How old will Han Solo be in that prequel? Kathleen Kennedy has details

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Aug 16, 2015, 7:52 PM EDT (Updated)

After years of rumors about a standalone Star Wars movie starring a pre-Episode IV Han Solo, Lucasfilm finally made it official last month, drafting The LEGO Movie's Phil Lord and Chris Miller to co-direct and Star Wars icon Lawrence Kasdan to co-write with his son Jon. That information was all real, official and exciting, but as cool as it was, that's all the information we really got. Until today.

As part of its continuing teaser coverage of The Force Awakens this week, Entertainment Weekly released new details about the Han Solo film from both Kasdan and Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy. According to the report, the film isn't even close to casting a lead, and Kennedy and the Kasdans are at the moment still hard at work on figuring out exactly what the film will focus on. As Kennedy notes, they're working hard to nail the "reason" for the film's existence, and though she didn't reveal what that will be, she did say we should look out for something very formative for the young smuggler.

“I think the key here is that we are identifying an event or events in Han Solo’s life that gives you some idea of who he is and why he is the character we have all known to love,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy also noted that the film will embrace Han's wit, and that the hiring of Lord and Miller -- who've had a lot of success with straight comedies -- are an indication that they're after an "entertaining and funny" film. 

But let's get to the biggest detail in the report: How old will "young" Han be? Harrison Ford was in his mid-30s when he first played the part, younger than rumored stars like Aaron Paul and Chris Pratt are now, so how far back will the movie take the character? Well, we can't expect a kid, but according to Kennedy we should expect someone fairly young.

“He’ll definitely be probably in the high teens, low 20s,” Kennedy said. “We’re not introducing you to a 10-year-old Han Solo.”

Keeping the young Solo somewhere around age 20 makes sense, both because you want an actor who doesn't look the same age as Harrison Ford did in 1977, and because you want sequel possibilities. It wouldn't be wise of Lucasfilm to make a film about Han Solo set basically two years before the Battle of Yavin and then run out of story possibilities. This way we could see years of new Han Solo tales.

As for the Han film, Kennedy didn't provide any other details about plot or character, but she did also shed a little light on that other, officially untitled spinoff flick. You know, the one Josh Trank left a while back? The film has no release date, but Kennedy said the studio is still making it, and that they're happy for the extra time to work on the film because of certain technological needs.

“It’s still one of the stories that we absolutely want to tell,” she says. “There is a lot of innovative technology in and around what it is we’re doing with that story, so for a lot of reasons, we were comfortable postponing that. But we’re definitely still developing it.”

So, the Star Wars: Anthology engine is moving right along, with Kennedy's eye for long-term planning steering the ship. Now we just have to wait until 2018, when we'll finally see young Han Solo on the big screen.

(Via Entertainment Weekly)

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