The new Stars Wars movie about how Han Solo became the galaxy’s coolest space pilot and scoundrel has a lot to live up to, not least for the new actor taking on Harrison Ford’s iconic role.
The plot, set 10 years before A New Hope, follows the brash and cocky Solo, a street kid from a tough background, who gets mixed up in a criminal space gang plotting their biggest heist yet.
Here NADINE LINGE brings you an A to Z of the latest blockbuster Solo: A Star Wars story, which is out today.
A is for Alden Ehrenreich. The US actor, most known for the films Hail Caesar and Rules Don’t Apply, beat a long list of young Hollywood stars to the role of Solo. He says: “It’s a great adventure story.”
“It’s a great adventure story”
B is for boss, the crime lord Dryden Vos and Han’s main enemy. He was due to be played by Michael K Williams who planned to portray him as a motion-capture alien but was replaced by Brit Paul Bettany who plays him as a scarred human.
C is for Chewbacca. Solo will show how man and Wookiee came to be best pals. Ehrenreich says: “It’s like watching a married couple. They are always bickering, but at the end of the day there’s a deep and unbreakable bond.”
D is for directors. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who directed 22 Jump Street, were originally hired. But they were fired five months later, with rumours they were making the film too much of a comedy. Ron “Happy Days” Howard took over.
E is for exhibition. Check out the Vue cinema in London’s West End where Britain’s biggest Star Wars collector Keith Guppy is showing the best items from his collection of 3,000 Star Wars objects until Saturday. The whole lot is worth £85,510!
F is for Fuerteventura. While filming took place mostly at Pinewood Studios in London, scenes were also shot on the Canary island. The Dolomite mountains, Italy, were the site of the film’s Train Heist scene.
G is for genres. Solo is a mix of space Western, car chase, buddy comedy and heist movie. Ron Howard says: “There’s a lot of humour, a lot of action, a lot of fun.”
H is for Harrison Ford. He met with Ehrenreich and encouraged the young actor to make the role his own rather than just trying to mimic him.
I is for idealist. Ehrenreich says we are meeting Solo when he is “younger and more of an idealist” – as opposed to the cynical character in the original films.
J is for Joonas Suotamo, the 6ft 10ins ex-basketball player from Finland who has played Chewbacca since The Force Awakens. He had a weeklong bootcamp with original actor Peter Mayhew to perfect Chewie’s mannerisms.
K is for Kessel Run. Viewers will see exactly how (or if) Han made his infamous boast of completing the infamous smugglers’ Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.
L is for Lando Calrissian. Man-of-the-moment Donald Glover, plays Han’s smuggler pal Lando, who boasts a huge collection of flamboyant capes. Glover says: “You start falling in love with capes. It’s like: ‘Why don’t people wear capes any more?’”
M is for Millennium Falcon. In this film, Han’s battered beloved ship is in pristine condition, but is owned by Lando Calrissian. A card game changes that.
N is for notes. John Williams, who was the Star Wars music composer, has written Han his own theme. Howard adds: “The music is a character.”
O is for outfits – more than 1,000. Costume designer David Crossman says: “This is the most costumes ever produced for a Star Wars film.” Lando and Han’s outfits were inspired by Prince and The Clash.
P is for Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The Fleabag star is droid L3-37, who campaigns for equal rights for machines, in a hilarious, scene-stealing turn.
Q is for Qi’ra. Played by British Game Of Thrones beauty Emilia Clarke, she is Han’s first girlfriend. The character goes from street-smart kid to second-in-command to dangerous gangster boss Dryden Vos.
R is for reviews. Early reviews are in and have been mostly positive, with critics praising Ehrenreich and Glover. It currently has 71% on review site Rotten Tomatoes.
S is for is stand-alone. Solo and last year’s Rogue One are spinoffs from the main franchise and will not cross over with events portrayed there.
Tis for Thandie Newton. She is Tobias Beckett’s wife Val and member of his crew.
U is for universe… the Star Wars universe could be significantly expanding with this fi lm. Ehrenreich revealed he was signed for a potential three films. So a Solo trilogy could be on the cards.
V is for voices. Several actors lend their voice talents to aliens, including Jon Favreau as criminal gang member Rio Durant.
W is for Woody Harrelson. He plays criminal Tobias Beckett and Han’s mentor. Harrelson based him on Long John Silver from the novel Treasure Island.
X is for (e)xtras. Ron Howard’s brother Clint pops up in Solo, as well as CP30 actor Anthony Daniels.
Y is for YouTube. The Solo trailer shown during the Super Bowl was the most popular, with 8million views.
Z is for ZZZ. With a run time of 2hrs 15mins, you’ll be home before bedtime! Don’t be sleepy – advanced ticket sales are higher than Black Panther.