The latest rumor to hit the circuit is that Alden Ehrenreich, who was cast as young Han Solo in the smuggler’s 2018 standalone film, signed on for three films in total.
NYDailyNews has heard from an inside source that Disney signed Alden Ehrenreich, who was recently announced as having been cast in the role of young Han Solo in the smuggler’s 2018 standalone film, for three films (via Star Wars News Net). This rumor, if true, may mean more Han Solo films, provided the first one is a box office success.
On the one hand, I can see Disney wanting to capitalize on the popularity of Han Solo. On the other hand, with their assumption that Disney is “paving the way for more Han Solo flicks,” I think NYDailyNews overestimates just how popular he is, and how willing Lucasfilm would be to dedicate three movies (which translates to at least six years of production and then theater premieres) to telling stories about Han which could just as easily be relegated to comics or books.
Here’s what the source had to say, according to NYDailyNews:
"“There is a real sense of excitement around the Han Solo movie and its potential,” says our insider. “Given that Han’s early adventures do not need to be tied to the Empire, it leaves story lines open with the opportunity to really give fans something different. They can explore new galaxies and crazy creatures and bring in a wide array of new characters.“They feel that his character has the right potential to become a central figure in several movies,” our source said. “They’re keeping things under wraps at the moment, but the deal is that he has signed for at least three movies.”"
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There are a couple of things that bother me about the source’s statements. First of all, there are many potential standalone film story ideas which don’t involve the Empire and which don’t need Han Solo. Second, you also don’t need Han Solo to be able to “explore new galaxies and crazy creatures.”
What I do think is legitimate about this claim that Ehrenreich has signed for three movies is that he could be a “central figure in several movies,” which doesn’t necessarily translate to him being the main character. For example, it has been long rumored a Boba Fett film is in the works, and that it would star Han as well as the bounty hunter. So while Disney and Lucasfilm may want Ehrenreich available to appear as Han whenever they need him, that doesn’t mean a trilogy of Han-centric films is in the works.
Because a Han Solo trilogy would be a disaster. Not in the box office sense, or even in the film quality sense. It’s just that there are so many other amazing stories which could be told, so many other characters and places and ideas explored, and which would be unceremoniously shoved to the back burner if Han was hogging the spotlight for three years. No, those three years wouldn’t be consecutive; there would be saga Episodes and maybe other spinoff films in between. But that brings up another problem: Ehrenreich isn’t going to be a young man forever. How long will it be before he can no longer play a slightly younger Han Solo than the one we see in A New Hope? When that happens, will the timeline shift to the original trilogy to accommodate Ehrenreich’s aging? At that point, we would get the same stories we’re getting in Marvel’s Han Solo miniseries or the ongoing Star Wars series starring the Big Three.
For all these reasons, three films dedicated entirely to Han seem like a waste of money and screen time, which is why I doubt that part of this rumor is true. More likely, Lucasfilm wants Ehrenreich on hand for cameos in other spinoff films.