Why I'm Excited for Solo... and for the Guy Playing Him
As we all know, Solo: A Star Wars Story is coming up quick with it being a little over a month away. May 25, to be exact. We’ve all seen the trailers, we’ve all seen the toys and we’ve scrutinized every. single. pixel. of Ron Howard’s Instagram.
For me personally, I wasn’t too excited about this film when it was first announced back in 2015. It seemed like a story I didn’t need to see. Han felt like a rounded out character by the end of Return of the Jedi. When we first meet him, he’s a scoundrel who would shoot first in a sticky situation, but because of the friendship he built with Luke and Leia, he changed into someone who cared and fought for others. In a New Hope and Empire, he risks his life to help and ultimately save Luke and in Return of the Jedi, when Leia is all twisted up after finding out that Luke is her brother and Vader is her father, he initially walks away frustrated with her not talking to him about what she was feeling, but after a moment, he turns around and comforts her. For me, that felt like enough for Han. He was still the shoot first kind of guy, but now he had heart and had found a family. Something he had been missing before. Was I dying to know why he was such a scoundrel to begin with? Not really. But Lord and Miller had changed my mind. 21 Jump Street and The Lego Movie were films I had little to no interest in seeing, but they had turned water into gold! Could they do that for Solo, too?! Now my hopes were up.
Of course we all know what happened next: Lord and Miller were out just as production was at a close. Rumors flew around it being to comedic and looking more like Ace Ventura than Han Solo. Cue Ron Howard. Replacing them with Howard put us in an up swing and his Instagram posts pumped a lot of promise into the project. That, for me, was proven by the first TV spot, the teaser trailer, the full trailer and the newest TV spot called "Crew". The movie looks dark a gritty with a look similar to Rogue One, a movie I loved! Donald Glover's Lando looks to be a pitch perfect casting choice, as predicted. Emilia Clarke, Paul Bettany, Woody Harrelson and the rest of the cast and characters look to be really interesting, too.
And now for the one everyone is talking about: Alden Ehrenreich. The truth is, I feel pretty good about him so far! I've heard the criticism that he doesn't sound like Han, but I don't want him to sound like Han. I don't want a Harrison Ford impersonator. What I want is someone to bring the same confidence and essence of Han to life and I feel like the force is with Alden on that one. His interactions with Chewie are pretty funny and it totally reminds me of their relationship in the original trilogy. And! This is not supposed to be the Han we know, its supposed to be the Han before whatever happens to him that makes him the Han we know. They are clearly projecting that in the trailers with the spin on the classic Star Wars/Han line when he says, "I have a good feeling about this!" He is also very wide eyed in the trailers and clearly at the beginning of his journey compared to Lando who is already an established smuggler. We hear him selling himself as a driver and a flyer, excited for his opportunity with Tobias Beckett's crew and totally Falcon-less at the start. It's only the beginning. That gives Alden some much needed breathing room on this character, that I think as an artist, he deserves. Us fans tend to watch too closely and scrutinize too much. We expect and demand perfection and that is just not reality. Alden is not Harrison and we can't expect him to be. Being an actor means being an artist, and being an artist means you bring your unique flavor to what you do. The more we allow our actors and film makers to do as they feel is right , the more confident they will feel and the better they will do.
I have a lot of confidence in this movie already. If you told me I would feel this way about Solo back in 2015, I would've laughed in your face.
What do you think? Are you excited for Alden's performance or are you down about it? What do you think about Han and Chewie's interactions in the trailers? Will Lando steal the movie?? Please let me know in the comments, I would love to talk Star Wars with you!