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I know this is not super recent news, but it took me this long to decide to cover it. This is by far the biggest risk Disney has taken in many, many years, if not the biggest ever!! The potential upside with making this film is fairly limited in my eyes, however the fallout if it does not work will be huge for Disney and especially Alden Ehrenreich’s early career. Talk about setting a tone. For the casual fan, I imagine the response varies between very positive to meh.If you are a hardcore Star Wars fan you’re hoping for the best, but inside your stomach is churning with worry. Is there a more iconic fictional hero/anti-hero in the world than Han Solo? Maybe a few could compete for the honor, but the point is, it’s a conversation because the character is that popular.
So where do you land? Is this good or bad? Lets take a good look at the original character and see what made him so loved.
By 1977 the swashbuckling space hero archetype was very much the “in” thing, and had been on and off for decades. There was “Robinson Crusoe In Space”, ” “Flash Gordon”, “Buck Rogers”, and others. No character captured the essence of that better than Han Solo. The classic out for yourself character, that became a great hero. It simply is impossible to see anyone else in that role than the iconic Harrison Ford. Imagine “Indy” as Tom Selleck, who nearly got the part originally. I shutter to think of it, and anyone else playing Han Solo makes most feel the same way. Harrison Ford is Harrison Ford, because he is attractive, in a rough around the edges way. His most iconic action movie characters are usually non compromising, witty, rugged, charming, and sarcastic. Han Solo is all those things, and more. Underneath all the bluster and bs is a real hero whom sacrifices his own agendas to do whats right for the universe. No one else can ever really be Han Solo. Alden can learn the mannerisms, body language and positioning, cocky smile, and witty one liners, but he will never be him in the eyes of most fans.
So this blogger will watch the anthology with trepidation, as someone new tries to capture what is sacred in the eyes of most fans. I hope Alden succeeds for his own sake. I do see what Disney is thinking. Seeing on-screen for the first time, Han rescuing Chewbacca from Imperial slavers, the adventures in smuggling, and the famous Kessel run. It seems like a gold mine waiting to be unearthed. I want to see those things too, but in my opinion an animated film would have been a much safer way to cash in. Time will tell if this is one of Disney’s biggest mistakes ever, or another ingenious way to make millions more dollars.