USA TODAY International Edition
Han Solo movie: Is there a disturbance in the Force?
With Han Solo MIA at Disney’s D23 Expo, there may be a ripple in the galaxy
It might not yet be time to call in the X- wing strike, but that disturbance we’ve all felt in the Force isn’t quite gone.
The past few years have been a golden age for Star Wars fans with the awesomeness of The
Force Awakens, a commitment to spinoff films like Rogue One and even a new focus on the franchise’s female icons in the digital series Forces of Destiny. April’s Star Wars Celebration, which included an emotional tribute to Carrie Fisher and unveiled an epic first trailer for The Last Jedi ( in theaters Dec. 15), left this Star
Wars lover on a Cloud City high. Which is why the Star Wars presentation Saturday at Disney’s D23 Expo was so important. Things have been going squiffy lately with the young Han Solo anthology movie planned for next summer, and the franchise isn’t expected to make an appearance next week at Comic- Con. Unfortunately, Han and his pals were glossed over at D23 to make way for The Last Jedi.
Instead of being in trouble with Jabba the Hutt, our favorite Star
Wars smuggler has had to navigate through an asteroid field of PR issues of late: Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller left the film starring Alden Ehrenreich last month, mere weeks before shooting was scheduled to end, and Oscar- winning filmmaker Ron Howard was hired to finish the still- untitled project — a solid and fine choice, but a safe one.
Howard wasn’t at D23, nor was anybody from the cast — not Eh-
renreich, Donald Glover or Woody Harrelson. The Last Jedi,
though, brought the big guns: writer/ director Rian Johnson; Force Awakens holdovers Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Gwendoline Christie; plus newcomers Benicio Del Toro, Laura Dern and Kelly Marie Tran.
Johnson shared black- andwhite shots from the set and talked about hitting pubs with Ridley. Boyega and Christie playfully faced off, hinting that Finn and Captain Phasma will revisit some bad blood. And Mark Hamill received a standing ovation by just stepping onstage. ( That’s what happens when you’re not only a Star Wars legend but also an official Disney one.)
The Last Jedi wasn’t the one we were concerned about, however. Nobody’s going to say no to a boss behind- the- scenes video from that movie — and it’s always great to see a hooded Ridley wielding a lightsaber as Rey. But still no title for Han Solo? No Howard coming out to say: “Everything’s perfectly all right now. We’re all fine here, thank you”? The new live- action The Lion
King had its Circle of Life scene ready to show, but nothing of Ehrenreich in Solo garb in the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca?
No other spinoffs were mentioned at D23, so we hope Lucasfilm brass isn’t rethinking letting up- andcoming directors shake things up. Honestly, that’s why a lot of Star
Wars fans were looking forward to Lord and Miller, the guys behind the brilliant The Lego Movie. Filmmakers like them and Johnson, who grew up with Star Wars as a seminal part of their lives, are the future of this franchise.
There’s no reason to lose all faith in the galaxy far, far away yet. We’ll be all be freaking out in five months when The Last Jedi melts our collective faces off. But, as that legendarily scruffy nerf herder once said, “Great, kid. Don’t get cocky.”
Instead of being in trouble with Jabba the Hutt, Han has had to navigate through an asteroid field of PR issues of late.