Last week the internet was abuzz with the news of Donald Glover being cast as a young Lando Calrissian in the Star Wars Han Solo film scheduled to come out in 2018. Glover will join Alden Ehrenreich who has already been announced as the young Han Solo. Rumor even has it that the film will reveal how Han won his iconic starship, the Millennium Falcon, from Lando.
To be honest, I’m a little anxious about the news of Han’s frenemy Lando being in the film. Don’t get me wrong, I think that Donald Glover can give us a great new take on the character, but I also think that there are a lot of other things left to explore with Han’s history before he even meets Lando.
As I see it, there are multiple story threads established in the original trilogy aside from Han winning his ship:
- How Han meets Chewbacca
- How Han made the Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs and maybe even giving more solid reasoning why they measure it in distance and not time
- How and why Han lost Jabba the Hutt’s cargo or for that matter, why he worked for the Hutt in the first place
- Han has a history with the Rodian bounty hunter Greedo that can be explored
- Han also seems to have a history with Boba Fett
- Not a major story thread but worth mentioning how Han got the scar on his chin since Last Crusade deemed it necessary for Indiana Jones
Clearly this is a lot and it would be a mistake to include it all in one movie or even try to explain everything in several movies. I think that everyone learned the hard way that when Star Wars tries to explain too much, it stumbles.
So here’s what I’m thinking: In the old expanded universe novels, Han joined the Imperial Academy and got into hot water when he saved Chewbacca’s life from said Imperials. I’m not sure on the status of this as cannon, but I think that it makes a lot of sense to recycle it. Firstly, it provides a shorthand to how Han knows how to fly, fight and avoid the Empire. It would also be a way to introduce us to Chewie and Han’s relationship from the beginning and give them an arc for the movie. Finally, it would be funny to see the roguish Solo try to fit into the mold of an Imperial Officer.
Once Han leaves the academy he and Chewbacca partner up with Lando and begin their smuggling with the Hutts. I think that Glover can add a comedic side to the character. When Han meets Lando in Cloud City he’s impressed with his leadership role. This could mean that the Lando we see in 2018 will be a bit of a jokester who doesn’t take things seriously.
Then there is Sana Starros, who in the comics poses as Han Solo’s wife for the purposes of a robbery. She is a newer addition to the Disney cannon and casting rumors suggest that she’ll play a role in this outing. I certainly like the idea of Han dating other women before Leia and finding himself and Lando competing for the same woman.
The biggest thing for me in this movie is tone. I want it to fit somewhere between Guardians of the Galaxy and Suicide Squad. There should be honor among thieves (or smugglers) but only to a certain extent. We know our protagonists will become heroes but aren’t that yet. Han doesn’t trust Lando that much at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back so there’s some history of betrayal there. There also has to be something unique about a plucky farm boy, a crusading princess and a space wizard who sacrifices himself that causes Han to have a change of heart and care more about other people than himself. Han, Lando and Chewie aren’t the hero’s yet, they shouldn’t be fighting the Empire. I’d much rather see an ending with them fighting to protect themselves from bounty hunters, rival smugglers or the Hutts than for any sort of ideals.
So as you can see, there is more than enough stuff for them to put together a sequel or two. In short, I have a good feeling about this.