Lucasfilm continues its expansion of the Star Wars universe with another story in the galaxy far, far away, featuring the younger days of Han Solo.
It’s the fourth film in the franchise after Disney purchased Lucasfilm, and some fans might believe the House of Mouse is pushing for all of these movies to get a quick return on their $4 billion investment. But it turns out, Solo: A Star Wars Story was in the works when George Lucas still owned the company.
In a new feature from Entertainment Weekly, screenwriters Lawrence and Jon Kasdan spoke about their work on Solo when it was revealed that the project was in development in 2012, before Disney’s purchase.
Lawrence Kasdan, Jon’s father and legendary screenwriter of various Star Wars films, signed on to make a Han Solo-centric movie. It’s not clear if the movie was always going to be an origin story.
After Disney purchased Lucasfilm and work began on the project that would become Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Lawrence was brought on to help the J.J. Abrams movie. That became an intense endeavor.
“When I was done, I was sort of burned out,” revealed Kasdan. “And I said, ‘I don’t know, do we still want to do this Han thing?’ And they said, ‘Yeah! We really want you to go ahead with Han.'”
While Lawrence was on the brink of burnout, his son was ready to get involved in the franchise his father made major contributions to.
“And I said, ‘Well, my son, Jon, is very enthusiastic and full of ideas about the saga.’ And he had directed two movies and had done other things,” Kasdan said. “‘What if he came on and worked with me? Because, that would give me a shot in the arm.’ And so, that’s exactly what happened. They made a deal with Jon, and he and I have been writing since for three years.”
While it’s hard to think of anyone but Lawrence Kasdan plotting the adventures for the galaxy’s scruffiest nerf herder, it’s interesting that plans for spinoff movies were in the works at Lucasfilm before the purchase even occurred.
Without being privy to the specifics of the deal, it’s impossible to say that Lucas needed all these projects in development before Disney would move forward. But when the exchange went through, Disney was content to move forward with projects already in the works.
And now fans will get to see the Kasdan’s hard work on the big screen when Solo: A Star Wars Story premieres in theaters on May 25th.