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)
  • calebc.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 12:53 p.m.

    Because he is a character that has many different personalitys

  • rylanf.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 01:38 p.m.

    I agree with Joseph I agree that Disney might ruin it for all of us who like Star Wars

  • dawsonh.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 01:44 p.m.

    I have never seen star wars but I have seen star trek

  • kamronf.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 01:46 p.m.

    I wouldn't be suprisednif Disney ruins it! Does this make princess Leia a Disney princess????

  • halleh.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 01:59 p.m.

    I'm not a big fan of stars wars so some of this doesn't make sense to me but I understand some of it.

  • samuelh.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 02:00 p.m.

    Han solo is referred to a scoundrel because he is a dishonerable person.

  • landond.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 02:19 p.m.

    That's cool and all but I'm not your star wars kind of guy and I don't watch it and don't know a thing about it so it really didn't make any since

  • nadiaf.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 02:22 p.m.

    I can't believe that its been 30 YEARS and that they have been planning a new Star Wars since 2012!

  • cameronb.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 02:23 p.m.

    This is amazing and I am happy that lucasfilms are making another star wars because how the return of the Jedi ended it just seemed that they would need to make another star wars

  • matthewe.-tay
    12/17/2015 - 02:24 p.m.

    Can't wait to see the new Star Wars movie! Might not look like it but I'm a major star wars nerd.

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