Going Solo?

My friend WookieePox sent me this article about Harrison Ford being “open” to reprising Han Solo in Episode VII. There’s no actual news here, just that Ford hasn’t slammed the door on the idea. Meanwhile, apparently Lucas told Mark Hamill about Episode VII in August (likely at Celebration VI) and suggested his would be a cameo role. This is in-line with what Lucas told Hamill all the way back in 1976 while filming ANH. Back then, Lucas suggested Luke might be in the sequel trilogy as an older Ben Kenobi-like figure. If Lucas stays true to form (and he usually does), that could be how Luke fits into the storyline.

While I can easily see an older Luke in the new movie (hopefully with a fine Alec Guiness beard — Hamill these days looks a little like a retired biology teacher), its hard for me to imagine geriatric Han Solo. It could certainly work, but it all depends on the story. The thing about Harrison Ford as an actor, and the thing that made him iconic, was that in every role he was basically playing himself. You look at his filmography and his roles are very age appropriate. I can’t see Ford successfully playing “cocky hotshot” at 70. It’s just not who he is anymore. “Crusty, gravely, and easily annoyed” is where he’s at now.

"Hey you kids, get off my Wookiee!"

It’s certainly interesting to contemplate where Han Solo might be in his life at 70 (and I’m ignoring anything EU about his character post-ROTJ — and so should you), but will it be the Han Solo audiences will accept?

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21 Responses to Going Solo?

  1. No matter what your opinion of the (utterly magnificent) last Indiana Jones film, it stands as proof that, contrary to popular perception, Harrison Ford has aged well. He’s still the grandmaster of physical acting, watch his intonation almost never change while his body language illustrates enormous emotional subtleties. The physicality is still there, although in most of his recent roles (Regarding Henry, What Lies Beneath, Morning Glory, even Cowboys & Aliens misses it) his talents have been squandered by the direction, he’s static, the role doesn’t fit the archetype.

    Bring on the Sol-O. Just get him moving and he’ll do the rest.

    • A New Hope says:

      I’m a fan of Crystal Skull for sure. And I agree Ford is a great actor. I loved that he played a reverse Marcus Brody in that film — dottering on campus, action hero in the field. I think it’s likely, however, that the Solo character is going to evolve. Lucas loves curveballs, so if Solo is in the film, I wouldn’t be surprised if we find him in an unexpected place doing an unexpected job. Where K-Kenn and crew need to be careful is in fanboy expectations. Fans have invested a LOT of coolness into Han’s character (which is why they still freak out over 7 frames of him shooting second). If Han is in the movie as silly comic relief, or if he does ANYthing undignified in the slightest, the fanboys will revolt (and most are already revolting).

    • Omar says:

      I highly enjoyed Kingdom of the Crystal Skull as well

    • I liked Crystal Skull slightly less that Raiders and Crusade and infinitely more than Temple.

      Since Harrison is always so adamant that Han should die, why not have him go out in style on one last adventure after years as Leia’s housecat? I don’t expect them to do this, but I think it’s a neat concept.

  2. WookieePox says:

    I’m so curious as to what Han Solo is DOING in the future??? He’s not still a smuggler surely, he’s not on the Jedi Council as Luke & Leia may be (if that even exists anymore). Is he a crusty bartender? Is he living a life of leisure? Is he running a Wookiee grooming salon??? If he has kids they would most likely be grown. Can’t imagine it. But that’s the fun of waiting and seeing I guess.

    I may have been wrong about the cameo thing – apparently Hamill doesn’t know any specifics yet, just that the 3 movies were going to be made.

    • A New Hope says:

      Lucas brought up the cameo in ’76. I will state right here and now that it will be impossible to do Episode VII without Luke in some form. He saved the friggin’ galaxy, for heck sake.

  3. Omar says:

    While I do prefer Luke over both Leia and Han, I really hope the three will all return. After all, this is a sequel to ROTJ. I want to know what happened with them (while ignoring the EU that is ;) )

    • A New Hope says:

      Old Spock in Trek ’09 worked, so anything is possible.

      • TPF1138 says:

        I can’t tell if you’re joking or not.

        I’m much like yourself. Another movie, or movies, focusing on Luke, Han, and Leia sets me to yawning. An older Luke Skywalker, in an Obi-Wan role intrigues me though. But I would hope VII – XI would focus on the next generation as it were.

        I won’t get excited until I know who’s directing. Hopefully I will then…

        • A New Hope says:

          It’s Star Wars. I’m excited. I was excited for the Ewok movies in ’85, so I’m brand loyal!

  4. Bob Clark says:

    I have to say that I have roughly zero interest in seeing Han, Leia and most of the rest of the gang returning in a new set of movies. It’s bad enough that we’re getting the fabled Sequel Trilogy almost wholly outside of Lucas’ involvement, but it’s starting to look like Disney and whoever they hire to manage (I hesitate to use the word “direct”) may simply aim for xeroxing the formula of the Original Trilogy.

    I’m reminded of how the Indiana Jones series has been hamstrung over the years by the attempts to keep recycling a lot of the same tropes and themes from “Raiders” over and over again. I’ve always loved how “Temple of Doom” was trying to do something completely different from the first film, instead of just retreading the same elements of Biblical relics, Nazis and whatnot. I liked “Crystal Skull” as well, but the weak parts were the ones that strained to bring back “Raiders”– aside from the opening set-piece at the Government Warehouse, the best stuff from that movie was what broke with the usual Indy formula.

    That’s also what I loved about the Prequels, the willingness on display to change things up. I’d love to see a Sequel Trilogy that has the same commitment to divergence from the norm, but oddly enough the only person we’d see doing that is the man who set that norm, himself.

    • Stefan Kraft says:

      Interesting thoughts, Bob. Personally, I do not mind someone else directing as long as she/he understands that SW is not only about space battles, but also full of mythological elements etc.
      Did not Lucas state himself (when 9 films were still planned) that Ep. I-III would be about politics, Ep. IV-VI about a hero’s journey* and Ep. VII-IX rather philosophical? I would not be surprised if GL made sure that the sequel trilogy follows this idea.
      (As ANH says, Lucas loves curveballs – it would be typical for him not to “xerox the OT”, but to stick to that old idea. Several fans could go nuts, but whatever. For instance, one idea for the sequel trilogy was Luke living as a hermit.)

      *Actually, I do not remember what he said about Ep. IV-VI, but this could have been what he said. Correct me if I’m wrong.

      • Bob Clark says:

        I’m not worried that Lucas wouldn’t stick to his old idea, and the notion of the ST being a more philosophical story would be really interesting, if Lucas were still the one in charge. And as much as I like what Vaughn has done, I really don’t trust him in the same way. If more explicitly journeymen-esque directors like Martin Campbell get tossed around the rumor mill, I’ll be more comfortable. “Green Lantern” will probably disqualify Campbell automatically, but his work on the Zorro pictures (with Nick Gillard no less) and on the Bond franchise shows exactly the kind of action director the series needs, especially when a pre-existing vision is coming into focus. Hell, the fact that “Mask of Zorro”, “GoldenEye” and “Casino Royale” were all attempts to reboot and update their series in a similar way that we’re seeing with “Star Wars” underlines this for me. He or Spielberg I might trust to be faithful to Lucas’ vision. Vaughn could very easily insist on rewriting it to suit his, and if that’s the case I’d rather the new films weren’t officially part of the numerical episodes.

        • A New Hope says:

          The new director is going to have a difficult balancing act. He/she (and I’m VERY much looking forward to a female Star Wars director some day soon) is going to have to put their own stamp on the material at the same time they stay true to Lucas’ vision. It will be like the Bond series. They know audiences won’t want them messing with the formula too much, but at the same time adding “a few new surprises” is a must.

    • PrinceOfNaboo says:

      I agree. I could see Luke as a wise old Jedi as a starting point for the new leads, but Leia and Han were already redundant by the time of ROTJ.

      However, I’m pretty sure they will all show up because I can’t stop but think this new movie is going to be hateboys’ wet dream.

    • Bob Clark says:

      So now the word is the new trilogy’s treatment was written by the guy who did “Little Miss Sunshine” and “Toy Story 3″. Not Lucas, but somebody else. If it turns out Lucas isn’t the one behind the creative vision for the new films, I might be done caring about it at all. At the very least, I’d hope they wouldn’t actually call them “Episodes VII, VIII and IX”. Save the episode numbers for Lucas. If it’s just the nostalgic fanboy wish fulfillment I fear it’s becoming, then do what was done with “Tron” and call it “Star Wars: Legacy” or some such whatnot.

      • A New Hope says:

        I’m actually pleased by this news. Arndt is a very good writer and a Star Wars fan (whether he’s a “I only care about the original trilogy” type of fan is yet to be seen) but he’s not a guy heavily invested in genre storytelling. He’s working off Lucas’ notes and ideas, so there will be some “George DNA” in this. I’m mostly relieved it’s NOT Damon Lindelof. I have a short list of people I don’t want anywhere near this new trilogy and it includes guys like Lindelof, Roberto Orci, and Alex Kurtzman.

  5. TPF1138 says:

    I find myself seized with a rather perverse urge to see an older Han Solo portrayed as a crusty old politician. Following the rebellion Han could have ended up – reluctantly, and not without some rumblings of descent – entering into a political role within the new republic.

    It makes sense considering where the character is left at the end of ‘JEDI, and it would certainly be fun to see the whole knavish outlaw thing undercut. Not least, because it has the potential to upset the Han-Solo-is-the-best-thing-about-Star-Wars brigade.

  6. Paul F. MCDonald says:

    Han may be directing a porn movie titled “Wookiee Nights.” That’s what my money is on. Seriously though, if this is supposed to be the “philosophical ones,” I will be very happy, but also sad because Lucas won’t be at the helm.

  7. lazypadawan says:

    I dunno, I could see a crusty, gravelly, and easily-annoyed Han ;) . Maybe he runs a customs shop, where he soups up old freighters.

    • A New Hope says:

      I loved what they did with Indy in Crystal Skull by throwing him into the story as a prisoner. Then to learn he had been a war hero and a spy along the way was just great. I hope we a similar backstory for Han showing that he went on after ROTJ to do amazing things that will provide fodder for comics and spin-offs for decades. A 30 year gap has room for lots of adventures.