Disney is continuing with its mission to milk the ever loving Death Star firepower out of its recently purchased Star Wars franchise with the announcement of the Han Solo movie, taking us down memory lane for the space jumping privateer. With the Lego Movie duo of Phil Lord and Chris Miller signed on to direct the film there’s a big question about how awesome the film will go on to be considering the comedy credentials of their previous collaborations, 22 Jump Street and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs 2.
While the film doesn’t as of yet have a title (our shout goes to either Star Wars: Solo or Flight Of The Falcon) it does have a release date, but the bad news is that it’s just under three years away right now. Confirmed to hit the big screen on the 25th May 2018, it’ll be a little later than Star Wars day, making it a big shout for the summer blockbuster crown. It will split the release of Episode 8, which is planned for the 26th May 2017, and Episode 9, which we’re expecting in either 2019 or ’20.
The specifics of the storyline are still pretty thin on the ground for the movie, but what we do know is that it’s going to be a one off “origins” style plot that takes place during the early days of the intergalactic smuggler. Taking place a long time before he meets Luke and Obi-Wan Kenobi, it will inevitably be set in the great unknown of the time between the first two trilogies with the Emperor holding dominion over his Galactic Empire with Darth Vader at his side.
What’s not clear at the moment is how much the Sith will feature in the film and if we had to put a bet on it, we’d have to say not that much, if at all. We’re expecting a completely separate story that focuses on Han Solo and his opening forays into space, hopefully introducing the Millenium Falcon and his co-pilot Chewwie in the process.
Though no names have been officially confirmed, there’s a lot of speculation about the cast of the Han Solo movie, not least of all about who will be playing the young incarnation of the smuggler extraordinaire. Shia LaBeouf’s name has been suggested, but we’d argue he’s a little on the short side, and there are a lot of other actors who you’ll need to scratch off the list just because they’re probably too old to successfully carry off the role as Harrison Ford was in his early thirties when the original Star Wars movie came out. Nat Wolff could be in with an outside chance, but again maybe he’s too short, but Kodi Smit-McFee fits the bill pretty well if he can master Han’s wry smile well enough.
As with all of the Star Wars movies there will undoubtedly be a massive international casting hunt for the role and other key cast members as the get confirmed over the next year or so. The character is definitely a ladies man, so we’re predicting a fairly significant female role or two to act as precursor romances for Solo ahead of his relationship with Princess Leia.
Now that directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller have been confirmed, the next job for the movie is probably to close out the cast before starting production, probably mid way through 2016 with the 2018 release date still some way away. A screenplay has already been put together for the film co-authored by the brilliant Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi and the soon to be released Star Wars: The Force Awakens, along with his son, Jon Kasdan. Kathleen Kennedy has been confirmed as the producer of the film.
This is a hard one to call with origin stories often missing the mark, so our initial take is a mix of mild trepidation and vague excitement. It’s Han Solo and the Star Wars universe, so the weight of expectation is going to be high too, so there will be little margin for error. Lord and Miller are also known for their comedy rather than their space opera credentials, despite the presence of the Millenium Falcon in the Lego Movie, so they’re going to have to work hard to get the balance right. There’s definitely an element of hunour to the character of Han Solo, but if they overdo it they could end up directing it closer to the dark side than the action adventure force that’s probably needed.