Chewbacca will be part of the young Han Solo movie

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Disney CEO Bob Iger today referred to Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s 2018 standalone as “an origin story about Han and Chewie,” our first official word that the Wookiee will be part of the film. Is this what Peter Mayhew’s script bonanza on Twitter been leading up to?

In the old Legends universe, the two met while Han was serving in the Imperial military and Chewbacca was a slave. Han’s refusal to kill the Wookiee led to their eventual partnership and Chewbacca’s life debt – elements that may or may not be incorporated into the film. (I’d bet on not, but stranger things have happened.) In the current canon, there’s nothing on record about Chewbacca’s life between Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope. – or Han’s before ANH, though he was in consideration for ROTS.

So, the next question: Young Lando?

Marvel’s next miniseries: Han Solo, space racer

Marvel Comics has announced Han Solo, their fifth Star Wars miniseries, via Entertainment Weekly. Written by Marjorie Liu (Astonishing X-Men) with art by Mark Brooks (Amazing Spider- Man,) the plot involves the Rebellion and a starship race called the Dragon Void Run. Like the first miniseries, Princess Leia, it’s set between A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back. There’s plenty more detail at EW, including a chat with Liu and some interior art.

Han Solo #1 is due out after the current mini, Obi-Wan & Anakin, wraps up in May.

Roundup: The Force Awakens passes Jurassic World’s key opening weekend box office records

jw-tfaThe numbers are in, and The Force Awakens made an astounding $529 million worldwide this weekend, $248 million of it domestically. That takes it past both Jurassic World’s key opening weekend records.

Jurassic World producer Frank Marshall (and husband of Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy) tweeted the traditional congratulation ad, seen at right. Meanwhile the film also continued to rule on social media.

→ Want the nitty-gritty of what the actors made in The Force Awakens? Variety has a report, but beware of spoilers.

→ Video: Phil Tippett and his team on recreating the Millennium Falcon’s Dejarik holochess game.

The Force Awakens is among the ten films making the shortlist for the visual effects Oscar. Five will make the cut. Also on the shortlist are Mad Max: Fury Road, Jurassic World, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ant-Man, Ex Machina, The Martian, The Revenant, Tomorrowland and The Walk.

→ Finn’s ID number is a particularly easy-to-miss Easter egg. Also on Buzzfeed: Finn/Poe shippers. Hey, at least it’s not Reylo.

Matt Patches did it. He stayed spoiler-free for The Force Awakens for three whole years. I think he’s nuts, but respect.

→ Also: Mike Ryan on the redemption of Han Solo, Hasbro’s first look at Leia and Maz Kanata figures in a new motion poster, and how will The Force Awakens influence fashion?

Today in The Force Awakens: Red carpet to be livestreamed, Abrams on the script and starting from scratch

Today on Twitter: @HamillHimself is such a troll. (USA Today asked the cast.)
Today on Twitter: @HamillHimself is such a troll. (USA Today asked the cast; Carrie’s is best.)
After a successful deployment at Celebration Anaheim earlier this year, StarWars.com will be livestreaming The Force Awakens red carpet at the film’s official world premiere in Los Angeles on December 14. Andi Gutierrez, Anthony Carboni, and David Collins will be hosting and interviewing the cast and other notables.

→ J.J. Abrams talks to io9 about the script process (including Michael Arndt’s exit,) starting fresh with Lawrence Kasdan and even the Expanded Universe. (On that note, The Hollywood Reporter on the pre-Abrams story meetings.) At Nerdist, he says he wants to see Selma’s Ava DuVernay do a Star Wars film. She seems game! And Pablo Hidalgo’s fame continues to spread, as he’s the subject of the first question from the Associated Press.

→ Harrison Ford sheds some light on “Chewie, we’re home,” at io9, and says The Force Awakens “correctly ambitious in every sense” in the LAT.

→ Daisy Ridley and John Boyega are in the New York Times! With the AP, John shares the story of how (and why) he got Robert Downey Jr. as his mentor in fame. But he couldn’t resist getting a little saucy about Star Trek with Yahoo. (Well, about William Shatner, technically. Which is, I believe, legal under the Carrie Directive)

→ It was Oscar Isaac’s turn on Good Morning America today, where he talked about flying an X-wing.

→ In an interview with IGN, Adam Driver says that Darth Vader’s “commitment” is inspiring to Kylo Ren. He’s in favor of Stephen Colbert’s explanation for the broadsaber.

→ A film still of Billie Lourd in the movie has been floating around for a while now (plus she was in one of the first TV spots) but People has an official character portrait, in which we can see she wears her hair in a toned-down version of Leia’s iconic buns. Still no character name, though.

→ J.J. Abrams, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega and Adam Driver were in Seoul today goofing around, while Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o and Kathleen Kennedy were in Mexico City. I can’t find any reports in English, but damn they looked cool.

→ Also: The Force Awakens was the #1 movie on Facebook for 2015; Yesterday’s spoilerific Rey action figure got DMCA’d; NASA scientist would pick Threepio over BB-8 or Artoo to take to space. I am outraged! I have to go lay down now.

Everyone is auditioning for young Han Solo

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There are a lot of names in this story from The Hollywood Reporter on the many actors who are vying for a shot at the role of young Han Solo. So many names. I wouldn’t count on anyone making the finals yet, though:

“This has been the easiest movie to audition for,” says an agent with a client who has auditioned. “They are seeing everyone.”

We do learn that the film’s code name is “Red Cup.” (Naturally!)

The young Han Solo spinoff film will be directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller from a script by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan. It’s expected to begin shooting in January 2017. The release date has been announced as May 25, 2018.

Harrison Ford: Han Solo’s “development is consistent with the character”

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First up in the glur of articles sure to come out of the Entertainment Weekly feature, Harrison Ford on Han Solo. On the evolution of Han:

“No, there’s not an abandoning of the character,” Ford says, more earnestly than you’d expect from Mr. I-Guess-We-Watched-The-Trailer. “He does not aspire to the position of Obi-‘Ben’ Kenobi, nor do I aspire to be some New Age Alec Guinness. His development is consistent with the character, and there are emotional elements which have occasioned his growth.”

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