#1: LAWRENCE KASDAN
While Solo: A Star Wars Story is hitting theaters across the United States on May 25th, it's easy to see how this installment of the Lucas Film / Disney franchise will be the best of the SW Universe since Force Awakens. Why? The reason: Lawrence Kasdan. Attached to write the screenplay early on for Solo, Kasdan—a University of Michigan graduate—is just as responsible for the success of the Star Wars universe today as George Lucas is, in many ways.
Kasdan was the guy who wrote the screenplays for The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi , and The Force Awakens; and while George Lucas had a lot to say about the story for the first of those two films, Kasdan was the guy who brought them to life on the page, crafting the dramatic tension and building the story structure. Kasdan is also a brilliant director, too; his children—Jake and Jon Kasdan, of equal measure. (Jon Kasdan co-wrote Solo; You're really missing out if you don't take the time to go back to the 1990s and track down a copy of Zero Effect starring Bill Pullman and Ben Stiller for the proof of all the talent in this family).
#2: RON HOWARD
Today, Ron Howard is known as one of the most successful directors working in Hollywood. He's behind such films as Backdraft, Apollo 13, Cinderella Man, Parenthood, Far & Away, The Da Vinci Code, and Rush to name, just a few. At first, Howard was a child actor best known for his role “Opie” on the influential black and white Andy Griffith Show—he's come full circle here in the George Lucas universe now being the director on Solo. Ron Howard, as a young man, had his breakthrough role in George Lucas's first movie, American Graffiti in the role of "Steve." With films like Apollo 13, Backdraft, Willow, Far & Away under his belt as a director, Ron Howard has the perfect scope as a director who can handle action and drama. So, with him at the helm of Solo, the Star Wars prequel will have the edge over nearly everything that has come since Return of the Jedi. He's not only great at directing action sequences but he's also brilliant at fantasy. Willow, is also another film tied to George Lucas—he produced it in the 1980s. Ron Howard has been a major fan of genre film, too—he got his start with Roger Corman in the 1970s behind-the-camera on Grand Theft Auto.
Here's What We Know About Solo...So Far
The storyline for Solo has been trickling out online since January 2018. And while Disney has been ambigious in terms of specifics, we do know that the young Han Solo will be played by actor Alden Ehrenrich; the young Lando will be played by Donald Glover (star of NBC's Community, Atlanta, rapper Childish Gambino); a new character, Han Solo's love interest in Solo will be played by Game of Throne's own, Emilia Clarke.
What's the story about?
What has been confirmed about the storyline for Solo is as follows: In Solo: A Star Wars Story Han Solo will meet Chewbacca and cross paths with Lando Calrissian and get the Falcon—obviously, this isn't all the story is about! The story will take place 10-years before the events of 1977's Star Wars: A New Hope. The Empire will exist in the story, but will not be such a power force as they will come to be later on in the zeitgeist.
We also know that Han Solo's mentor, Tobia Beckett will be a major character on screen in Solo: A Star Wars Story—Beckett taught Solo everything he knows about smuggling. Another character coming to the screen will be Dryden Vos—so it's certain that Solo wil be one heck of a “gangster movie.”
While the possibilites are endless in regards to the storyline for Solo—all of the hundreds of Star Wars spin-off books and comic books plotlines will not apply, here. As, Disney has deemed those as not valid to the Star Wars Universe moving foward. So, the storyline for Solo will be something that no Star Wars fan has experienced prior, in any way, shape or form.
Oh, and Darth Vadar will have a cameo role in Solo. But, we digress:
The Official “Plot” from Disney:
“Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy,” reads the synopsis. “Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future co-pilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.”
There are some rumors circulating around the interwebs that report that Solo will explore, albeit briefly, some of the origins of Chewbacca. We can't help but wonder if the Star Wars Holiday Special will be referenced tongue-and-cheek?
What can we expect to see in Solo?
We also know that Han Solo's love interest in Solo will be played by actress Emilia Clarke ( Game of Thrones). In the recent issue of Entertainment Weekly, both Clarke and Donald Glover brought out some new information about their roles in the upcoming Solo movie. Clarke discussed how her character "Qi'ra," while being an enigma, is known well by the young Han Solo—in fact, the two grew up together and were "pals," and even, "partners in crime." She also suggests that there is a "romantic side" to things in their relationship in the new Solo movie, as well.
Naturally, the friendship between Lando and Han will come to fruition in Solo. Actor Donald Glover will be playing the role that Billy Dee Williams made his. When preparing for the role of Lando, Glover met with Williams. Williams gave him some solid advice in regards to Lando: “Just be charming,” Williams told Glover.
“By the time we meet him in Empire Strikes Back , he owns the city already,” the actor said in a recent issue of EW. “So, I wanted to show the person he was before that was even possible. Like, I don’t even know if he thought that was possible at the time.”
But, this isn't Harrison Ford!
No, it's not Harrison Ford—the man that everyone knows to be Han Solo. But, again, this is a prequel to the original trilogy. So what can fans of Star Wars expect from Aldren Ehrenreich in the role? Well, for starters: this Han Solo of Solo will not be the loveable cynic that we've all come to know in the original trilogy. Kasdan has hinted in interviews since the start of 2018 that Han Solo will not be the guy who came to shoot first in the Cantina at Greedo.
The young actor bringing Han Solo to life in Solo sat down with Harrison Ford to prepare for the role. And according to sources, Ford passed on his knowledge of Solo as he had first received it from George Lucas 40-years before. According to Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm in a recent issue of EW, “He gave Alden” a kind of “ insight which was invaluable,” she said. “There were several times in the course of making the movie where Alden would actually recount some of the things that Harrison had pointed out.” Solo comes to theaters across the United States on May 25th.
Links to videos for piece:
Some of the story for Solo will take place in the referenced-in-Star-Wars: “Spice Mines of Kessel.”
Director Ron Howard delivers a message to fans: