For months fans have been voicing their growing concern over the apparent lack of any promotional materials for Solo: A Star Wars Story, but Sunday/Monday’s official teaser release finally gave everyone the very first look into Lucasfilm’s next installment into the Star Wars universe.
The footage didn’t necessarily give any major plot details away, but the concept itself of a Han Solo origin story has made many people skeptical – myself including. It really didn’t help ease any worries along the way through all of the film’s well-known production troubles from firing directors over creative differences to Lucasfilm bringing in an acting coach to help Alden Ehrenreich with his performance.
But regardless of how anyone feels about Lucasfilm telling a story that doesn’t necessarily need to be told, this film is hitting theaters in just three months and at the very least we can hope they got it right.
Here’s what we want to see from our favorite smuggler in his prequel debut:
A Solo That’s True to His Scoundrelous and Swashbuckling Ways
Han Solo is a complicated character that is more Jack Sparrow than Robin Hood. Half-pirate, half-smuggler and all-consumed womanizer. At face value, not exactly the image of a young main character you would market to children from a Disney-backed movie.
However, this is something the Solo film can’t simply gloss over. He has to be the rugged shoot-first, uncaring snark that is only driven by his next big score. Rewriting him as an arrogant rascal constantly cracking jokes every other line will only hurt his legacy. Unfortunately the teaser didn’t help here because every scene with Alden Ehrenreich just seems out of place. I never got the sense he was channeling his inner Harrison Ford and it was almost like an entirely new character with ’70s style hair in space. Hopefully I’m wrong because I fear in a few months Star Wars fans are going to troll this guy worse than they did to Rian Johnson.
Han’s Brief Imperial Career
Thankfully, Solo looks to continue with a similiar backstory we saw in non canon Star Wars: Legends in which a young Han Solo rose through the ranks in the Imperial fleet, before being dishonorably discharged and continuing his smuggling ways. The teaser opened with Han and an Imperial officer at recruitment center discussing which branch he’s interested in joining, Han replies: “I’m going to be a pilot. The best in the galaxy.”
Without a doubt, Han’s Imperial service should help define who his character would eventually become years later when he joined the Rebellion. We can see Han rise to become an ace pilot only to eventually turn rogue when he witnesses first hand the Empire’s tyranny and prejudices. It just adds more tension to the character if that fall from grace correlates with a bounty placed on his head by the Empire for treason.
A How Chewie-Met Han Story That’s Authentic To The Time Period
This one might be more easier for Lucasfilm to tackle since Star Wars: Legends was kind of vague on Han-Chewie’s first meeting. Basically all we know is during Han Solo’s Imperial service, he was sent to work in slaving and construction work. It was there he met a badly-wounded Chewbacca trying to escape and was actually ordered to skin him by his superiors. Han vehemently refused, helped Chewbacca live and the wookie swore a life debt for his actions.
So this leaves some room for interpretation here to explore all sorts of interesting interactions between the two. Just don’t make it an emotional bromance. They shouldn’t be friends at first sight and true to Han’s character his interest in Chewbacca should initially be self-serving. Given Han’s dangerous line of work, he would recognize Chewie’s brute strength and tactical abilities as asset in navigating the criminal underworld. We all know they eventually become close friends but some of the best dynamic between them is when they’re ripping on each other in the line of fire.
It’s probably safe to imagine the issue of galactic slavery will play some role in Han-Chewie’s initial relationship since Wookies were enslaved after the establishment of the Empire. But it wouldn’t surprise me if Disney felt the need to gloss over it and have Chewie working stand up or as a short-order cook some where.
Plenty of Lando
One of the best scenes in The Empire Strikes Back is Billy Dee William’s iconic first appearance when he meets Han and the gang seeking refuge in Cloud City. It established Lando as the suave and charming schemer that could rival Harrison Ford’s character. Putting Donald Glover in the role might just be the perfect casting. Glover is a fan-favorite and brings an versatile blend of comedy and drama. Once he flashed that Lando-grin and the stylish fur coat in the teaser I knew I was sold.
The Empire Strikes Back always hinted at storied background between Han and Lando and there’s a lot of different directions they can go here. I know I won’t be disappointed if Lucasfilm explores how the classy gambler and scoundrel eventually turned into the future respected Cloud City administrator.
Original and New Adventures, Not Everything Should Be Connected
Something Star Wars needs to end is having little story lines always connect in such a large galaxy. Example: In Rogue One having the main characters bump into Ponda Baba and Evazan (Ben Kenobi cut off Baba’s arm in Most Eisley Cantina – Episode IV) on the planet Jedha. This cameo was ridiculous and not needed. I don’t need that fan service and it’s a bad trap to fall into.
Why spend time trying to connect all of the little moments in Han’s life either? Do we really need to hash out the Kessel Run or have a Greedo pop up somewhere? Try something new, something fresh. This is an opportunity to give us brand-new smuggling stories that haven’t been told as Han dodges bounties and tries to “avoid any Imperial entanglements”.
It also opens the door to dive into his relationship with notorious gangster, Jabba the Hutt. But don’t focus on the minuscule details of what has already been established between the two in the old trilogy. Instead focus on Solo’s attempt to pull jobs (robberies, collections from other criminals, etc.) for the notorious gangster and how they both reacted when things went right and when they didn’t. As fan’s we really haven’t seen both sides of this conflict.