenreich was our new Han Solo, but the closing panel at Star Wars Celebration Europe brought the official announcement, plus a surprise appearance by the actor.

At Sunday’s Future Filmmakers panel, the directors of the still-untitled Han Solo spinoff, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, were joined on stage by Episode VIII director Rian Johnson and Pablo Hidalgo of Lucasfilm to discuss the future of the Star Wars franchise. Lord and Miller didn’t spill too many details about their new movie, but did reveal they’ve recently moved to London and are still writing the script alongside Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon Kasdan. They expect production on the movie to begin in January or February of 2017.

Lord and Miller described Solo’s appeal as coming from the fact that he’s “a grouchy, cynical guy with the biggest heart in the galaxy.” When it came to casting the iconic smuggler, the filmmakers said they looked at 3,000 actors all across the world. But the duo ended up choosing the Hail, Caesar! star, who was the very first actor to audition. Ehrenreich then made a surprise appearance at the panel and talked about the surreal experience of screen testing on the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca. Ehrenreich described being on the set of the Falcon as the “coolest part of the audition process” and “unbelievable.”

There was still one last surprise in store for fans, however: a guest appearance by John Boyega, who shocked absolutely no one by revealing that Finn will not spend the entirety of Star Wars: Episode VIII in a coma. In an adorable bit of camaraderie, Boyega gave Ehrenreich a few words of encouragement for his entrance into the Star Wars universe, telling the actor, “You’re gonna be fine, you’ve got that charm.” It seems like just yesterday Boyega was telling anyone who would listen how shocked he was to be playing a character in the Star Wars universe. Now he’s the elder statesman offering advice to new the rookie. How quickly they grow up!

For more photos and news from the closing panel, including updates on Rian Johnson‘s Episode VIII, be sure to check out our full report.

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