Laying the Groundwork for Future Films/Stories.
The Skywalker saga ends in December of next year, but Star Wars will live on. Solo lays the groundwork for future storytelling by stepping away from the saga yet still linking to it. For example, Maul’s appearance connects the film to The Clone Wars animated series and an entire story line focusing on the crime syndicates that play such a large part in Solo.
Likewise, that connection ties into Maul’s time on Mandalore, which in turn is sure to factor in Jon Favreau’s upcoming live-action series, if the rumors of its subject are to be believed. Solo very subtly provides a great deal of material from which future stories can grow.
Even though Solo: A Star Wars Story may not have been necessary, now that we have it, Solo matters.