Tag Archives: chewie

Han Solo Spinoff: Shooting Starts Jan. 2017, For Release on May 2018

Last week, the Atlanta Jewish Film Festival awarded director Lawrence Kasdan with its first ever Icon Award for Contributions to the Cinematic Arts.

While most Star Wars fans couldn’t care less, the occasion allowed the Atlanta Business Chronicle to corner Kasdan and interrogate him about Star Wars stuff Bespin-style!

Here’s the choice intel from the interview, including a sick burn about the prequels:

  • The Han Solo film will start shooting in January 2017 in London. Kasdan and his son Jon have finished the story treatment, and the script is now in the hands of the directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord.
  • It’s scheduled for release on May 2018, 7 months before Episode IX. This makes it the only movie in the new franchise to screen outside of December (in contrast to Rogue One, Episode VIII, and Episode IX).
  • Kasdan was originally part of the Episode 7 story group alongside Michael Ardnt, who then backed out due to the time pressure involved. Later, J.J. Abrams took over Episode 7 and Kasdan found himself concentrating on the Han Solo standalone film, while consulting for The Force Awakens.
  • He claims to have little information on the complete story arc of the new trilogy. However, he is friends with Episode VIII director Rian Johnson, and he’s getting to know Episode IX’s director Colin Trevorrow.
  • Kasdan says that despite the overwhelming expectation of writing a Star Wars film, “it’s not that much pressure.” And here’s the reason why:

What the pressure is — you don’t want to disappoint people. That’s all. And you’re hoping in the case of the series that it’s an installment that people like, because there are installments people don’t like. So, you want to rectify that.

When asked if he was alluding to the prequels (which he didn’t write), Lawrence Kasdan just laughed politely. Remember, this is the guy who wrote the screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back. For Kasdan, there are no such things as Gungans or little Anis.

Disney is on Star Wars overdrive. They’ve established the norm of shooting two films simultaneously, and starting work on the next movie as soon as one is finished. In 2015, Rogue One began shooting just as work on The Force Awakens wound down. And three months before TFA even screened, the crew were back in Skellig Michael start on Episode VIII.

Right now, Disney has two films in production: Rogue One and Episode VIII. Right after Rogue One screens in December, work will then shift to Han Solo.

So what does this mean for fans? It means that 2017 will be a deluge of Star Wars.

First we will have the much-awaited Episode VIII by Christmas next year. Then we’ll see the young Han Solo by summer, barely enough time for the previous film to come out on Blueray. Finally, the biggest mama-jama of all, the trilogy-ending Episode IX, will debut 6 months later.

There has never been this much Star Wars stuff. For the original trilogy and the prequels, fans had to wait 3-5 years between each movie. Today, Disney has cut down the waiting time to between 6 months to 1 year. Could this zeal lead us to peak Star Wars and a saturated market? Only time will tell.

For true Star Wars however, the more the better.

 

 

Star Wars Episode VIII: Chewie Escapes from Ahch-To to Visit Irish Schoolkids!

While everyone’s focused on the Star Wars Episode VIII shooting in Ireland, one character managed to sneak out of the set to drop by a local school.

Local newspaper The Daily Edge reports that none other than Chewbacca stopped by a primary school in the village of Ballyferriter yesterday. The Wookiee came in full costume straight from the set of Donegal, which is standing in for Luke’s exile planet of Ahch-To.

chewie school visit

While filming builds up to a climax on set, Chewie took the time to mingle with the primary school students, hand out sweets and even learn some Irish!

According to the paper, the surprise visit was sparked by two kids among the class who are huge Star Wars fans. The little rebels took photos of the set from afar, turned them into scrapbooks and gave them to the crew. In return, they got the visit of a lifetime from Chewie!

The seven-and-a-half foot tall Wookiee could be seen playing with the kids and even lifting some of them around, so it probably isn’t the 72-year old Peter Mayhew under the fur.

chewbacca kids ireland

Regardless, the little tykes had an absolute blast during Chewie’s half-hour visit to the school. Poor Wookiee could use a little kid therapy after losing Han to his own godson right?

Maybe we ought to turn all those Episode VIII spy photos into scrapbooks and send them to the filming crew too!

chewbacca ireland

VIDEO: Chewbacca Lady vs. Stormtrooper Larry!

