You need a casino games scorecard to keep track of the back-and-forth movies of the Star Wars series. There’s the first trilogy of the 1970s, the pre-quel trilogy, post trilogy films and now Solo: A Star Wars Story — a stand-alone installment that answers the question that fans have been asking for decades, “who exactly is Han Solo”
The film, directed by Ron Howard and scheduled for release in May 2018, is set in the Star Wars universe in the era before Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. In the story Han Solo is a young adventurer who’s bent on making his fortune through intergalactic smuggling operations.
There’s not much plot information yet – release date is May 25th – but in short, we know that the audience will see young Han make his way through a series of daring escapades as he encounters future cronies including co-pilot Chewbacca and gambler Lando Calrissian.
Walt Disney studios is producing Solo: A Star Wars Story so viewers can expect a good measure of wholesome entertainment that’s suitable for youngsters from tween years and up. The story takes place aboard the Millennium Falcon. Solo, whose association with the underworld element of the galaxy is considerable, has a number of daring escapedes as he sets off on a journey that will lay the foundation of the prequels and sequels – some of which have been made and some of which are yet to be shot.
Some of the characters in Solo: A Star Wars Story are familiar to Star Wars fans from previous movies. Others are new. The cast includes:
- Alden Ehrenreich as Hans Solo, a cynical smuggler. He describes his character by saying “I think the main thing that’s different is that the Han we meet in this film is more of an idealist. He has certain dreams that he follows, and we watch how it affects him as those dreams meet new realities – realities that are harder and more challenging than he’d expected.”
- Woody Harrelson as Tobias Beckett, Han’s criminal mentor.
- Emilia Clake as Qi’ra who Clarke describes as”She has a couple of guises, but essentially she is just fighting to stay alive. If you’ve got a really glamorous lady in a really sordid environment, you kind of know the glamor is hiding a few rough roads.” With regards to her character’s relationship with Solo, Clarke offered that “They grew up as comrades, essentially. They grew up as pals, as partners in crime. There is obviously the romantic side of things. But they grew up together. So they were kids together.”
- Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, a gambler and smuggler and one of Han’s best friends.
- Phoebe Wallerl-Bridge as L3-37, Lando’s droid companion.
- Joonas Suotamo as Han’s Wookie sidecick and co-pilot Chewbacca.
- Paul Bettany as Dryden Vos, a galactic crime lord, first envisioned as a motion-capture alien and in the final version as a human.
- Clint Howard in an as-of-yet undisclosed role.
- Jon Favreau as a “cool and important alien character”.
The first glimpse that the public got of the upcoming film was shown during the Super Bowl ’18. Ehrenreich’s Solo is played as a younger version of the Han Solo that was popularized by Harrison Ford in earlier films. The film is set at a time that Han is about to make his life choice – become a regular in the seedy underbelly of the galaxy or join the Rebel Alliance as a freedom fighter.
In an interview, when asked about the film, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy said “He might be a little more immature, he may be a little less experienced, and he may hone his cynicism over time, but he’s very wary. He needs to gain the respect of the people he interacts with, even if they’re the lowest of the low.”
For most of the film Han is focusing on being accepted by the bad guys including Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson), crime boss Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) and trigger-happy Val (Thandie Newton). As a smuggler-in-training Han seeks to provide himself to the criminal underworld’s top echelon.
The film is described as a “Western crossed with a film noir….a heist, gunslinger type movie.” Viewers can never be sure whether the characters that they see are honest or shady, good-hearted or evil. Ehrenreich commented that “I think [figuring out who’s good and who’s bad is] exactly what Han’s trying to do throughout the film,” he said.
Behind the Scenes
Solo: A Star Wars Story, is being produced by Lucasfilm from a screenplay by Jon and Lawrence Kasden. Walt Disney Studios will distribute the film which is the second Star Wars anthology films (the first was Rouge One in 2016). The director is Ron Howard which makes Solo: A Star Wars History Howard’s second film for Lucasfilm.
Release date is scheduled as May 25, 2018. Solo: A Star Wars History will be released in IMAX 3D and RealID 3D.