Tag Archives: han shot first

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.

 

 

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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!

Why the Star Wars Saga May be a Big, Fat LIE

Back in 2003 during the production of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, George Lucas revealed a crazy insight: R2-D2 was actually the narrator of the entire Star Wars saga.
journal of the whills
The original story of Luke Starkiller as recounted in the Journal of the Whills

According to ol’ George:

  • The Star Wars films are actually told from Artoo’s recollection, for inclusion in the Journal of the Whills, a record of notable events that shaped galactic history.
  • Artoo relayed the events of the original trilogy and the prequels to the Keeper of the Whill, about 100 years after the Battle of Endor.

From Gizmodo:

“The entire story of Star Wars is actually being recounted to the keeper of the Journal of the Whills—remember that?—a hundred years after the events of Return of the Jedi by none other than R2-D2.”

What are the implications? If the movies are actually narrated by R2-D2, and they were recorded long after they happened, then the whole Star Wars saga as we know it may not be accurate.

Here’s why.


1. Only Artoo doesn’t have flaws

The entire saga is filled with characters who are flawed in their own way. We have Luke, the powerful but brash Jedi; Leia, the headstrong but cold Princess; and Han, the con man/smuggler with a heart of gold.

Even the supporting characters are flawed. Chewie is prone to Wookiee temper, C3P0 is a chronic worrier, Obi-Wan lied, Yoda’s belief in the Jedi dogma was inflexible, and the Emperor’s overconfidence led to his demise.

Guess who was the only character not to have ANY flaw in any of the episodes? That’s right — R2-D2. The narrator of the saga is portrayed as loyal, brave, trustworthy, staunchly independent, and even adorable for a droid. If he does have a flaw, it’s only that we can’t understand his beeps and whistles.

r2d2 girls
He also got more girls than Han and Lando combined.

2. Artoo saved everyone numerous times

Throughout the story arc, everyone gets to have a turn at saving the day.

Princess Leia saved her would-be rescuers by finding a way out of the detention level. Obi-Wan sacrificed himself to allow the Falcon to escape. Han’s intervention saved Luke twice. And of course, we have the biggest galaxy savers of the bunch, the Skywalkers. The dad-son duo is responsible for winning pod races, blowing up droid control ships, and destroying Death Stars.

Out of all the supporting cast, there is only one character who can match their record for saving the day: R2-D2.

  • Episode I: Artoo successfully repaired the Naboo royal starship’s shields, saving everyone from the Trade Federation blockade.
  • Episode II: Stopped Padme from being melted to death in the Geonosis droid factory
  • Episode III: Destroyed the buzz droids that were tearing up Anakin’s fighter
  • Episode IV: Carried the Death Star plans all the way to the Rebellion, got Luke and Obi-wan together, and saved everyone from death by trash compactor
  • Episode V: Repaired the Falcon’s sabotaged hyperdrive, allowing the ship to escape from Cloud City and the Executor fleet
  • Episode VI: Smuggled Luke’s lightsaber for the pivotal fight over the Pit of Carkoon, and unchained Leia from the dead body of Jabba the Hutt before everything exploded.
r2d2 flying
And like James Bond, he has a convenient gadget for every plot dilemma.

Other than the Skywalkers, no one else comes close to saving the day in both the Clone Wars and the Galactic Civil War. Heck, when it comes to heroics, Artoo even beats Jedi Master Yoda, who only came to the rescue twice in Episode II then got his ass kicked by Palpatine in III!

Then again, it just so happens that the entire Star Wars saga, including Artoo’s numerous heroics, are told from his point of view.


3. Artoo “died” several times, but always survived

Don’t you find it just a little suspicious that Artoo was damaged on several instances, yet he always seemed to bounce back intact?

The first was when Luke’s X-wing was hit during the Death Star dogfight. A volley from Darth Vader’s fighter hit Artoo directly on the dome — Luke even says “I’ve lost Artoo”. Yet he was back up and fully functional during the victory ceremony.

r2 death 1

The second time was in Dagobah when Artoo sank in the fetid swamp. He was eaten up by a swamp monster, and then spat back out, whole and damage-free.

r2 death 2

Finally, Artoo suffered a direct hit from stormtroopers during the Battle for Endor, causing him to short-circuit. Threepio even wailed, “Why did you have to be so brave?” And yet that very same night, Artoo was back up and running in time for the Ew0k victory party.

R2_Endor_Damage


 

So what does this mean? I’m not saying that R2-D2 is flat-out lying. I’m just saying that his recollection of events may not be all that accurate. After all, it’s been over a hundred years. And he always seemed to save the day. And he never seemed to die.

Think of the possibilities.

What if a different, unknown droid actually saved the royal starship in Episode I, but only Artoo survived to reap the glory? What if C-3PO played a deadly prank on snowtroopers during the Battle of Hoth, but Artoo omitted it out of respect for his droid buddy? And what if critical parts of the saga either didn’t happen at all or happened very differently, since Artoo wasn’t around to see them?

c3po wampa.gif
One of the many historical events that Artoo conveniently “forgot

Perhaps Boba Fett was actually a bad-ass, and Artoo just made him seem like a total wuss. Perhaps Porkins really survived, and died later of diabetes. Maybe Obi-Wan wasn’t dumb enough to trust the entire future of the Jedi to two babies, and sired some of his own. Maybe Darth Vader wasn’t really redeemed, but was killed by Luke before he faced off against the Emperor. Han actually did shoot first, and didn’t even leave a tip.

And maybe, just maybe, a certain Gungan didn’t really exist.

That’d be one of the upsides of having a dirty, lying astromech droid called R2-D2.

R2D2 drinking

Want more mind-blowing Star Wars insights? Then guess who killed Finn’s stormtrooper buddy on Jakku!