Han Solo has always been the prototypical space cowboy of the Star Wars saga, and his upcoming standalone Star Wars movie will prove it.
Most details about the film — directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and featuring Alden Ehrenreich taking up the mantle of the most suave smuggler in the galaxy from Harrison Ford — are being kept under wraps, but Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy gave Variety some specific reference points for the untitled Solo adventure scheduled to hit theaters in 2018.
“This moves closer to a heist or Western type feel,” Kennedy said of the standalone Solo film. “We’ve talked about [Frederic] Remington and those primary colors that are used in his paintings defining the look and feel of the film.”
It’s not much to go on, but it should make fans giddy not only because it reaffirms the idea that the standalone films will get to explore other genres besides the space opera of the main episodes. Whereas Rogue One is supposed to be a war movie, the Han Solo movie is heading into more adventurous genre territory with Solo’s origins.
Given Kennedy’s assertion that it’s a heist movie, it’ll inevitably put Solo and best frenemy Lando Calrissian (played by Donald Glover) at odds to go after some MacGuffin driving the story along. Maybe recently cast actress Emilia Clarke, in an undisclosed role, has something to do with it.
But Kennedy also specifically cited artist Frederic Remington, whose work depicted the desperados and Native Americans of 19th century America in bold, instantly iconic tableaux. If they embrace the western feel of Remington’s work, here’s hoping that Lord and Miller can capture the rugged staging of those scenes and interpolate them to the screen much in the same way George Lucas did with the films of the original trilogy.
Just imagining Ehrenreich’s Solo sauntering into a seedy bar at the far reaches of the Outer Rim territories, with his trusty blaster and Chewie at his side, makes this one somehow even more highly anticipated than we thought.