While Rogue One and Episode IX may have stolen the limelight at Disney’s D23 Expo this weekend, they weren’t the only huge pieces of Star Wars news that dropped in the last few days though. Following on from that huge uncharacteristic info dump from writer/director JJ Abrams for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Entertainment Weekly managed to get Lucasfilm President and producer Kathleen Kennedy to spill some beans on the upcoming standalone spinoff film focusing respectively on young Han Solo and Boba Fett.
All we’ve known about the still-untitled Han Solo flick thus far is that it’s to be directed by LEGO Movie and 21 Jump Street duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller, while Star Wars veteran Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens) will be penning the script with his son Jon. That’s a very potent creative team right there, but even with all their talents, do we really want them to tell us all the details of the famed Corellian smuggler’s past? Wouldn’t that ruin some of his allure? Kathleen Kennedy seems to agree with those concerns:
“Those are exactly the questions we’re asking. There’s got to be a reason for [the stand-alone film] to be. And obviously the thing that Star Wars has always done so well is it doesn’t spend a lot of time [explaining] the stories that have come before. We don’t want to do that either. We don’t want to spend time going back and answering a lot of questions that, quite frankly, I don’t think people want answered.”
“I think the key here is that we are identifying an event or events in Han Solo’s life that gives you some idea of who he is and why he is the character we have all grown to love.”
Harrison Ford’s legendary portrayal of Solo has always played up the character’s trademark sarcastic wit, which a much-needed lightheartedness to the sometimes fairly dramatic events around him. That swashbuckling levity is something that will definitely not be forgotten, as Kennedy says that we can probably expect a fun action-adventure vibe to this film.
“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 Wars that everybody knows has a wit and sense of humor. So that’s what this should be.”
The script for this film is still in the very early stages of development, which means that they haven’t yet nailed down the exact time period in Solo’s life that this new adventure will be set in. But if you had fears that one of the most lovable scoundrels in pop culture is suddenly going to get turned into some seemingly cute little kid, the way Darth Vader aka Anakin Skywalker got treated in Episode I: The Phantom Menace, then Kennedy has some reassurance for you.
“He’ll definitely be probably in the high teens, low 20s. We’re not introducing you to a 10-year-old Han Solo.”
Hmmm… Seems that several of my picks for actors to play a young Han Solo was right on point then!
One other iconic Star Wars character that we’ve already seen as a young child in the Prequel Trilogy is of course the mysterious Boba Fett. The jetpack wearing bounty hunter was also set to be getting his own Star Wars Anthology Film – or “Star Wars Story”, as they’re now known – which would have been produced by Simon Kinberg (who has been part of the Star Wars brain trust, and wrote/produced several of the X-Men movies). Originally, Chronicle and Fantastic Four director Josh Trank was supposed to be helming this third spinoff film, but he exited the project earlier in the year, with the official reason given being that he wanted to pursue smaller, original projects instead.
However, the prevailing sentiment at the time, backed up by even more shocking recent claims, was that it was actually Trank’s bad on-set behavior and working practices on Fantastic Four – which Simon Kinberg wrote/produced – that saw Lucafilm actually fire the young filmmaker to try to avoid the trainwreck that Fantastic Four eventually turned into. Trank’s dismissal happened during this year’s Star Wars Celebration, and EW’s sources claim that had it not been for the director’s last-minute exit, we would have seen an official sizzle-reel reveal for the film much like how Gareth Edwards’ Star Wars: Rogue One was announced.
That would imply that there had already been a decent amount of development on the film at that stage already, and according to Kathleen Kennedy, that is not going to waste. We just have to wait a bit longer to see it.
“It’s still one of the stories that we absolutely want to tell. There is a lot of innovative technology in and around what it is we’re doing with that story, so for a lot of reasons, we were comfortable postponing that. But we’re definitely still developing it.”
“We’re trying to get to a point, where we’re never rushing for anything.”
With Colin Trevorrow’s Episode IX hitting theatres in 2019, it is safe to say that the Boba Fett film will follow that in 2019 if is stick’s to the alternating Episode/Anthology format. That leaves plenty of time to find a new director and nail this one down. If it were my call, I would see what Matthew Vaughn was up to.
As for the Han Solo film, we won’t have to wait as long, as it will be landing on our screens on May 25, 2018.
Last Updated: August 17, 2015