‘Star Wars’ Characters Who Could Be in a Young Han Solo Movie
The word “prequel” causes all sorts of immediate disgust among Star Wars fanatics, but Disney’s anthology approach to making new Star Wars films might actually reclaim the term’s negative connotation. 2018 will see the release of an as-yet untitled Han Solo prequel, which offers no shortage of reasons to get excited, beginning with directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who have repeatedly proven themselves capable of making a masterpiece out of an over-commercialized idea that shouldn’t work (see: The Lego Movie). There’s also screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan, who penned Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Empire Strikes Back, and star Alden Ehrenreich, who was likely the best part of the Coens’ Hail, Caesar!
But as with any prequel, perhaps the most exciting prospect is getting to see familiar characters in a new context. Here are Star Wars characters we hope pop up in the upcoming young Han Solo movie.
1. Boba Fett
Han Solo is afraid of Boba Fett — the mere mention of his name sending shivers down his spine — but the films don’t give us much reason to fear the infamous bounty hunter, since he’s devoured by a sarlacc even before the halfway point of Return of the Jedi. A prequel offers the perfect excuse to make Boba Fett into a worthwhile villain — the kind he is in the extended universe — on the big-screen, making him imposing enough to truly justify the fear he incites within Solo in the original trilogy.
2. Jabba the Hutt
In the original trilogy, morbidly obese alien gangster Jabba the Hutt is hellbent on capturing and imprisoning Han Solo, but it’s clear the pair were once close business associates, if not outright friends. It’s an interesting relationship that’s ripe for exploration in a Solo prequel, which might show the part Jabba played in making Han one of the galaxy’s most notorious smugglers and the point at which the two parted ways, probably when Han began to grow a conscience. Whether he’s friend or foe, I wouldn’t mind seeing Jabba once more.
3. Lando Calrissian
It was established in Episode V that Han Solo won the Millenium Falcon from his longtime friend and rival Lando Calrissian, so we’ll almost have to meet the character in the course of this film, at least if Lord and Miller want to get the young Han behind the wheel of his iconic ship. Lando, originally played by Billy Dee Williams, is both friend and foe to Han, and their relationship gives a lot of insight into how the fiercely independent Solo connects to the world around him — for someone as guarded and rebellious as him, friendships aren’t so black-and-white. Seeing their relationship in its early days would be a treat for fans of both characters. [Update, 10/27/16: Donald Glover has been chosen to play young Lando Calrissian in the standalone Han Solo movie!]
4. Grand Moff Tarkin
Grand Moff Tarkin doesn’t carry the same degree of menace as his notorious, wheezy boss Darth Vader does, but the character, played by the late Peter Cushing in the original trilogy, is still the cold embodiment of unfeeling fascistic law-and-order. His presence in the film might even make sense, given some of Solo’s established backstory from the extended universe. Solo once enlisted in the Imperial forces as a pilot, so having his roguish, rebellious demeanor rub against the humorless Tarkin would not only make perfect narrative sense — it would be pretty entertaining too.
5. Darth Vader
Of course, we wouldn’t turn down the chance to see the most iconic of all Star Wars characters in costume once more, though he’d be best used sparingly, rather than as the film’s chief villain. We don’t need to know anything more about Vader, but his simple presence would add an extra bit of tension to the film’s proceedings while appeasing die-hard fans who just want to see their favorite characters and costumes one more time.
6. Maz Kanata
Like almost everyone who’s been around the universe a time or two, Maz Kanata was already firmly acquainted with Han Solo by the time she made her first appearance in The Force Awakens, so it would make perfect sense to see the wizened old alien in the prequel. She was little more than a device for exposition obviously modeled after Yoda in that film, but she could become much more if given the chance to, you know, actually do something this time around. Her prophetic knowledge and belief in the Force could cause some conflict with Solo’s skepticism, while foreshadowing his eventual understanding of Jedis and the Force.
Look, I don’t think Greedo deserves a prominent role in this prequel or anything, but I wouldn’t mind a brief appearance as a simple nod to the fans, especially if it subtly disowns Lucas’s meddling with the original trilogy to make Greedo shoot Han first. The green-masked alien already has it out for Solo when the trilogy begins, so the film could easily include Greedo as a jilted business partner or creditor to show how Solo acquired his less-than-sterling reputation.
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