After much deliberation and speculation, the role of young Han Solo has finally been cast. 26-year-old actor Alden Ehrenreich, a virtual unknown to the general public, will be granted the role of a lifetime. Now that we know who’s been cast as the iconic Corellian smuggler and scruffy lookin’ nerf herder, we can now speculate on what adventures lie ahead in the first Star Wars standalone film. Below I’ve listed five possible adventures we might see Alden’s Han Solo lightspeed through on the big screen.
1. Chewie’s Life Debt To Han Solo
The idea of seeing a Han Solo film without his walking carpet co-pilot Chewbacca is inconceivable. While Chewie’s life debt to Han isn’t directly referenced in the original trilogy, its existence is loosely inferred in Empire Strikes Back. Right before Han Solo is about to be frozen into carbonite, he tells Chewbacca, “You take care of her now,” speaking of Leia. This alone means nothing, but considering Qui-Gon’s regrettable decision to invoke a life debt on the insufferable Jar Jar Binks, we do know life debts exist in the galaxy far, far away. It is also mentioned in non-canon material that Chewbacca owes Han a life debt for freeing him from slavery to the Galactic Empire. Seeing the start of one of the most beautiful friendships in pop culture would alone be worth the price of admission.
2. How Han Beat Lando In Sabacc And Won The Millennium Falcon.
When Han Solo arrives on Bespin in Cloud City, he’s greeted by the charming smuggler Lando Calrissian, whom Han is a little weary of at the time — and for good reason. It seems the last time these two pirates saw each other, Han won the Millennium Falcon from Lando in a game of Sabacc, a popular card game in the Star Wars universe — galactic poker, I guess you could say. While Han tells Lando he won the Falcon fair and square, I wouldn’t be surprised if Han actually had had a trick up his sleeve. This infamous card game would be a great introduction to the character and would give Lucasfilm the excuse to cast a young Lando.
3. The Badboy Smuggler Plying His Trade
The Force Awakens gave us a chance to see the smuggling scoundrel hauling a few Rathtars in his clunky freighter, the Eravana; but seeing Han smuggling in his prime with Chewbacca in the Falcon would be too fun to pass up. I picture Han swaggering from port to port, playing both the Rebels and the Empire for suckers, the price for his services going to the highest bidder with no thought of a greater cause. This idea will probably make up the meat of the film and get Han in hot water somewhere along the way.
4. Han Solo’s History
While I do think revealing too much backstory can hurt the appeal of Han Solo, a little insight to his background and how it formed him could be useful. Revealing a few skeletons in his closet could actually make him more mysterious if they aren’t fully explained. Did he have any family members he was close to? Any former flames before Princess Leia? What caused Han Solo to become a smuggler? Answering any one of these question could add depth to the character as long as they don’t give too much detail. One rumor that’s been floating around is that the Han Solo movie will introduce a Solo brother, possibly casting one of the competitors Alden beat out for the coveted role to play him. If this rumor is true, don’t expect a good ending for Han’s possible sibling.
5. The Kessel Run
One legend seemingly follows Han Solo to every corner of the galaxy: the Kessel Run. When Han meets Rey in The Force Awakens, this girl who is a desert-dwelling outcast even knows the legend, although Han has to correct her that the Falcon made the run in 12 parsecs and not 14. Earlier in his career, Han used his Kessel Run record as a selling point to Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker, who — much to his surprise — had never heard of the legendary Millennium Falcon. I’m not sure if the standalone films will carry on the tradition of starting with a ship flying through space, but I think it would be a genius move to start the film off in the midst of the Kessel Run. Seeing the Kessel Run on the big screen would be an iconic cinematic moment for any Star Wars fan, and a perfect way to start off the Han Solo story.
BONUS: Han Shoots First!
This is a bonus idea, because it’s an idea that shouldn’t be forced, it should be organic, otherwise it will come across as cheesy, desperate, fan-service. However if Han Solo sees himself on the wrong end of a blaster in this standalone, which is more than likely to happen, he has to SHOOT FIRST!!!! The herald of George Lucas’s eventual demise was the 1997 Star Wars special editions, in which the original trilogy was re-released with new footage, most of which saturated by George Lucas’s new crack addiction CGI. The most infamous blunder from the special editions was the change made to Han and Greedo’s confrontation in the Mos Eisley cantina in A New Hope. Instead of Han ending the conversation by blasting Greedo, Han dodges a blast from Greedo by stretching his neck with inhuman speed and flexibility, all done via the power of CGI. Star Wars purists argue that this change doesn’t line up with the character Han Solo, in fact you could argue that it’s more like Jack Sparrow. Now the most famous rally cry among these purists is that HAN SHOT FIRST! Disney would be wise to align themselves on the side of the fans here and fix this mistake, especially since some fans are already skeptical of another actor playing Han Solo. It also wouldn’t hurt if Disney released the un-altered theatrical edition of the original trilogy *cough* *cough*.
Well those are my ideas for the Han Solo standalone. What are some of yours? Do you want to see Han’s partying days watching him consume mass quantities of death sticks and blue milk. Or what about Han smuggling Rancor’s for Jabba? Either way the ideas listed above are must -haves in my mind.