The next film in the very rapidly expanding “Star Wars” universe might its most ambitious yet, at least when it comes to straddling a variety of different genres in service to one origin story. Ron Howard’s “Solo,” a look at the early years of beloved scoundrel Han Solo (played in this iteration by Alden Ehrenreich), reportedly spans a wide variety of tones in service to telling a story expected to explain exactly how the legendary rogue became, well, a legend.
As part of its newest cover story, Entertainment Weekly has offered up a deep dive at the film — one that has been mostly stingy with official images and plot descriptions over the past few months — including interviews with many of its creators and talents. One thing emerges early: this is a film that is juggling a lot, particularly when it comes to how best to explain its tone and aims, and even its genre designation.
For screenwriters and father-son duo Lawrence and Jon Kasdan, the film’s roots are heavily vested in one of the most central relationships in the universe’s mythology: the friendship between Han and Chewbacca (played in “Solo” by Joonas Suotamo). “To me, this is a love story between Han and Chewie,” the younger Kasdan told the outlet. “Their relationship has always been my favorite part of the saga, and the fact that only Han understands what Chewie is saying, I find a very funny possibility for comedy.”
EW promises that “Solo” will include the pair’s first meeting — “we’re going to see the meet-cute,” the piece reads — and is at least partially a “secret bromance” between the pair. But that doesn’t mean that their relationship is initially going to be easy. Wookiees are, of course, kind of tough customers.
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As Lawrence Kasdan explained, “Wookiees have so many positive qualities. But what they don’t do is make it easy for you to get in.” (It’s clear that those figurative walls will eventually be torn down, and even the film’s second teaser hints at an already easy familiarity between the two).
Elsewhere, other members of Team Solo promise that the film will fold in elements of both Western and heist films, though “buddy comedy elements [are] smuggled inside.” The film reportedly centers around a large-scale heist orchestrated by Woody Harrelson’s career criminal Tobias Beckett that at least partially takes place on a giant two-sided train known as a Conveyex.
Still, in one brand new look at the film over at EW, that central relationship remains key, as both Han and Chewie hang off the Conveyex while working on their new heist…together.
“Solo” will open on May 25.