Star Wars Anthology: Young Han Solo’s Age, & the Delayed Spinoff

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Entertainment Weekly continued their Star Wars news extravaganza today with a few exclusive tidbits concerning Star Wars Anthology films; namely, Chris Miller and Phil Lord’s Han Solo spinoff and Josh Trank’s cancelled production.

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Regarding the Han Solo film, which will tell some of the smooth-talking smuggler’s adventures before he became a smooth-talking smuggler, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy clarified that the story will have significance.

"“Those are exactly the questions we’re asking,” Kennedy says. “There’s got to be a reason for [the stand-alone film] to be. And obviously the thing that Star Wars has always done so well is it doesn’t spend a lot of time [explaining] the stories that have come before. We don’t want to do that either. We don’t want to spend time going back and answering a lot of questions that, quite frankly, I don’t think people want answered.”"

Kennedy revealed the question that will be answered.

"“I think the key here is that we are identifying an event or events in Han Solo’s life that gives you some idea of who he is and why he is the character we have all known to love,” Kennedy says."

Kennedy also gave an estimate of just how young “young” Han Solo will be in the Anthology film.

"“He’ll definitely be probably in the high teens, low 20s,” Kennedy says. “We’re not introducing you to a 10-year-old Han Solo.”"

Given this information, I don’t think we can legitimately consider any of the actors who have been in the running among fans for the role of Han so far (that includes Chris Pratt, Aaron Paul, Anthony Ingruber, as well as others). In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the actor who gets chosen to play Han is an unknown, considering the role probably won’t be cast for a long time; EW says, “No actor has been hired yet, and they’re aren’t even close in that department.”

The age, being not too old but not too young, allows for a lot of opportunities. We could potentially see how Han won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian, how he first started smuggling and got into Jabba the Hutt’s services, and how he met up with Chewbacca and became his best friend. We might even see Sana Solo, Han’s alleged wife from Marvel’s Star Wars.

Though Lucasfilm isn’t close to casting, it sounds like the script has been moving right along. Lawrence Kasdan, the initial writer of the script, was taken up with Star Wars: The Force Awakens for a while and consequently had to put Han Solo aside. When he returned to him, he brought his son, Jon, in to help write and provide inspiration.

Han Solo was Kasdan’s first choice for a spinoff movie when he was offered Anthology ideas to work on.

"“They said, ‘Here are the things that we’d like to make movies about,’ and I said, ‘Oh, well, Han Solo. I would write a movie about Han Solo. He’s always been my favorite.’ And that’s the job that I took,” Kasdan says."

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Despite script delays, the film was moved up in the release timeline when Josh Trank’s Star Wars standalone, plot still undisclosed, was delayed with the director removing himself from the project.

"X-Men producer and writer Simon Kinberg was developing that untitled movie, and Chronicle director Josh Trank was set to direct. When Trank ran into already-legendary trouble making the disastrous Fantastic Four reboot, he ended up stepping down from the Star Wars job."

We were so close to Trank’s Anthology film, Lucasfilm was even going to show a teaser for it at Star Wars Celebration, during the Conversation with Gareth Edwards panel (meant to be Conversation with Gareth Edwards and Josh Trank).

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"Sources tell EW that we almost saw a teaser reel for that film at Star Wars Celebration in April, until Trank’s participation was put on hold at the last minute."

Though the film is no without a director, Kennedy says they still plan to do it… just not anytime soon.

"“It’s still one of the stories that we absolutely want to tell,” she says. “There is a lot of innovative technology in and around what it is we’re doing with that story, so for a lot of reasons, we were comfortable postponing that. But we’re definitely still developing it.”"

It has long been rumored that Trank’s film would feature Boba Fett. Keeping that in mind, I’m wondering what kind of story would require such “innovative technology” and involve the infamous bounty hunter. Of course, there’s no word on what that technology is, and there probably won’t be until much further down the road. But it’s fun to speculate; perhaps it has something to do with motion capture, or the ILMxLAB where they’re working on creating immersive virtual reality scenarios.

SEE ALSO: ILMxLAB Will Make Star Wars a Virtual Reality

Stay tuned for more Anthology news, and join us as we cover Star Wars at the D23 Expo this weekend!

Next: D23 Expo 2015: A Star Wars Fan's Guide