Star Wars Confirms It Won Repeat Young Han Solo Recasting

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy confirms that Star Wars won’t repeat the young Han Solo recasting trend after the failed anthology movie.

Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy confirms that Star Wars won’t repeat the young Han Solo recasting trend after the failed anthology movie. As the franchise came roaring back to life with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lucasfilm sought to expand the stories with a roster of anthology films, beginning with the successful Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in 2016. Looking to keep the trend rolling, the studio quickly followed it up with Solo: A Star Wars Story, exploring the origin of the fan-favorite smuggler as he first meets Chewbacca and becomes a major name in the galactic criminal underworld.

Alden Ehrenreich led the cast of Solo: A Star Wars Story as the titular character with Donald Glover also taking over fan-favorite Lando Calrissian from Billy Dee Williams while Joonas Suotamo reprised his role of Chewbacca from The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi and the likes of Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Thandiwe Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Paul Bettany made their franchise debuts. Production on the Han Solo film was troubled, with original directing duo Phil Lord and Christopher Miller being fired over creative differences with Lucasfilm and being replaced by Ron Howard, with the budget ballooning to a reported $300 million, making it one of the most expensive films of all-time. Solo: A Star Wars Story received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics, with appreciation directed towards its cast, namely Ehrenreich and Glover, as well as its score and action sequences, though its story and tone were met with much criticism and it went on to bomb at the box office.

In an expansive Star Wars profile with Vanity Fair, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy opened up about the young Han Solo recasting for the 2018 anthology movie centered on the character. When asked about the possibility of other iconic characters getting the same treatment, Kennedy confirmed the Star Wars franchise won’t be recasting any other characters in the same vein, with the studio having learned their lesson after Solo’s failure. See what Kennedy said below:

“There should be moments along the way when you learn things. Now it does seem so abundantly clear that we can’t do that.”

The initial announcement of a young Han Solo film was met with a mixed response from Star Wars fans given Harrison Ford was in his early 30s while making the franchise launcher, leaving some to argue that such a project was not only unnecessary but would also remove some of the mystery from the character’s past. Anticipation for Solo was only further lessened when it was revealed Lord and Miller had been fired from the project over creative differences with the studio, with some believing the duo were a good fit for the movie after their success with the 21 Jump Street and Lego Movie franchises and that Ron Howard was too safe a choice to replace them. This skepticism would ultimately prove to be the film’s downfall as Solo would only gross $393 million against its reported $275 million production budget, losing the studio an estimated $76.9 million.

With Lucasfilm confirming that future Star Wars projects won’t follow Solo’s suit in recasting characters with a younger actor, it does create a point of curiosity as to the studio’s plans for its Disney+ Lando Calrissian series from Dear White People’s Justin Simien. Despite Solo’s poor response, Donald Glover’s performance as a young Lando was largely acclaimed by critics and audiences alike, leading to some remaining hopeful for his return in the limited series, while Billy Dee Williams’ return in Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker has left some wondering if he will lead the show. Given Glover’s recent comments seem to point towards his return, it seems Kennedy and Lucasfilm have at least learned what audiences felt worked in Solo and what didn’t.

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