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. 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 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...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," Kasdan said. "He's absolute gold."
 
Ford's legacy and iconic portrayal 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 (22)
  • genevieveb-6-bar
    12/17/2015 - 07:42 p.m.

    Han Solo is referred to as a "scoundrel" because, in the "Star Wars" franchise, he is a wanted rebel leader fighting against the evil Empire. In the beginning of the article, Kasdan states,"'He's [Han Solo is] reckless, he's feckless'" (paragraph 3). As any fan of "Star Wars" knows, this is obviously referring to his actions he takes whilst fighting the Empire. Han Solo is entitled a "scoundrel" because of his rebellious and reckless attitude.

    This article interested me because I am a huge fan of Disney (and therefore all of the franchises it has bought, such as "Star Wars" and "Marvel"), and I cannot wait until "The Force Awakens" comes to theaters tomorrow!

  • patrickr-jac
    12/18/2015 - 01:54 p.m.

    I like star wars a lot. Han solo and Chew Bacca are my favorite characters. They probably have lots of money for starring in this show The Force Awakening.

  • ethanar-Sch
    12/21/2015 - 11:17 a.m.

    I've really never watched any Star Wars movies or been into it, but I might try to watch them with the new release and i've heard a lot of great stuff about it to so I figure I might as well start watching them.

  • Brandon1231-YYCA
    12/21/2015 - 12:55 p.m.

    I think that having Han Solo be a good character in the Story of Star Wars. When he does this, it makes the actor be a good character too. I think that this person playing as Han Solo is the best actor. I'm pretty sure that he played as Indiana Jones in the Indiana Jones movie. He looks the same and I'm pretty sure that he is. I think that he is a good actor and having him play as the Han Solo is great. I think that when the next Star Wars come out, then he will be pretty old. I wonder who would replace him and become the next Han Solo.

  • hunterf-1-sch
    12/21/2015 - 01:54 p.m.

    I haven't gotten to see the new star wars movie yet, but it looks really cool. I also heard that Han dies and Han has a son

  • codyg1-sch
    12/21/2015 - 01:59 p.m.

    i like the star wars and i think Chew Bacca and Han Solo made a lot of money in the movies.

  • allenj-
    12/22/2015 - 02:32 p.m.

    That would be cool if they make the spin off movie. I would watch that every day. That would be hard to find a person to replace Han Solo.

  • zachl-mci
    1/05/2016 - 11:44 a.m.

    I like Harrison Ford in Star Wars.He is one of the main reasons why I like the Star Wars chronicles.I think it is a great idea for them making a movie about Han Solo, I'll probably go see it in theaters.

  • austinh-ver
    1/05/2016 - 01:26 p.m.

    Han Solo should stay in Star Wars. He is funny, and a cool character. Han was reckless but that is what I liked about him.

  • jacobb1-ver
    1/05/2016 - 01:36 p.m.

    Star wars would be nothing with out Han Solo

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