Han Finally Gets His Solo Star Wars Movie

Cinema's most lovable rogue gets his spin-off on May 25th, 2018.

Of all the potential Star Wars spin-offs, I think most most would agree the idea of a young Han Solo movie was the least exciting and the most unnecessary. But, like death, taxes and the Connor family fighting Judgment Day, it was inevitable and tonight Disney just made it official.... you'll be watching a young Han Solo and Chewy doing the Kessel run and generally p*ssing off the galaxy on May 25th, 2018. Whether you like it or not, Disney have just dictated your plans for that day. If nothing else, the force behind the movie is strong, like really strong. The Empire Strikes Back and Raiders Of The Lost Ark (and Force Awakens) screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and his filmmaker son Jake (Bad Teacher, Sex Tape) are scripting the adventures of space's most lovable space rogue, with The Lego Movie and 21 Jump Street duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller set to produce and direct. Not bad Disney, but don't get cocky. The most important part of the jigsaw is not in its place yet...
There's no word yet on who will have the enviable task of stepping into Harrison Ford's shoes as Solo but I imagine fan favourite Chris Pratt (though Star Lord is his Han Solo and he's likely going to be the new Indiana Jones anyway) and Joseph Gordon-Levitt (my personal choice) will be linked to it consistently and passionately. From the outside looking in, casting is going to be the key here, just as it was in 1977 when Harrison Ford defined one of cinema's greatest heroes. Disney, via Marvel Studios, have already done it once with the casting of Chris Pratt in Guardians Of The Galaxy... but far too many actors to mention have attempted to replicate what Ford brought to cinema four decades ago and failed spectacularly with cheap rip-offs and bad imitations, in all kinds of genre. The filmmakers can't afford to make the same mistake here and expect this movie to stand on its own two feet. Officially, Disney are calling it an "anthology" movie but I'm not entirely sure what that means except that it's in continuity. In reality, it's a Star Wars spin-off prequel and it'll likely feature the first encounters between Solo and his various friends (Chewy, Lando) and enemies (Boba Fett, Lando) and many lovers in-between. If there's not an extended battle sequence between Solo and Fett then there's really no point doing it. The official press release says;
The story focuses on how young Han Solo became the smuggler, thief, and scoundrel whom Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi first encountered in the cantina at Mos Eisley.
So it's Han Solo begins, essentially. Will the movie live up to the idea of what all those characters early encounters would have been like when you watched the original trilogy? Unlikely. The Star Wars prequels certainly couldn't live up to the amazing movie you imagined in your head when Obi Wan-Kenobi spoke so captivatingly about his past with Anakin Skywalker. No prequel can ever beat the movie in your head... but if this film gives us JGL and manages to add something to the Star Wars mythos and doesn't get too caught up on tieing loose ends, making pointless fandom references and explaining everything, then maybe the whole thing will be worthwhile. Maybe, anyway. That's as far as I'm willing to go right now. A quote from Miller & Lord on their excitement for the film;
"This is the first film we've worked on that seems like a good idea to begin with. We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us. This is a dream come true for us. And not the kind of dream where you're late for work and all your clothes are made of pudding, but the kind of dream where you get to make a film with some of the greatest characters ever, in a film franchise you've loved since before you can remember having dreams at all€ said Miller and Lord.
Your thoughts and comments are welcomed...
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Matt Holmes is the co-founder of What Culture, formerly known as Obsessed With Film. He has been blogging about pop culture and entertainment since 2006 and has written over 10,000 articles.