Stormtrooper FU-1287 faces off against the notorious Wookiee impersonator “Chewbacca Mask Lady“, wanted in over twelve Toys R Us systems!

 Check out our Holovids section for more Stormtrooper Larry videos!

Han Solo Spinoff Movie: What We Know So Far

Star Wars: Episode VIII is only halfway through the shoot, and Rogue One won’t be showing for over half a year, but the Star Wars overdrive continues.

Today, Disney released the latest regarding the Han Solo standalone movie. Here’s everything we know to date.

  1. Alden Ehrenreich landed the role

alden ehrenreich han solo.jpg

It’s confirmed: the young Han Solo will be portrayed by Alden Ehrenreich, the 26-year old actor who appeared in the 2016 comedy Hail, Caesar!.

Like Harrison Ford, the actor’s path to stardom was unconventional. Whereas Ford was a carpenter discovered by George Lucas, Ehrenreich was spotted by Steven Spielberg from a bar mitzvah video.

Ehrenreich certainly has the scruffy look and cheeky grin of the famous smuggler, beating other Han Solo hopefuls like Transformers star Jack Reynor and the Kingsman’s Taron Egerton.

han solo hopefuls.jpg

Seriously, among the Han Solo hopefuls, he looks the closest right?


2. It will have two directors

The film will be directed by Phil Lord and Christoper Miller. The duo was responsible for 21 and 22 Jump Street, and animated movies like Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs and The Lego Movie.

Despite being paired with the dream team scriptwriters Lawrence Kasdan (Empire Strikes Back) and his son Jon Kasdan, Chris Miller spoke about the intense pressure of helming the Han Solo origin story:

“It’s a huge pressure. We always try and find something that’s gonna make us… give a fire to our bellies and do a really good job. And this feels like there’s a lot of pressure to not screw this up.

So we’ve definitely got that motivation and then the rest of it is about trying to give audiences a fresh experience that doesn’t feel like you’re just trying to check off some checklist of beats that you’re expecting and make something that feels new and exciting for people, but at the same time honoring what was so great about that character.”


3. It will explain how Han met Chewie

Disney CEO Bob Iger confirmed that Chewbacca will be present. It will likely explore the backstory behind the Han and Chewie partnership, and how the Wookiee came to owe him a life debt.

In the original Expanded Universe, Han freed a Chewie from a slave ship. Then a Lieutenant in the Imperial Navy, Han was ordered by his commanding officer to skin the Wookiee. Rather than obey, he chose to be court-martialed and ended up being a smuggler, with Chewie as his co-pilot and business partner.

One day this slaver was particularly hard on one Wookiee, treating him so badly I couldn’t stand by and watch. I’d heard the phrase, ‘It’s none of your business,’ one too many times, so I took action. My good deed was rewarded.
I was court-martialed and booted from the majestic Imperial Navy. But here’s the catch. Chewbacca here was that Wookiee. And my intervention in his life, my making him my business, had established his ‘life debt’ to me. Some Wookiee custom, that. He was ready to follow me anywhere, and he did.

4. The “broom handle” is back

For Star Wars Day, director Chris Miller tweeted this treat:

That’s Han’s iconic sidearm. The DL-44 heavy blaster pistol was produced by Blastech Industries and was considered one of the most powerful sidearms in the galaxy. In real-life, it was a modified German Mauser pistol with an attached sniper scope.


5. It will be light-hearted compared to Rogue One

Whereas Rogue One is being billed as a gritty war movie, the Han Solo film will be entertaining and funny. According to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, this is why they chose the Legofilm directors to be in charge of the movie.

“You can imagine, given who we’ve chosen to come in and direct, it should be very entertaining and funny. Han Solo is the character inside Star Warsthat everybody knows has a wit and sense of humor. So that’s what this should be.”

The film is slated for release on May 25, 2018, 41 years after Han Solo first appeared onscreen in A New Hope.


Hungry for more Star Wars movie updates? Read our frame by frame analysis of the Rogue One trailer!

The Saddest Thing about The Force Awakens

Back in the olden days of Return of the Jedi, we were treated to a happy ending.

The second Death Star was destroyed, along with Vader and old man Palpatine. All over the galaxy, repressed citizens crowded the streets in jubilation. The last shot of the original trilogy had the heroes of the Rebellion celebrating while the force ghosts of Ben, Yoda and Hayden Christensen looked on.

