Huge Star Wars news was revealed yesterday, when it was confirmed that the second stand-alone Star Wars movie will focus on a young Han Solo. This isn’t a complete shock—when the “Anthology” films were first revealed to tell stories outside of the numbered Episode saga, it was widely rumored that there would be a young Han Solo movie, as well as one focused on a young Boba Fett.
But still, this is pretty cool news.
First off, the movie will be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the guys behind The Lego Movie and The Last Man on Earth (as well as the Jump Street films and other projects.) These two have shown that they can tell extremely clever and entertaining stories, and I am extremely curious to see how they handle a fan-favorite like Han.
The script is being co-written by Lawrence Kasdan (who penned The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens) and his son, Jon. There’s something beautifully poetic about a father and son working on a movie that will reintroduce a beloved character to a new generation. (Maybe someday Eli and I can write a Star Wars movie together! That would literally make my heart explode from pure, unadulterated joy.)
Of course, the big question now is who will take on the iconic role. Obviously this is a character that is indelibly linked to Harrison Ford, so whoever is cast will have some mighty big shoes to fill. To be honest, it wouldn’t surprise me if Disney announced that they were going to use a body double and cutting edge technology to have Ford play a younger, slightly less scruffy looking version of himself. Though who knows if Ford would even be interested in that idea.
Which brings up another interesting point. It’s well-known that Ford wanted George Lucas to kill off Solo in Return of the Jedi. Obviously that didn’t happen, and he’s coming back for Episode VII, but will Ford finally get his Solo death wish? Apparently Disney didn’t fast-track this Solo movie because they didn’t want to confuse audiences with Ford and another actor playing the same character in close succession. So can we infer that Han Solo isn’t going to survive the events of The Force Awakens? If the movie were to follow the pre-established pattern, one might guess that it’s most likely that Luke Skywalker would be the beloved character killed (think of Qui-Gon in Episode I and Obi-Wan in Episode IV). But maybe J.J. Abrams is going to throw us a curve and off off Solo instead.
Or maybe he’ll die in Episode VIII (due in 2017) and then be “resurrected” as a young man the next year.
It all remains to be seen, but—as always—I’m extremely excited by this Star Wars news. Han Solo is one of modern cinema’s greatest characters, he’s been put in good hands, and I can’t wait to see his early adventures. Like maybe his sub 12-parsec Kessel run, the time he was boarded by an Imperial cruiser and had to drop his cargo, or when he won the Falcon from Lando over a game of Sabacc!