With the proposed Han Solo spin-off movie, Disney and Lucasfilm are entering treacherous territory. The loveable galactic rogue, portrayed with incomparable charisma by Harrison Ford, will be the centre of one of the Anthology films planned by Disney.
However, as producers and writers will be acutely aware, messing with his back story would risk stoking the fires and incurring the wrath of angry Star Wars die-hards.
Luckily though, the film is in the more-than-capable hands of Lawrence Kasdan, writer of The Force Awakens, The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi as well as Raiders of the Lost Ark. He will be actively involved in the film as both producer and writer.
In a Q&A about Episode VII (via Squareeyed) after a screening for the Directors Guild of America, alongside JJ Abrams, Kasdan explained that he is really excited to get this movie out there because of his love for the character, despite admitting that he was initially hesitant over getting involved.
“I wasn’t sure I wanted to be involved, and I was a little relieved when they said Michael Arndt had been hired to write Episode VII, because whoever writes that episode—I don’t know what you do with it. But they said, ‘Here are these other stories we’d like to do,’ and the one that caught my attention was a young Han Solo, because that’s my favourite character.”
Fortunately – and we’re extremely relieved about this – the film won’t be an origin story for the character. Here’s what Kasdan had to say about this:
“It will not be, ‘Here’s where he was born and this is how he was raised.’ I think what it will be is what was he like 10 years earlier—maybe a little earlier, you’ll get a glimpse. But Kurosawa once said the heroes are the ones that are still changing and the villains are locked and petrified into what they are, and Harrison embodies in Force Awakens someone who is still not settled on who he is.”
Kasdan also discussed George Lucas’ refusal to kill off the character:
“When I was working on the first trilogy I was always lobbying to kill somebody major because I felt that that gave gravitas to the story. If everyone came out fine all the time there was no danger, there’s no jeopardy,” he said. “And Harrison who was ambivalent at that time about his participation was all for that in ‘Jedi.’ And I was pushing George, I was saying ‘That would be a great idea, I think it should cost us.’ And by the end of ‘Empire,’ you do have to worry about Han, but I think George was correct to keep Han alive. So that’s always been an issue: how much danger is there and what is the real jeopardy in this saga.”
So, it look likes we’re in the clear in terms of a repeat of Darth Vader’s origin story (the prequels) and we’re breathing one massive sigh of relief. What do you think? Are you excited to see Han Solo centre in his own standalone film? And who do you think should succeed Ford in the part? and more importantly, who should play him?
Let us know!