Han Solo Spin Off AnnouncedSo a Han Solo spin off was announced earlier this evening or afternoon depending on which side of the Atlantic you’re on. First in the Hollywood Reporter and later confirmed by Starwars.com itself.

So what does this mean? Will It star Channing Tatum in Lego? Now if you’re familiar with the EU then the obvious way to go would be an abridged version of the Han Solo trilogy by A. C. Crispin which follows Han from a teenagers right up to having some beardy bloke walk up to him in a pub.

Despite rumours of everyone from Boba Fett to Yoda getting spin off’s… sorry “Anthologies” this is only the second one to be confirmed after next years “Rogue One” which will follow the rebels stealing the death star plans, you know like in Rebel Assault, the early nineties CD-Rom game or X-wing or Dark Forces…

 Good Idea?

Here is how we at The Extended Edition podcast

Martin

I’m not sure about Lord and Miller controversially, whilst I enjoyed The Lego Movie, I’m less keen on the Jump Street films, One of the things that made the EU novels work was the ability to introduce new characters in new corners of that galaxy far far away rather then shrink it down to follow the same twelve people but on the other hand if they get Han just right as a morally questionable scoundrel who shoots first and seeks fortune and glory a Han Solo spin off could be awesome!

Tomahawk

While a Han Solo spinoff, in itself, is a pretty cool idea, you’d basically have to cast a young Harrison Ford to fill the shoes, if a younger-than-70-Han is where they’re going with it anyway. Getting the Lego Movie directors on board is an interesting choice, whether or not it’s a good one, I can’t tell just yet. We’ll have to wait and see who they cast as Han until I open my big mouth again; I’ve been wrong before, after all.

Owen

(I went a bit more in-depth, sorry!)

The next film in the Star Wars Anthology series of spin-off films has been announced. Whilst no title has been released, the film will be about a young Han Solo and how he “became the smuggler, thief, and scoundrel whom Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi first encountered in the cantina at Mos Eisley”.

When the Disney/Lucasfilm deal was announced, as well as the plans for the future of Star Wars – I really didn’t know how to feel. In the space of a few hours I went from utter repulsion, to cautious optimism and eventually in to the hyped fanboy that I am now. But there has always been some hesitance to one particular element of that initial announcement – the spin-off films.

Now known as the ‘Star Wars Anthology’ series, these spin-offs were initially reported to be origin films, with most places citing Yoda, Boba Fett and Han Solo as the first three in the works. Although I think opening up the franchise beyond the episodic saga is a great idea that opens up so many different possible avenues (hey, it’s basically the EU in film form), I am very unsure if origin stories are the way to go. I would much rather get the opportunity to fall in love with new characters than explore the backstories of already beloved ones, just like what they seem to be doing with Gareth Edwards ‘Rogue One’.

Since the Disney acquisition, everything has been about pushing Star Wars forward. Even things like the ‘Star Wars Rebels’ series, whilst set prior to the original trilogy, focus on brand new characters. This is why I can’t help but feel like this announcement seems like a bit of a step backwards. Up until this point, the Anthology films have seemed like more of a sandbox for emerging talent to play in the Star Wars universe, similar to how George Lucas originally visioned the series in the very early days. But origin stories? To me that seems more like a choice that was probably made by the higher ups to cash in on the recognition of characters like Han, Yoda and Boba Fett.

But there is something about this that makes me optimistic and that is the team behind it. Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the guys responsible for the bloody LEGO Movie are directing! And to top that? Lawrence Kasdan, the man who writes Han Solo the best will be helming the screenplay, along with his son. This suggests to me that the folks at Lucasfilm are very well aware that fans will be hesitant at the mere idea of a young Han Solo movie and are letting us know that it is in safe hands by putting a great team behind it.

And you know what? Han Solo isn’t necesarily a bad character to explore the backstory of. Unlike delving in to how Anakin Skywalker became Darth Vader, this isn’t a ‘see how a good man became evil’ story. Han is a scoundrel and we’re likely gonna see just that. Hell, one of the most loved pieces of the Star Wars Legends novels is a trilogy about a Young Han Solo!

But I haven’t touched on the elephant in the room – who should play a younger Han Solo? Well…I’ve got nothing. No doubt the internet will be full of cries for Chris Pratt or Nathan Fillion to take the role, but they have done very similar parts in the past and I’m sure they would like to try other things. One guy who does stand out though is Anthony Ingruber, who played a younger Harrison Ford in ‘Age of Adaline’. I haven’t actually seen the film, but he looks and sounds the part and from all accounts did a great job in it. I’m sure as well that more of an unknown actor would be beneficial in helping us get to grips with somebody else playing the role.

All in all, I’m not completely sold on the concept on an origin film for Han Solo – but it does have potential. If anything my excitement is coming from the team behind it and not the idea itself. I’m cautiously optimistic about the whole thing, the potential and talent behind the project to make this a really fun movie are all there and I look forward to seeing it on the big screen.