Putting together a movie about Han Solo that won’t star Harrison Ford as everyone’s favourite space pirate was always going to be a tricky affair. Just who the hell do you cast as the young Han? Will he be zipping around in the Millennium Falcon? And what tale exactly do you tell? Well, the answer to this last question has been pretty much answered. Much to fans delight Chewie is confirmed to be on board with the film revolving around the pair’s meeting and getting together.
This shouldn’t really come as any big surprise. Chewie himself, actor Peter Mayhew, has been Tweeting pages of his original Star Wars script (bonus – proof Han shot first, as if any were needed) ahead of a big announcement. No doubt this is it. Will he be donning the Walking Carpet costume once more? No news on that yet, but it’s be a pretty good bet that Joonas Suotamo, who portrayed Chewie for the more vigorous scenes in The Force Awakens, will reprise the Wookie in some, if not all, of the movie.
The film, yet to start shooting, already has some fine pedigree behind it. Lawrence Kasdan – writer of The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi AND The Force Awakens as well as Raiders of the Lost Ark – is on board as both writer and producer and Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who together helmed The Lego Movie, will direct. That’s some serious creative muscle from the off. But having Chewbacca along for the ride is a smart, and obvious, move. Wherever you have Han, you have Chewie and seeing one without the other would immediately distract from an already somewhat unknown quantity.
Any Star Wars movie is going to be spectacularly successful regardless but stepping out of the main character base, stories and timeline has never been done on the big screen before. Rogue One, due December 14, will pave the way for these entries and show the tone the spin-offs are expected to take and Bob Iger, Disney Big Cheese, has said that they will be marketed “differently, but aggressively.” The bottom line is, if these first two spin-offs don’t work creatively and critically, it will have repercussions for both the ‘core’ Star Wars films and the previously titled Anthology tales.
There is still no news yet on who is to be cast as Han Solo. Names in the running include Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort and Dave Franco. Numerous fans and media outlets are still clamouring for Anthony Ingruber to be given the role, on the basis he can do a spot-on Harrison Ford impersonation. Newsflash – it’s never gonna happen. Contentious opinion – you should all have a very bad feeling about him playing the part.
The as-yet untitled Han Solo solo movie is due to be released May 25 2018.