Everything you wanted to know about Han Solo From left, Kathleen Kennedy, J.J. Abrams and Lawrence Kasdan attend Lucasfilm's "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" panel at Comic-Con International in San Diego, Calif. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP/Joel Ryan)
Everything you wanted to know about Han Solo
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Lawrence Kasdan isn't afraid to play favorites and for him, Han Solo is it.
 
He didn't create the scruffy-looking smuggler. He hadn't even heard the lore that George Lucas partially based Han on Francis Ford Coppola, but it was Kasdan who helped fully realize "Star Wars'" favorite scoundrel when he stepped in to write "The Empire Strikes Back" and "Return of the Jedi."
 
"He's reckless, he's feckless," Kasdan said in a recent interview. "He's cynical, he's tough, he's pragmatic, he's not that smart. I like that. He's the most fun."
 
In fact, it was the character of Han that made him consider coming back to the world of "Star Wars" in the first place and when Kathleen Kennedy called him up in 2012 to tell him that she was taking over Lucasfilm and that they were planning to make more "Star Wars" films, Kasdan wasn't certain he wanted to rejoin the franchise.
 
Yet for Kasdan, 66, a four-time Oscar nominee who wrote "Raiders of the Lost Ark," and wrote and directed "The Big Chill," ''The Accidental Tourist" and "Grand Canyon," the shadow of "Star Wars" loomed large.
 
"It's always been playing in the background of my life. The movies were so big, they never go away," he said.
 
At Skywalker Ranch, Kennedy, Kasdan and George Lucas talked about plans for a new trilogy and a number of spin-offs, including one about a young Han Solo.
 
"I said, 'Oh, that's interesting,'" Kasdan recalled. So he signed on to write the young Han anthology movie with his 36-year-old son, Jon Kasdan, and agreed to consult on "The Force Awakens," which Michael Arndt ("Toy Story 3") was writing.
 
Kasdan had been consulting for nine months on "The Force Awakens", coming in once or twice a week while also writing the Han movie, when they asked him to take over the script with director J.J. Abrams.
 
"There were issues that were coming up and there was enormous pressure to get the thing done, recalled Kasdan. "People were being hired, stages were being rented (so) when everyone decided that J.J. and I would write the script, there was no big adjustment. We were already really getting along. Then, we just started again."
 
While the specifics of what exactly "The Force Awakens" is about are being treated like state secrets, fans have been able to glean a few things from the trailers and promos. The movie opens this Friday.  In the over 30 years since the events of "Return of the Jedi", Han Solo, for one, has changed his tune about the force, which he once dismissed as a hokey religion.
 
"(Han is) older and wiser, but wiser is only worth so much," Kasdan teased. "We don't get any smarter. What we call wisdom is really just the accumulation of experiences, but when you do have a lot of experience, it gives you perspective. You think about your life in terms of, do you want to continue to do the things you've always done or do you want to break it up somehow? ... Are you stuck now or is there still a possibility of change? And I think those are the issues, not just for Han, but for everybody."
 
If that sounds like a lot of philosophizing and soul-searching, don't worry, Kasdan promises Han is still funny, too.
 
"Harrison is sort of beyond belief in this movie, he's absolute gold," Kasdan said.
 
Ford's legacy and iconic embodiment of Han is why Kasdan understands keenly how difficult it will be to find an actor to play a young Han. Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller ("21 Jump Street") have seen thousands of actors as they try to fill those shoes.
 
"Harrison is one of a kind," Kasdan said. "There is going to be a lot of pressure on anyone who tries to be that (younger) character ... He's got to be a believable antecedent."
 
But beyond finding that perfect person, Kasdan has just been enjoying the chance to work with his son on the script, even if it's been trying at times.
 
"Collaborating with anyone is challenging, but when it's your son, now there's this additional thing of like, 'Dad, do you know what you're talking about?'" Kasdan laughed. "But 'Star Wars' is all about that, fathers and sons."
 
After the Han film comes out in 2018, Kasdan said he will really be leaving "Star Wars" behind.
 
"That's enough," he said with Han Solo definitiveness, "I'm done."

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is Han Solo referred to as a “scoundrel?”
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (46)
  • peytond.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 12:08 p.m.

    I love star wars so this is incredible to read

  • aaronp.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 12:12 p.m.

    Never seen star wars so none of this makes sense

  • dallinp.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 12:15 p.m.

    Han Solo is referred to as a "scoundrel" because in episode 5 (The Empire Strikes Back), while still on Hoth and waiting for Luke to fully recover from a Wampa incident, Princess Leia, after a slightly heated argument, storms out of the room while calling Solo a scoundrel.

  • holdeno-3-bar
    12/17/2015 - 12:20 p.m.

    Han Solo is referred to as a "scoundrel" because the word is being used in the best possible way to refer to a character of his likeness. The author says that "it was [Lawrence] Kasdan who helped realize 'Star Wars' favorite scoundrel..." (par. 2) Scoundrel is defined as "a dishonest or unscrupulous person; a rogue". (dictionary.com) Han Solo fits all of these qualities; he is an outlaw who is not afraid to speak his mind. Despite the negative connotation of "scoundrel", this word is used in a positive way to refer to the rogue who everyone loves.
    I am really excited by this article because Star Wars is one of my favorite franchises. Also, I am watching "Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens" tonight!

  • madisons.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 12:34 p.m.

    He's called a scoundrel because of one of his shows.

  • landynm.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 12:37 p.m.

    I guess that's cool not really a big fan of Star Wars and don't understand any of it.

  • josephd.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 12:38 p.m.

    Its about time that they are making a new star wars but I think that Disney just might ruin it

    • michaels.-tay
      12/17/2015 - 01:56 p.m.

      I agree all they will do is just make it cartoone and ruin it PS the older ones are way better that the newer ones all the newer ones are getting way to futuristic for my likings

  • joer.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 12:38 p.m.

    Star wars is amazing

  • jacksonc.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 12:48 p.m.

    2018 movie leaks :o

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