Writer Lawrence Kasdan has become as synonymous with the Star Wars franchise as George Lucas himself. Responsible for the screenplays for both The Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi he returned to the Star Wars fold to work with J.J. Abrams on the script for The Force Awakens. He’s not quite done yet, as he’ll also be working on the screenplay for the upcoming anthology movie that will focus on the early life of Han Solo. Kasdan is looking forward to getting involved in Solo’s history, and figuring out where the character came from.
Kasdan calls Han Solo his favorite character, so he’s looking forward to figuring out what the backstory for the smuggler turned rebel fighter is all about. In an interview with the Los Angeles Times the screenwriter says young Han Solo will probably not start out as the hardened rogue we met in the first movie.
You know, he's younger in this [spinoff] movie and that's fun because you have to imagine him 10 years earlier in his early 20s. What was he like before he hardened up? Before he had some setbacks? Before he put on this cynical coat? What got him there?
The statement does make one thing clear. Han wasn’t always the person we met at Mos Eisley. There was a time before that when he was somebody else. It was his experience that created that character. So the movie won’t really be about the cynical smuggler that we met in the original Star Wars, but rather how a young Han became that person due to the experiences of the film. Ironically, this might make a young Solo more like the character that Harrison Ford portrays in the later films, the one that we are more familiar with, and are about to get reacquainted with, in The Force Awakens.
Still, even later Han is the most pragmatic character in the trilogy. We may see where Han’s heroism comes from, but it will be in a very different context. Now one has to imagine Han Solo as a young man, with his whole life ahead of him. He probably wasn’t looking to become a smuggler, is that really a viable career path? What sorts of hopes and dreams did the young man have, and what were the events that sent him on the path that lead him to Mos Eisley spaceport?
The casting call to play young Han Solo is one of the widest we’ve ever seen, with over 2,500 people having been looked at. Pretty much every male actor on the planet between 16 and 35 is a potential Han Solo.
It’s certainly a very different view of Han Solo than we’ve ever really considered before. Whatever the exact direction the story takes, we’re certainly going to be looking at a very fresh Han Solo, in all senses of the word. What do you think a 20-year-old Han Solo was like?