The concept of Solo: A Star Wars Story is, like all things in the fandom, a divisive topic. But learning more about the film’s plot and its influences could convert the a pessimistic doubter.
While discussing the story for the next Lucasfilm production, legendary Star Wars screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jon revealed what movies inspired the latest take on the young smuggler in a discussion with EW.
Given that Solo: A Star Wars Story will be an intergalactic heist movie, the Kasdan’s took inspiration from Michael Mann’s classic crime caper Heat.
“We talked about the relationship between Val Kilmer and Robert De Niro in Heat, where there’s a sort of older, wiser criminal, and then someone who’s learning the ropes from them. We wanted this movie to have that flavor and that swagger,” said Lawrence.
“No one is reliable… There’s always a chance of betrayal. And, I wanted to take what is essentially a street smart, but very innocent, young man, and figure out how could we start him on the journey to being the character who comes into the cantina?”
Given the trailer’s noir-Western aesthetic, it should come as no surprise that the Clint Eastwood-classic Unforgiven is held in such high esteem.
“There’s a feeling in Unforgiven between the kid and Clint that hits the kind of [apprentice/gunslinger] relationship we were interested in,” said Jon, clarifying that Unforgiven “is obviously a much darker movie than [Solo] is.”
A surprising influence comes from the Coen Brothers classic The Big Lebowski, with Han playing the role of the Dude while Chewbacca is his cranky sidekick Walter Sobchak.
“[Solo] has that flavor of a crime world that has weirdness and surprise and people stumbling into things — and other people very intentionally getting into [trouble],” Jon said. “The Big Lebowski is a great example because Solo has a more off-kilter tone than you’ve ever seen in [Star Wars].”
The movie also takes influence from Treasure Island and the Paul Bettany mob flick Gangster No. 1. Already, the movie sounds better than it did when it was first announced.
Take any group of Star Wars fans and ask them about the young Han Solo movie, and you’re likely to get a mixed response. Any comment section on the internet ranges from reactions saying “Looks good,” to “What a bad idea,” and everything in between.
But instead of calling it “a Han Solo origin story,” refer to it as “like Heat, but in the Star Wars galaxy with Han, Chewie, and Lando,” and it immediately gets more interesting.
Solo: A Star Wars Story premieres May 25th.