Against all odds, the ragtag alliance won the war and ushered in the fall of the Galactic Empire.

returnofthejedix05The last time they will ever be happy together

After all they’ve been through, our heroes earned a well-deserved break, right? The old Expanded Universe thought so.

Luke started a new Jedi Academy, while Han and Leia settled down and pumped out Jedi babies. They had 3 kids, and Luke and his wife Mara Jade had one. Leia later became the New Republic head of state, and Han settled down to a comfortable life while occasionally going on adventures with Chewie and Lando.

With the release of The Force Awakens, the overlords of Disney wiped away all of that.

Instead, thirty years after the fall of the Empire, our heroes were actually worse off than before. Let’s take a look:

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Luke – Tried to start a new Jedi school, but ended up with a wholesale slaughter of his entire student body.

He failed so massively that he fled from the rest of the galaxy. He abandoned even his own sister, best friend, and his loyal droid. And as the opening crawl says, it was in Luke’s absence that the First Order grew stronger and spread tyranny across more worlds.

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Leia – Once a distinguished Senator, respected warrior, and royalty, she faded into political obscurity. In fact, she was considered a liability by the new government. According to the novelization,

Leia bit down on her lower lip. “So much time has passed. There was a time when they were at least willing to listen. And of course, the Senate’s makeup has changed. Some of those who were always willing to pay attention to me have retired. Some of those who have replaced them have their own agendas.” She smiled ruefully.

There’s even a scene where Leia straight up tells her envoy that if she went personally, something bad might happen to her:

“But why don’t you go yourself, General? An appeal of this nature is always more effective when delivered firsthand.” Leia’s smile thinned. “I might make it to the Senate, yes. I might even be able to deliver my speech. But I would never, never get out of the Hosnian system alive. I would have a terrible ‘accident,’ or become the victim of some ‘deranged’ radical. Or I would eat something that didn’t agree with me. Or encounter someone who didn’t agree with me.”

In short, Leia was coldbloodedly telling someone else to take the risks for her, and being frank about it. Now we know where Kylo Ren got his evil from.

In the end, we have Leia carrying on her lonely fight for freedom, after being abandoned by her husband, son, brother and the galaxy at large.

And what about poor Han Solo? He won the princess, saved the galaxy, and got his precious ship back from a suicide mission.

Thirty years later, he was estranged from his wife, disavowed by his son, lost the Falcon, and went back to his old conman-smuggler routine.

old

And after managing to survive a hand-to-mouth existence, he gets stabbed in the heart with a ragged lightsaber by his own offspring.

Then there’s our beloved droids: C3PO and R2-D2. As usual, nobody listens to Threepio, and nobody even gives a fuck to paint his replacement arm. Meanwhile, Artoo becomes a hermit just like his master — shoved under a dusty tarp in a forgotten corner, he is absent for most of the movie in favor of BB-8.

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And in case you’re wondering about Lando, there’s no mention of him at all. It’s like the Hero of Tanaab and the Guy who Blew Up Death Star II didn’t exist. Maybe he died during a stimspice-and-hooker collision with a star cruiser. Or he got shanked in a dingy casino in Nar Shadaa. That would be the best outcome, so he wouldn’t see how low his friends have sunk.

And you know what? This may actually be better. It means that there is no fairy tale ending, and not everything has to end happily ever after. That is the cold, hard reality not just in the Star Wars universe, but our own. 

Quite a lesson for kids, right?

You might argue that even the old EU had its tragic moments. One of the Solo brats goes dark, the galaxy gets invaded, and Chewie dies. And yet, at the very least our heroes never got sidelined. Luke was still Jedi Master, Leia stayed in the political limelight, and Han was a respected General. And most importantly, they never abandoned each other.

With The Force Awakens, we have a virtual Shakespeare tragedy: an emo recluse who gave up on the galaxy, a faded princess abandoned by her whole family, and an aging con-man back to his old tricks. Each one of them going on their own separate path.

I really hope Lando wasn’t around to see any of that.

starwarsep6_ending“Look at them clueless fools. They have no idea what’s going to happen them.”


Hungry for more Star Wars stuff? Check out the story of stormtrooper FU-1287, and his experience in the raid on Jakku!