The New Han Solo Movie is Going To Defy All Expectations, According to The Filmmakers

Monday, 31 October 2016 - 3:21PM
Star Wars
Star Wars: Han Solo
Monday, 31 October 2016 - 3:21PM
The New Han Solo Movie is Going To Defy All Expectations, According to The Filmmakers
People went wild when Donald Glover was announced as the new Lando Calrissian (except for his mother—she explicitly told him not to ruin the character), just like the film world made an approving, satisfied nod when Alden Ehrenreich was cast as Han Solo. Compare that excitement to the initial reactions to the announcement that Hollywood would be making a young Han Solo movie—almost universal wariness, head-shaking, and (like Glover's mom) the quiet, internal resolution that if they mess up Han Solo, there will be hell to pay.

Because Han Solo is no Boba Fett—he had a strong, developed personality, a shady, titillating history, and an arc that saw him grow from a selfish, look-out-for-number-one criminal-type to a hero of the Rebellion. They brought a lot of that back for The Force Awakens, but this new movie, like Rogue One, is going to be an experiment. Can anyone capture the essence of the character with a whole new cast and setting? Han Solo is the archetypal witty, charming rogue, complete with his own brand of dry humor. As Harrison Ford demonstrated in Force Awakens, the old saying is true—dying is easy, comedy is hard.

Oh, jeez, that joke even hurt us a little.

But really, we have every reason to be optimistic about the new movie. One of the chief reasons is that, by all accounts, the filmmakers are willing to take risks and make something interesting and new. In an interview with Bradford Young, the lauded cinematographer attached to the movie, Young talks about Chris Miller and Phil Lord's vision for the the project:

Opening quote
"These cats are subversive, don't let it fool you (laughs). They are prepared to say exactly what they wanna say and it's complex, it's layered, it's smart, it's visual, it's dramatic, it's funny, it's uneasy, it's unexpected. These cats are-I'm honored to have them in the list of directors I've worked with, that's for sure."
Closing quote


Compare "complex," "subversive," "uneasy," and "unexpected" to a lot of the words used to describe The Force Awakens: "familiar," "safe," "nostalgic," etc. The Force Awakens had one job: restart the franchise and don't screw anything up. With these anthology films, filmmakers and writers can take more chances and think outside the box, which, when you read about the committee-driven decision-making that doomed films like Suicide Squad, is encouraging. Indeed, Lucasfilm seems to be giving Miller and Lord quite a bit of freedom:

Opening quote
"We're doing our own thing, that's why we're there. Phil and Chris are there to bring what they bring to their films, their very unique vision, their perspective on story and they asked me to come bring what I bring, and so just for that it won't feel like any of the other films. And nobody at Lucasfilm is asking us to betray that, they're saying 'We're in full support of what you do and we wanna make sure that we're able to help you do it in the best way.' It's gonna feel like a Star Wars film, but we're definitely gonna break some rules, and we're encouraged to do that. Visually, narratively that's a good mandate."
Closing quote


These are all good signs. When you're playing around with a movie about Han Solo, you want a film that's as bold, edgy, and unique as the man himself. This is the guy that shot first in the Mos Eisley cantina, the same one that stuck the Millennium Falcon onto the bridge of a Star Destroyer to avoid detection, the pilot who made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs, and despite that last one making no sense at all, it doesn't make him any less cool. So when cynics everywhere say "Let's be real—the odds of making a good Han Solo are astronomically low" (say 3720 to 1, for example), we hope the filmmakers react the way Solo would: "Never tell me the odds."

The untitled Han Solo anthology film is set to release on May 25, 2018.
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Star Wars: Han Solo