A wookie roared.
An android likes being deliciously evil. And robot rights are trending. Attending the press junket for Solo: A Star Wars Story was a chance to delve deeper into this amazing film that Star Wars fans the world over are sure to love. People have wondered if this new movie can live up to expectations of the legend of Han Solo. Can Ron Howard come onto a film so late in the game and not only save it but turn it into something that will live up to the icon it is named after? He can and he did.
He even got the blessing of Harrison Ford himself. Alden Ehrenreich who plays the titular character relates a story about meeting with Solo himself. “Rght before we started shooting, I wanted to talk to Harrison, just to kind of pay respect and have him give us his blessings for the film and so we had lunch two years ago or something, and he was really encouraging and really supportive and then we went off, shot the film and everything like that. And today, I was doing an interview and they were talking about, you know, is there anything else you’d like to ask him? I was like, ‘Well, I don’t know,’ and they’re like, ‘Well, you’ll have your chance’ — and he was behind me. He came and he’s so effusive about the movie. It meant so much to me and I know for Ron and Kathy and everybody. It’s just such a huge deal to have him really genuinely love it, really genuinely enjoy the film, and it meant a lot to me that he took the time to come out here and do that.”
Alden will have you believe he is Han Solo. Although the two actors have different looks, they both have that same rugged square jaw, that piercing gaze, and Alden repeated some very familiar Han Solo poses. He was asked about how he was able to pull it off so convincingly. Alden answered, “The way I went about it pretty much was to watch the original movies very early on, and just kind of absorb as much as I could of how the character is operating in the world. Harrison and the whole Star Wars universe is so rich and there’s so much to it, so I tried to kind of take in as much of that as I could very early, because I had the role for quite a long time before we actually shot. And then move into working on the part and kind of put all that aside and forget about it and play this guy where he is now in his life, because it’s most important, I think, that it feels like a real person. And so, yeah, so then I kind of moved into working on where he is in this story, this moment in time.”
Paul Bettany plays the villain, Dryden Voss and he does it so well. It’s such a weird juxtaposition between this character and his role in the Avengers franchise. When asked about it, Paul explained it like this: “It was just lovely to play somebody, having, you know, come from Avengers where Vision is fundamentally good. Just somebody who’s just deliciously bad; I’m really okay with it. Just no neurosis. No guilt. Just super happy about being evil… He’s really good at hurting people, too. And you know, some people are really good at piano or whatever, and you’ve got to practice, right?”
It’s hard not to address the one character who captured audiences hearts right away – L3. Short for L3-37, she is Lando’s companion and co-pilot on the Falcon. Her extraordinary knowledge and vast understanding of space makes her priceless and so even though she has developed a sometimes troubling personality, she is to valuable to ever wipe her memory and lose that database. Plus, she and Lando have grown on each other. Phoebe Waller-Bridge who portrays L3 shared her approach to playing the character:
“Well, L3 is a real inspiration to me, so thanks, guys. She’s a self-made droid, so she created herself out of parts of other droids. It sounds kind of frightening, actually, when I put it like that. It’s like, where did you get those bits? But she creates herself out of astromech droids and protocol droids, so she turns herself into a unique creature that’s kind of taller, stronger, more independent than she originally was. She’s got a great attitude and she’s very upbeat. And really fun to be around. She’s fearless, she’s uncensored, she’s very funny and she’s a revolutionary and she has an agenda, which is bigger than the sum of her parts, which is something that’s really extraordinary for her character and it’s great to play that, great to play a droid, you know, with a message.”
Donald Glover, Jr. does an amazing job playing Han’s competitor, equal, and rival Lando Calrissian. In the original films we only get a glimpse into the relationship between these two men, but Solo: A Star Wars Story gets to delve in so much deeper. Donald’s portrayal of Lando is suave, nuanced, and complicated. Much like the world in which Solo is surrounded by. In the press conference, Donald talked about that:
“That’s my favorite part of the movie, really (How our perception of Han and the Star Wars universe has changed over time). It’s like… I love that they’re like rich people and poor people in this movie and you can go to the airport and just see like immediately who’s rich and who’s poor and why they’re there. I just love it. Because…you get to see why Han is complicated. Even by the end, maybe he did the wrong thing but for the right reasons. Or maybe the right thing was for the wrong reasons. That’s how everybody has to live… it’s like a lost world out there, and I really love that it’s not simple.”
The cast and filmmakers have taken the legend of Han Solo and fleshed him out into a full-bodied character with even more nuance than before. Solo: A Star Wars Story is distinctly Star Wars in flavor and uniquely its own film and one that anyone – Star Wars fan or not – will love to watch. Make sure to go and see it in theaters when it opens on Friday!