He might not have the death sentence on twelve systems, but Woody Harrelson’s new character in the forthcoming standalone Star Wars Han Solo prequel movie is “a bit of a criminal.”
As reported by ABC News during a Facebook livestream for Mashable on January 11, Harrelson confirmed that his character is a mentor to the young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich), but that he’s also a criminal and that “I don’t think I should say much more than that because the Force is not allowing me.”
These comments confirm the earlier rumor that Harrelson would show the burgeoning nerf-hearder the ropes of how to be a slick smuggler, lose friends, and influence Wookies. Whether this character will be directly based on Garris Shrike from A.C. Crispin’s 1997 novel The Paradise Snare remains to be seen. In any case, the Star Wars universe has no shortage of lowlife, scummy people, and villains. The gross and combative Dr. Evazan (pictured above next to Harrelson) even made a surprise cameo with his cohort Ponda Baba in Rogue One. (The criminals were first seen in A New Hope in 1977.)
Notably, in an early cut of the first Star Wars, Han seemed to have a human criminal mentor at that time, too. The difference is that criminal was the non-slug version of Jabba the Hutt, played by Declan Mulholland in a scene which ended up not being part of the canon. When this scene was reappropriated from the “Special Edition,” the human Jabba was turned into his “correct” sluggish self via computer generated effects. Still, the final cut of the film still has Jabba calling Han “my boy,” in an affectionate mentor-ish way. Perhaps some aspects of Woody Harrelson’s character will be loosely based on this more fatherly (and obscured) version of Jabba.
The as-yet untitled Han Solo movie will debut sometime in 2018.