Screenwriters Lawrence & Jonathan Kasdan say Solo: A Star Wars Story is a Crime Movie
If you’re writing a movie about the most famous smuggler in the galaxy, it makes sense that it would be a crime movie. Our hopes that Solo: A Star Wars Story would be a heist film seem to have been realized—the film’s father/son screenwriting team has confirmed it. Praise Jabba!
Once again The Star Wars Show has nabbed video interviews no one else in the galaxy is getting, this time with Solo screenwriters Lawrence and Jonathan Kasdan (their chat begins at the 3:10 mark). The father/son writing duo discussed some juicy story tidbits, including the fact that they really do write dialogue for Chewbacca (despite neither of them being able to speak Wookie). They also shared how, despite wanting to write a script together for years, they were a touch apprehensive that they might not “be able to be in the same room together.” But most importantly, they dish that the movie they created is less an origin story than a crime story. In a word, yes.
Larry Kasdan is more responsible than anyone else not named George Lucas for informing what we know about Han Solo. He wrote the most bittersweet Han storyline ever, The Empire Strikes Back, only to top that by writing the smuggler’s incredibly bittersweet coda in The Force Awakens. He gave us Han in Cloud City, Han in carbonite, and Han handing Rey a blaster (and offering her a much needed father figure). He gave us Han vs Kylo—formerly known as Ben Solo. Now with Solo, he and his son are showing us Han’s formative years, from 18 to roughly 24. They knew the risks going in. Like Han, they took them.
After watching this interview, you’ll see how seriously the Kasdans took the responsibility of fleshing out more of Han’s life, informed by Larry Kasdan’s deep knowledge and experience writing the character for years. You’ll also see how well aware they were that they were wading into dangerous territory by filling in the blanks to an iconic character whose charm partly lies in his inscrutability. What made Han such a scoundrel? It was a question that may not have needed an answer.
“He would never want this movie to be seen,” Jon jokes of Han. Yet the young Kasdan also makes it clear that Solo was never going to be about explaining Han, but about joining him for more adventures and seeing what happened that turned him into the guy we met at the Mos Eisley Cantina in A New Hope. You know, the one who shot first.
“What we had is a character we loved, who is enormous fun,” Jon Kasdan says. “It wasn’t like we ever approached it like, ‘Okay, we’re going to fill in the backstory, or the origin story of Han Solo.’ We had Han Solo, and we were going to make a great crime movie around him.”
Now that‘s music to our ears. We were always hoping that Solo would be a proper heist film, and it sounds like that’s exactly the story the Kasdans were intent on telling. Jon Kasdan points out that when we meet Han in A New Hope, he’s a cynical guy, so in Solo, they had the advantage of getting to tell a story about a character who wasn’t going to turn out all happy-go-lucky, but world-weary and sardonic. How do you become world-weary and sardonic? Seeing the galaxy from the eyes of a criminal—living in a cess pool of greed and cruelty and Jabba the Hutts.
“I love you,” Leia says to Han a moment before he’s about to be frozen into carbonite by Darth Vader.
“I know,” Han replies. Spoken like a true scoundrel. It seems like Solo will show us how someone becomes this confident, this cocky, even in the face of death.
We always hoped Solo would be more of a down-and-dirty story, just the way Han would have wanted it. Heck, maybe he would want this movie to be shown.
Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on May 25. Check out the interview below.
Featured image: Donald Glover is Lando Calrissian in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. Courtesy Lucasfilm.