When I was a kid, I couldn’t get enough of Han Solo. He was my most played with action figures, I dressed up as him a few times for Halloween, and I read the Brian Daley books in constant rotation. There was nothing worse that the last half hour of The Empire Strikes Back and the first half an hour of The Return of the Jedi because Han Solo wasn’t in it.
We won’t even talk about the prequels here. But I felt The Force Awakens was a nice post script for the character. Though it should no longer be a spoiler alert at this point, we should all know now the latest adventure didn’t end so well for Han. As sad as it was, anybody who’s read anything about Harrison Ford knows he wanted the character to sacrifice himself in Return of the Jedi. But after a little time, Han Solo got to go out in a blaze of glory… Somewhat.
Turns out, that wasn’t the end of the story. Han Solo’s story will continue with the beginning. The next “A Star Wars Story” movie will be about a young Han Solo. You no doubt have heard about it by now, especially with the recent behind the scenes drama.
Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were let go from the project due to creative differences with Kathleen Kennedy. And it was just announced that Ron Howard will take over. I guess if I had to choose anybody to come in and pick-up the pieces of a broken filming relationship, it would be an established director like Howard. And I’m sure Disney’s goal is to make a movie that everybody will enjoy, which usually equals more money.
But I’m going to say something here that may not be in alignment with the opinions of other geeks: Do we really need a young Han Solo movie? We love the character, but wasn’t it because we saw him turn from a scoundrel to a hero? Does it really matter what he was up to before meeting his destiny in Mos Eisley?
I’m also among the minority who thought Rogue One: A Star Wars Story was also unnecessary. Yes, I enjoyed it (more so the second half than the first), but I didn’t feel it added anything more to the Star Wars universe than some geeky self-indulgence. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. But are all these new prequel movies going to be the same? Just fun tips of the hat to the original series?
I just fear that the Han Solo (and Boba Fett movie for that matter) are going to be like Jim Henson’s Star Wars baby. Oh, look, that’s how he met Chewie! That’s how he got the Millennium Falcon from Lando! Oh, it’s the Kessel run! If we learned anything from the prequels, it’s that the images we have about these past events in our mind can rarely match the vision another director brings to the big screen. Or at least for me.
But hey, maybe I’ll be wrong, and this movie will take the character of Han Solo to a new level. No matter what happens, we’ll still have the classic Harrison Ford Han Solo to cherish! As well as some worthy imposters…