It is always a unique moment when a new Star Wars film is announced to the world and this week we were treated to the news we have all been waiting for. At Pinewood Studios, the spiritual home of the Star Wars movies, principal photography commenced on a movie cataloguing the early life of one of the greatest characters ever to grace the galaxy far, far away. A character adored by armies of fans around the world…the greatest smuggler in the galaxy…
Taking over the role from the legendary Harrison Ford is Alden Ehrenreich, who will step into the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon alongside Joonas Suotamo, who will be reprising his role from The Force Awakens as every fans favourite Wookiee Chewbacca. Joining them on the adventure will be long-time rival and partner in crime Lando Calrissian, played by Donald Glover with Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge completing the ensemble cast.
The movie will explore the duo’s adventures before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, including their early encounters with that other card-playing rogue from a galaxy far, far away, Lando Calrissian. With a screenplay boasting the writing talents of the great Lawrence Kasdan, who gave us such notable movies as The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark and The Force Awakens we are surely in for an enthralling thrill ride like no other. Kasdan will also serve as executive producer while Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur and Simon Emanuel will assume producing roles.
Sat in the director’s chair will be the duo of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, whose directing credentials boast movies like The Lego Movie and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs. The duo will be hoping to replicate the magic of The Lego Movie and bring a new level of character depth to some of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars universe.
At this point, the storylines being explored in the movie are open to interpretation but one thing is for certain, more adventures featuring Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian and the Millennium Falcon can only be a good thing. Every fan, including myself will be dreaming of witnessing the famous Kessel Run, the fabled accomplishment of the Millennium Falcon that earnt her the name as the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, captured on screen for the first time in cinematic history.
As exciting as this announcement is, the movie signals an enormous gamble for Disney and Lucasfilm who are touching upon some of the most adored characters in the entire saga. The slightest wrong move will undoubtedly earn a backlash of condemnation which will damage all credibility moving forward, but with the unrivalled success of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and The Force Awakens behind them, confidence is high on Skywalker Ranch.
We can only hope that the great composer, Michael Giacchino will return to produce the score and build upon his success with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story which was a sublime effort in the upshot of taking the reins from Star Wars supremo John Williams. The great composer will now be focussing upon his duties as composer for the highly anticipated eighth instalment of the Skywalker saga, The Last Jedi.
The fans will now be rejoicing at the prospect of another adventure starring their favourite scruffy looking nerfherder, a feeling that will only intensify between now and the release date. Yet, deep in the pit of our stomachs lives that one lingering doubt, that one seed of apprehensive that screams…please don’t ruin it!
Come what may, I will be first in the queue when the IMAX cinema opens its doors for a midnight screening. Han Solo has been a firm favourite of mine since 1983 and my first screening of Return of the Jedi and my excitement is already at peak. If given the chance, I would be taking my little puppy, aptly named Chewie into the cinema with me if not for the threat of arrest but I shall relay my excitement to him to the best of my ability, just so I can shout…”Punch it Chewie” one more time.
Until then, we can dream of jumping to lightspeed with Han and Chewie aboard the Millennium Falcon…destination…cinema screens on May 25, 2018.
Let the excitement commence…
May The Force Be With You