Even if a lot of fans aren’t particularly interested in a young Han Solo tale (including myself since we’ve been down the well before), it’s impossible to stay jaded against it now with the cast they are assembling and the creative team behind the endeavor. Woody Harrelson is the latest to join the film, following other big stars like Donald Glover (as a young Lando Calrissian) and Emilia Clarke (her role’s yet to be announced). Now am I not only excited for the film, but it’s beginning to feel like it might be a great gateway drug to Star Wars fandom for more casual or new fans.
Not only is assembling the cast and crew they have so far a great way to capture the interest of fans less receptive to another young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) tale, it also functions to broaden the film’s appeal in an attempt to capture new or less rabid fans in the fervor of Star Wars. Harrelson, Glover, and Clarke are all largely what can be considered “household names” and seeing them all in a Star Wars film might convince even your most staunchest of non-SW fan friends into joining you at the theater. And if the tone of the film is as humorous as I imagine it to be with Phil Lord and Chris Miller behind the helm (I mean, their little jokes in each casting announcement have been pure gold so far, as was their appearance at Celebration Europe 2016), who wouldn’t want to see a comedy set in the Star Wars universe following Han, Chewie, Lando, and whoever Harrelson ends up being? Heck, you take out all the Star Wars stuff and you have what already sounds like a potentially funny film.
Whereas Rogue One tried to appeal broadly with its multinational cast, an applauded move that has obviously gone over well with critics and fans (and is on pace for $500+ million in domestic box office receipts), it still required a modicum of understanding in regards to a film from 1977 (though the chances people hadn’t heard or seen of A New Hope are pretty slim). The probability of the Han film not being connected to any previous film is very high, lowering the bar of entry to any level of fan, and then once you combine it with the broad appeal of all the recognizable names and potential humor focus, and you’ve got a film that has at least a 97.6% chance at roping in even more of a general audience than previous films in the franchise. That could mean fans of the movie might become interested in learning more about the GFFA and suddenly go down the Sarlacc pit like most fans already have. Plus, Han Solo was the original everyday man for the Star Wars saga, the one most people clung to in the sea of sci-fi fantasy unfurling around them when they first saw A New Hope, so that’s mainly why it wouldn’t surprise me to see that happen all over again for his solo outing.
That all being said, let’s hope there are more females and POC casted as we get closer to the film, as even though RO had our second female SW lead, it still failed when it came to gender parity.
Also, the originally stated release for the Han Solo film was May 2018, but recent rumors (possibly substantiated by these casting announcements simply stating 2018 as its release) are pointing to the film coming out in December 2018 now, a sensible move because the past two films have proven a movie can make damn good money at the box office in December and it avoids an overlap with Ep. VIII.
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