Han Solo gets his own movie

Harrison Ford as Han Solo (above, with Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia) in 1977's Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.
Harrison Ford as Han Solo (above, with Carrie Fisher as Princess Leia) in 1977's Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope.PHOTO: LUCASFILM

Los Angeles - Han Solo, the Star Wars space hero who always has a fast ship and a good blaster, will get his own stand-alone film, directed by the makers of The Lego Movie, the Walt Disney Co said on Tuesday.

The untitled Han Solo project, slated for release on May 25, 2018, will be the second stand-alone film in the Star Wars Anthology, following the release of Rogue One next year.

The films will explore a separate part of Star Wars creator George Lucas' intricate intergalactic universe and will be interspersed with the new trilogy of movies, kicking off with December's highly anticipated Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

The Han Solo film will focus on the origin story of the character made famous in the Star Wars movies by actor Harrison Ford, who will reprise the role in The Force Awakens.

Solo was introduced in the original 1977 film Star Wars as a former smuggler who takes Luke Skywalker aboard his ship, the Millennium Falcon, and helps him escape from Darth Vader.

Solo becomes the lovable scoundrel of the Rebel Alliance, fighting against the oppressive Galactic Empire along with his friend and co-pilot Chewbacca, a bear-like "wookie".

"The story focuses on how young Han Solo became the smuggler, thief and scoundrel whom Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi first encountered in the cantina at Mos Eisley," Disney said in a statement.

Film-makers Chris Miller and Phil Lord, best known for last year's The Lego Movie and 2012's reboot of 21 Jump Street, will direct the new movie, which has yet to announce a cast.

"We promise to take risks, to give the audience a fresh experience, and we pledge ourselves to be faithful stewards of these characters who mean so much to us," Miller and Lord said.

Writer-director Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Return Of The Jedi (1983) and The Force Awakens, will pen the new screenplay with his son Jon Kasdan.

The Force Awakens is the first of three new Star Wars movies being produced by Walt Disney Co since it purchased the franchise from Lucasfilm in 2012 for US$4.05 billion (S$5.4 billion).

Six previous Star Wars movies have grossed more than US$4.4 billion at the worldwide box office since 1977 and spawned a legion of devoted fans.

REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 09, 2015, with the headline 'Han Solo gets his own movie'. Print Edition | Subscribe