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. 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. 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," he said. "They never go away. "
 
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 he 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. Then 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...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 gather a few things from the trailers and promos. 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 theorizing and soul-searching, don't worry. Kasdan promises Han is still funny, too.
 
"Harrison is sort of beyond belief in this movie," Kasdan said. "He's absolute gold."
 
Ford's legacy and iconic portrayal of Han is why Kasdan understands clearly 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. He's a one-off," 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 this time.
 
"That's enough," he said with Han Solo certainty. "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 (101)
  • christophero-for
    12/17/2015 - 02:18 p.m.

    I love star wars

  • dylana-Orv
    12/17/2015 - 03:34 p.m.

    i already got my tickets to new movie it looks great i read the comics and every thing midnight premier.

  • karliw-1-bar
    12/17/2015 - 07:00 p.m.

    Han Solo is referred to as a "scoundrel" because he's basically a gun-slinging space cowboy who is your totally human superhero. While he maintains loyalty to the Rebel cause, there's no denying the fact that Solo is a streetwise smuggler who hangs out in seedy bars, gets into trouble wherever he goes, and surrounds himself with shady business associates. His effortlessly scruffy looks may have it with as well.
    "He's reckless, he's feckless," Lawerence Kasdan, the writer for "The force Awakens" 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."

  • hudsonh-ver
    12/17/2015 - 07:30 p.m.

    Han Solo has always been one of my favorite star wars characters and the idea of a movie around him sounds amazing.

  • John0724-YYCA
    12/17/2015 - 07:42 p.m.

    I have seen all the star wars movie in my life and Harrison Ford is a really good actor for Han Solo. I can't wait for the next movie "Star Wars The Force Awakens to come out because I am a huge fan in Star wars. I think I already know the whole story line for the next movie but I really want to see it in action. I heard that in this movie Harrison Ford wanted his character Han Solo to die in a heroic way but I hope it doesn't because Han Solo is one of my favorite character.

  • Eric0221-YYCA
    12/17/2015 - 10:37 p.m.

    I think that it is cool that one of the star wars character, Han Solo might have been people's favorite character in star wars because I think that it might have been people's favorite. I think that Han Solo might have everybody's favorite because I think that people had been thinking the way that Han Solo might have done something awesome for people to be the favorite character. Han Solo might have been the most favorite character for people to be because Han Solo had been the favorite character rather than the other characters that people like in star wars.

  • katherinec-3-bar
    12/17/2015 - 11:46 p.m.

    Han Solo is referred to as scoundrel because he is not the brightest build. Although he isn't very smart. Han happens to be Kasdans favorite character, because he is tough and reckless. It says "(Han is) he's cynical, he's tough. He's pragmatic. He's not that smart. I like that. He's the most fun." I for one am so excited, after watching all 6, to finally see "The Force Awakens!" This was berry interesting to read about Han from a directors point of view.

  • tylera-1-bar
    12/18/2015 - 11:14 a.m.

    A scoundrel is a tough person, or a rouge. Han Solo is called this because he isn't the smartest person in the movie. Han is however very tough and fearless. It says,"he's cynical. He's tough." I found this interesting because I never would have imagined Han being the directors favorite.

  • anniec-jac
    12/18/2015 - 12:38 p.m.

    Hans Solo is referred to as a ¨scoundrel¨ because he´s a rebel and likes to take risks. For example, in ¨Star Wars: A New Hope¨ he ¨takes care¨ of the Stormtroppers even though he is told not to. Therefore, Hans Solo is referred as a ¨scoundrel¨ because he a rebel.

  • aydens-jac
    12/18/2015 - 12:39 p.m.

    Han Solo is referred to as a scoundrel because you first see him talking with greedo looking for a ship and later in the movie you see they have bounty hunter after him. I liked that in this article and in the movie he got to work with his son on the movie. I cant wait till his stand alone movie comes out in 2018 but i'm sad to see him go after this.

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