EW is continuing is coverage of Solo: A Star Wars Story, which we featured bits of yesterday that included new images from the film, as well as some insights into the plot. Today there’s a new interview with the film’s star Alden Ehrenreich, who plays the titular character. Ehrenreich shed a bit of light on young Han’s life in the interview, in particular Han’s motivations, as well as his ties to Qi’Ra and Lando.
When asked to describe the journey Han takes in the film Ehrenreich said:
“I think it tells the story of a young man pursuing a dream to get out of his pretty rough upbringing, and a lot of the story is him trying to make this dream come true and finding out that it’s a lot harder than he had imagined.”
When pressed on why Han may be the way he is in A New Hope, at least in terms of the walls he puts up to not allow others to get close to him, Alden agreed that Han is a by product of his underworld environment by saying:
“Yeah, that’s all basically right. One of the fun things about this movie but also one of the things that really shapes him is that it takes place in a real dark underworld of the Star Wars universe.”
If you saw the teasers for Solo, then you probably figured out that Han and Qi’Ra (Emilia Clarke) have known each other for quite some time, and that Han may have a bit of a thing for her. Alden explained that:
“Yeah, they’ve known each other for a long time and she’s a very important person in his life.”
Although, he made it sound like Han and Qi’Ra handle themselves much differently over their lives. Alden told EW:
“I think she has a slightly different way of handling herself in this tough universe. She’s better at working the system rather than bucking against it.”
I think this may hint that Qi’Ra may indeed get mixed up with the Empire, but only to suit her needs, which could still mean she may screw people over to get her ultimate desires.
Ehrenreich also shed some light on his first meeting with Chewie, and that the Wookie doesn’t immediately warm up to him. He said:
“Well, I think with anyone you meet in these tough worlds, trust doesn’t come easily, and both of them are very strong willed.”
This revelation is a bit odd for me, because it makes it sound like Han won’t be saving Chewie’s life, which has always been the legend between their bond. Chewie is so grateful to Han for being saved that he pledges a life debt to him, so I’m not sure how to process this summary of Han and Chewie’s first meeting. It doesn’t sound like it will take place in a rescue mission type of way, and that they’ll just be introduced and become friends over time, so hopefully the end result is a mix of both worlds — legend tales and new canon.
EW then pressed Alden on Han and Lando’s relationship in the film, and it sounds like we will see their first ever meeting. Alden explained:
“Han and Lando meet in this film. And I meet L3.”
He also explained that he couldn’t answer a question about the status of their relationship in terms of it being friendly, contentious, etc., but he did say:
“That’s very hard to answer without giving things away, but I will say that their relationship is many different things. As it is when you see them in the originals.”
I like what I read here, because it lines up with how Han and Lando are in ESB. While they definitely know each other and seem friendly, you can tell both of them are suspicious of the other, and Lando does sell Han out after all, so they’re definitely not BFFs at any point in their long relationship.
The article concluded with a few more insights on who Han is in this film. Ehrenreich summed up Han in Solo as:
“more of an idealist, he has certain dreams that he follows, and we watch how it affects him as those dreams meet new realities, realities that are harder and more challenging than he’d expected.”
Alden wouldn’t go into much detail at all about Han’s dreams, but hinted that they’re aligned with him achieving independence in a galaxy ruled by an oppressive empire, and other shady institutions.
“I can’t say exactly, but it definitely involves independence, and calling your own shots. I thought the Kasdans did a wonderful job of kind of retroactively coming up with what kind of background would lead him to becoming the character we all know.”
He clarified Han’s independence because EW insinuated that Han may be indentured, or under someone else’s thumb by saying:
“Well, one thing that you kind of know about the Star Wars universe, but that you learn in a much more impactful way as you get into it, is that living in that universe is hard. Most people, especially during the reign of the Empire, are under the control of some kind of force or another. No pun intended. Having the resources and stability to call your own shots, do what you want, have freedom, isn’t something that comes easily. So Han’s dream involves making that happen for himself.”
It sounds like Han is trying to just get rich, because money equals power in any galaxy, but maybe we will learn more about the smuggler’s past and that he may not have always been free to do whatever he wanted.
Stay tuned for more Solo coverage as it becomes available.
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