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Movies & TV / Columns

Thoughts on Whether Solo: A Star Wars Story Will Deliver

February 10, 2018 | Posted by Steve Gustafson
Donald Glover Solo: A Star Wars Story

During the Super Bowl the world finally got a good look at the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story film, with a full teaser released the next day. While many were excited by what they saw, some still expressed concern about Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, especially when compared to the legendary Harrison Ford.

Before I go any further can I say that it would be travesty if we didn’t get a Donald Glover Lando Calrissian movie ASAP? In fact, we should have gotten a Lando movie anyways, as his character has tons of room for exploration while Solo is already an icon. But I digress.

The biggest mystery, and it’s really the biggest, related to Solo hinges on Ehrenreich’s performance. Will it be good enough to make us forget about Ford and accept him on his own?

Ford had lunch with Ehrenreich right before production began and said to him, “Tell them I told you everything you needed to know, and that you can’t tell anyone.”

Harrison Ford is an interesting figure in Hollywood. While he shuns the spotlight and usual ego driven game playing, he understands his place in all of it.

Lucasfilm president and Solo producer Kathleen Kennedy shared with EW what happened after Ford and Ehrenreich met for the first time. “It was perfect, classic Harrison,” Kennedy said. “‘Good kid, good kid. Really good kid.’”

She had also related that Ford read the script and gave it a thumbs-up. “I think being who is Harrison is, there is no way he would step into the middle of this and start trying to dictate,” Kennedy says.

“What [Ford] did so beautifully for Alden was he talked a lot about what he remembered when he first read Star Wars, and what George had done with Han. Who the character was and the conversations he had for so many years with George about how that character developed,” Kennedy says. “He gave Alden that kind of insight which was invaluable. There were several times in the course of making the movie where Alden would actually recount some of the things that Harrison had pointed out. I think that was really, really helpful to him.”

Solo has had a bumpy ride getting to the big screen. Director Ron Howard stepped in to take the reins after a period of rumors that all was not well with Lucasfilm and original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. We’re still not sure how much was reshot or changed from the original footage but some estimate quite a bit.

Many sites reported that they needed to call in an acting coach for Ehrenreich and rumors of the troubled production escalated as no teaser or trailer was forthcoming. Questionable marketing for a movie scheduled to come out May 25th.

EW spoke to Ford in 2015 just before the release of The Force Awakens and got his advice for the future actor playing Solo, “I would say, ‘Talk to your director. Watch the movies. And welcome aboard. Make it your own.’”

We’ll find out soon enough if Ehrenreich was listening.