Friday, May 6, 2016

STAR WARS Spinoff Casts Alden Ehrenreich as the New Han Solo

I have a good feeling about this.

Variety has confirmed that Alden Ehrenreich has been cast as the new Han Solo in the upcoming Star Wars standalone movie centered around everyone's favorite sarcastic smuggler in space.  Ehrenreich landed the role after being narrowed down along with actors Jack Reynor and Taron Egerton.

Phil Lord and Christopher Miller will direct the Han Solo standalone film, which is reportedly set between Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith (2005) and Star Wars (1977). According to the article, production on the film is not expected to begin until January, which may be so that the character may cameo in Rogue One, giving the production time to film a scene that introduces the new Han Solo.

Ehrenreich, 26, is probably best known as Hobie Doyle in the film Hail, Caesar!, and has appeared in the films Beautiful Creatures, Blue Jasmine, Stoker, Twixt, and Tetro.  He's also appeared in episodes of the television series CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Supernatural.

Debuting in 1977, Han Solo (played by actor Harrison Ford) first appeared in Star Wars as a smuggler with a Wookiee co-pilot named Chewbacca who accepts a charter request to transport Luke Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, C-3PO and R2-D2 to Alderaan on their ship, the Millennium Falcon.  Han owes crime lord Jabba the Hutt a great deal of money after dumping his cargo, and has a price on his head.  When the bounty hunter Greedo tries to deliver him to Jabba, Han shoots him and prepares to leave.

After delivering Luke, Princess Leia Organa, C-3PO and R2-D2 to the Rebel Alliance, Han and Chewbacca receive a payment for their services and prepare to leave. Luke asks him to stay and help the Rebels attack the Death Star, but Han refuses, not wanting to get involved.  However, he has a change of heart and returns to save Luke's life during the film's climactic battle scene, ultimately enabling Luke to destroy the Death Star.  For his heroics, Han is presented with a medal of honor.

Han and company eventually end up at the Bespin system's Cloud City seeking repairs and shelter from his old friend Lando Calrissian, the city's administrator.  However, bounty hunter Boba Fett had arrived first and alerted the Empire.  Under threat of death, Lando betrays Han to the Empire.  Sith Lord Darth Vader wishes to capture Luke by carbon freezing him, and to test its lethality, Vader subjects Solo to the carbon freezing process first.  Solo survives, and with a carbonite Han Solo in tow, Boba Fett leaves for Tatooine to collect the bounty from Jabba.  In the following film, Luke devises a rescue operation and goes to Jabba's palace with Lando, Leia, C-3PO and R2-D2 to rescue Han.  Jabba catches them, however, and sentences Han and Luke to die in the Sarlaac Pit.  Luke, Leia and Han overpower their captors and escape, killing Jabba and Boba Fett in the process.

In Star Wars: The Force Awakens, set approximately 30 years after Return of the Jedi, Han Solo returned to his old life as a smuggler.  He and Chewbacca lost the Millennium Falcon to thieves, but they reclaim the ship after it takes off from the planet Jakku, piloted by the scavenger Rey and the renegade stormtrooper Finn.  When Rey is kidnapped by the First Order, Han sees her being carried off by Kylo Ren, whom Han seems to recognize.

Han and Finn meet with the Resistance, which is led by Leia, whom Han has not seen in many years.  While it is never confirmed in the film, Han and Leia were married and are still, according to the official Force Awakens novelization.  It is then revealed that Ren is their son, Ben, who trained as a Jedi under Luke.  However, he was corrupted by the First Order's supreme leader, Snoke, and turned to the dark side.  As Kylo Ren, he betrayed the Republic and destroyed the Jedi – much like his grandfather, Darth Vader.  Heartbroken by Ben's betrayal, Han and Leia separated, while Luke went into exile.  Leia asks Han to find Ben and bring him home, convinced that there's still good in him.

Han and Chewbacca go with Finn to the First Order's battle station, Starkiller Base, to destroy the base and rescue Rey.  There, he sees Kylo Ren walk onto the bridge above the reactor chasm. Han follows Ren onto the bridge, and calls out to him by his real name. Trying to save his son from the dark side, Han pleads with him to abandon it and to come back with him. Kylo Ren shares a moment with his father, telling him that he knows what he should do, but that he doesn't have the strength to do it.  He asks Han to help him. H an agrees.  After a moment, an unrepentant Ren ignites his lightsaber, impaling his father.  A horrified Han looks into his son's eyes and touches his face, before falling off the bridge and into the reactor to his death.

The Han Solo standlone film is scheduled to arrive in theaters on May 25, 2018.

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