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Last week the first cast photo from the Star Wars spin-off Han Solo movie was released to much … applause? Approbation? Admiration? Other A words?
Let’s try amazement … as in I am amazed at how weird this is. Or addlepated because I am super confused. Let’s break it down.
— Star Wars (@starwars) February 21, 2017
I would like to whole heartedly thank Donald Glover, Question Mark #2 and Chewie (always expressionless in my heart) for not taking this “Say JAWAS!” photo op at all at face value. You guys understand that like any good Star Wars movie, the jokes will be copious, but they will be well-relegated to the subtext dialogue and punctuated moments of levity but definitely not what this vehicle is about.
THIS IS STAR WARS, goshdarnit. It will be PG and it will be (mostly) dark. Luke will see his adoptive parents’ charred skeletons, Anakin will murder adorable preschool padawans, and in this Han Solo prequel … oh my gosh. It will be super jokey. Oh noooo.
If this is the mood of the first production still, is this whole movie going to be a campy romp through space?
For comparison, here are the other most recent Star Wars first looks:
Look at Rogue One: Ain’t nobody in this picture got time for smiles or perfectly styled bangs. It’s gritty and cluttered here at the Rebel Alliance. Bodhi Rook can’t even be arsed to turn 1/4 left to look at the camera. He’s doing defecting pilot things, even when there are cameras around. Jyn has a saucily cocked hip. Rogue One is serious.
Let’s not forget this gem from The Force Awakens. The first official cast photo was an official cast reading, and it’s full of badassery. Carrie Fisher (God rest her and bless her) is imparting badass lady wisdom to Daisy Ridley; Harrison Ford is being better than all of us. Oscar Isaac and John Boyega are sitting AWFULLY CLOSE THANK YOU VERY MUCH. And the whole thing could easily be a Jedi Council meeting. The Force Awakens has gravitas.
In contrast: Untitled Han Solo Project has none. Except Donald (love you). I’m assuming that the creative plan was: Let’s all hop in the Millenium Falcon and reach for the hyperdrive at the same time and giggle. Everyone will LOVE IT. No, do better. This is weird.
Star Wars movies do not need famous people to get people to see them. I cannot fault Donald Glover for being amazing and a household name AND ALSO the perfect embodiment of young Lando Calrissian, but I CAN fault casting directors for Emilia Clarke, who is WAY too famous to play Brunette #1. Thank you, but find another Daisy Ridley who’s perfect and who every fanboy hasn’t already masturbated to. Like …. Phoebe Waller-Bridge from Fleabag. YAY! Brunette #2 is someone very few have heard of, but is also super talented. I’m in. She has a right to be that smiley. And to be so with such a striking red lip.
But Woody? As Han Solo’s erstwhile mentor with dubious methodologies and motivations, Garris Shrike, it’s going to be hard separating him from Haymitch. I already only see Haymitch. He just looks drunk. Why are you so HAPPY??? Y’all are crushed in there.
As for those question marks, even major entertainment outlets who picked up the photo didn’t bother to name these guys. I spent a few days wondering (because I didn’t feel like googling too much) if they had announced more white guy characters and I had just had my Trump Administration Ear Plugs Chrome Extension on, so I missed it. Turns out, those particular white guys are Phil Lord and Christopher Miller – co-directors and not at all actors. Even though Miller looks suspiciously like Dominic Cooper. When I was trying to place Phil Lord I just kept coming back to Sigourney Weaver and saying, “That can’t be right.”
So, ok, they get to be in the picture with a few faces and Emilia Clarke’s left arm. But …
The biggest confusion is Alden Ehrenreich himself, who, despite this unfortunate lighting, is actually SUPER ADORABLE. He single-handedly made me tout the praises of that Beautiful Creatures movie just based on the power of his smirk alone. HE.IS.CUTE.
He’s WAY cute. I feel like I used that word too much. He’s watchable. He’s sexy. He commands your attention with his performances. If you haven’t seen him in Hail, Caesar! go watch it now … you can enjoy it instead of falling asleep during LaLaLand.
He’s playing THE Scoundrel. Need I remind everyone that Han Solo is the beefcake of this entire franchise?
Somehow this pic made a very cute, young actor look just as old and not as cute as Harrison Ford did in A New Hope. I do not understand how that happened. But please bring adorable, smirkly Alden back ASAP.
Soooooooo… I’m chalking this up to just a spur of the moment bad decision. They wanted to get the press release out there that principal photography had BEGUN on Han Solo (this DOES excite me FYI), and while they had everyone – and the Chewie costume – in one place they decided to snap this. Hopefully, this is not Alden’s Han Solo hair. And hopefully they will remember Thandie Newton for the next photo opp. But please, show us the grit next time. Show us the Scoundrel!