Ever since he burst onto our screens sliding into a booth seat in the Mos Eisley cantina declaring, “Han Solo. I’m captain of the Millennium Falcon. Chewie here tells me you’re looking for passage to the Alderaan system,” audiences have been captivated by Han Solo. A “stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf-herder” among other things, Han not only proved his worth time and time again, but also managed to smuggle his way into audience’s affections.
My personal favourite character after Princess Leia, I was stoked to discover that the second Star Wars Anthology film would focus on the smuggler turned rebel. While it’s still almost three years off, some details about the film are coming to light. The specifics of the film that have been confirmed are few and far between. We do know that the directors will be Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who brought us Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, The LEGO Movie and the 21 Jump Street films. Lawrence Kasdan is back to write the script for the film, bringing along his son Jon, who wrote and directed The First Time and also spent some time as a writer on Freaks and Geeks. And that’s about all that has been released to date. As the Lucasfilm and Disney marketing teams prepare to make the jump to lightspeed with Star Wars: The Force Awakens’ release almost on our doorstop, Entertainment Weekly was able to get some further info about the Solo film from Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.
So what kind of story will the film be? Kennedy revealed that conversations about these films actually began back in 2012 with George Lucas about not only “reigniting the saga” but also doing some standalone films that explored individual characters. Given the first film, Rogue One, focuses on the rebels acquisition of the secret plans for the first Death Star and the second is a Han Solo origin story, is it fair to say that the action in the anthology films helps fill in the gaps between the first trilogy and the second? I guess we will have to wait and see what the third one centres on.
The use of the term “origin story” no doubt struck fear into the hearts of many a Star Wars fan. With horror images of a precocious, cocky street urchin Solo in the vein of The Phantom Menace’s Anakin Skywalker at the forefront of people’s minds, Kennedy was quick to assure fans that that wasn’t on the cards: “He’ll definitely be probably in the high teens, low 20s. We’re not introducing you to a 10-year-old Han Solo.” The sigh of relief released around the world could no doubt be heard in a galaxy far, far away.
With this age range, we will be meeting Solo at roughly the same age Luke and Leia are in A New Hope. That will certainly be interesting to compare. As a smuggler who sits outside the law, evades both Imperial and Jabba the Hutt capture, and generally lives life in the shadows, how much light will be thrown on his life from this era? That is exactly what the writers have been grappling with. “There’s got to be a reason for [the stand-alone film] to be,” explains Kennedy. “And obviously the thing that Star Wars has always done so well is it doesn’t spend a lot of time [explaining] the stories that have come before. We don’t want to do that either. We don’t want to spend time going back and answering a lot of questions that, quite frankly, I don’t think people want answered.”
Okay, then what will the story be about? “I think the key here is that we are identifying an event or events in Han Solo’s life that gives you some idea of who he is and why he is the character we have all grown to love,” Kennedy expands.
From the original trilogy, we know that Solo has a history with Chewie (obviously), but also Lando Calrissian, Jabba the Hutt, and at least one of his cronies, Greedo. It is still very early days with the script and there has been no confirmation whether any of these characters will pop up in the film. However, I would be very surprised if Chewie was absent and I would bet on Lando and Jabba both making appearances, however brief they may be.
The Han Solo Star Wars Anthology film is scheduled for release on May 25, 2018. Be sure to follow 4YE for all your Star Wars news.
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