Apr 16, 2018

11 legit reasons to look forward to the Han Solo movie

Legit reasons to watch a Star Wars movie?

You don't need a reason to watch a Star Wars movie, because Star Wars. 

But if you did NEED some reasons to watch the Han Solo prequel, here's a few:

We gotta start with Alden Ehrenerich as Han Solo 

Han Solo is dead. 

Thanks Ben. 

Han Solo is alive!

Thanks Alden. 

Does Star Wars really need a fifth prequel film?

Can't we just keep going forward with the tale?

Whether or not you care about a prequel tale, I'm damn keen to see a new version of Han Solo, just to learn a little bit more of the character' origin. 

Donald Glover

sabacc game han solo film

This man appears to be even more Lando Calrissian than Lando Calrissian himself! 

Glover has got Billy Dee William's character DOWN. 

We will finally get to see a real game of Sabacc in a film. And it's probably THE game everyone has wondered about for years, the one when Han beat Lando for it.

There's a character called Scissors Thermpunch 

therm scissorpunch han solo

That name. 

It's just perfect. 

We bet Thermpunch doesn't even say a single word but will become one of those 'cult' back ground characters that everyone talks about for years to come. 

We think Therm is a direct nod to the 'prawn' in District 9. 

I'm also giving him a nickname of  'Noodles'.

The Falcon soars

millennium falcon solo movie

There's no punch without the Millennium Falcon and it's going to be a central plot point given the Sabacc game. 

We're dying to see the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy in a new context and without all the modifications that Han made by the time we caught up with him in A New Hope. 

Speaking of the Falcon:

We may get to see the Kessel Run

The run that brought the term parsecs to the wider world has been a source of intrigue since Han Solo first boasted to Obi-Wan about it in the Cantina. Sure, the books have covered it since but the general movie going audience doesn't care and anyways, those tales are no longer canon. 

Chewie's got a girl friend?

There's milk and cookies. 

Beer and hangovers. 

Snakes and Ladders. 

Han and Chewie. 

For me, there's no Han without Chewie. 

There is a Chewie with out Han though...

It looks like this movie is going to cover the time when Chewie and Han become friends. While Chewie stay with Han due to a Life Debt as per the yore of old or will the relationship be cemented in some other way? 

We've never learned much about Chewbacca. The infamous Holiday Special showed he had a family on Kashyyyk and a son called Lumpy. 

Now, the trailer shows us that Chewie appears to have a girl friend. Lover? Wife? Who knows but we think this scene is going to steal the whole damn movie:

chewbacca han solo movie kiss with malla

Enfys Nest and the standoff

This character simply looks to be some kind of bad ass space cowboy. 

Except we know Nest is actually a female

So we know she's some kind of bad ass space cowgirl who is in charge the pirate gang, the Cloud Riders.

Will Han shoot first?

This shot of Han Solo reaching for his holstered gun is just a great homage to so many Western films (and they themselves helped inspire Star Wars - see The Searchers). 

We just can't wait to see who shoots first. 

han solo western standoff enfys nest

I like Captain Solo where he is

Word on the street is that our favourite giant slug Jabba the Hutt will be making an appearance. 

We pick it's going to be at the end of the movie once Han has got his shit sorted and is looking for his first smuggling gig. 

Maybe we'll get to see a lil bit of of Salacious B. Crumb too.... maybe eating a droid's face off?

Ron Howard

This guy has made some great movies. Apollo 13, Backdraft, Cinderella Man plus the classic Cocoon. Given the Lucas connection to Howard, it's like life has come full circle. 

If you were not aware, Ron Howard starred in George Lucas's very first film, American Graffiti which has become a bit of a cult classic. Lucas has made a few of those eh? Howard later became a director in his own right and directed the Lucasfilm produced Willow. 

If that's not enough of a connection to the Star Wars realm, there was also this classic time he defended Jake Lloyd in The Phantom Menace (after having declined to direct it!)

It's like Howard was destined to direct a Star Wars film, and given the way in which he came to direct the film, we hope it's a case of, cometh the hour, cometh the Howard. 

There's gonna be some sweet quotes

Han Solo's list of classic quotes is long and iconic. Will "push it" and "Well what would you know" become part of the Star Wars lexicon as much as "I know"? Time will tell. 

Our wish list for the Solo film

  • A fleeting cameo of Boba Fett
  • R2 somehow randomly shows up
  • We get some insight into the Emperor taking over the universe and the ramifications of that on Han
  • We spy some of Darth Vader's bounty hunters from Empire, especially IG-88. That metal monster would be all killer.

A potted history of the Millenniun Falcon

falcon in battle millennium star wars

Facts about the Millenium Falcon

I don't care what anyone else says about the matter, Han Solo's ship the Millenium Falcon was the coolest hunk of junk there was in ALL the Star Wars movies, even Luke's awesome X-Wing. And that means I have questions about the vessel. 

Which I have also conveniently answered myself using the power of Google but least be clear, the new Han Solo movie is probably going to change the canon immensely given a lot of the below is not considered part of the 'Legends' canon.

Who built the Falcon?

It was manufactured by the Corellian Engineering Corporation in 60 BBY.

How did Lando Calrissian come to own it?

The 'bat ship' fell into the hands of Lando Calrissian after a card game of Sabacc from a gambler called Cix Trouvee. As referred to in Empire Strikes Back, Calrissian went on to lose the ship in another game of Sabacc to Han Solo some years later.

How does the Falcon outrun Imperial fleets so often?

The most famous attribute of Millennium Falcon was her hyperdrive. The Falcon's customized Class 0.5 hyperdrive is twice as fast as Imperial warships.  

The hyperdrive system onboard the Falcon was twice the size of the hyperdrive in a standard YT-1300 freighter. 

Of course, when Han could not manoeuvre the ship to outrun the bad guys he would pretend to be dumped rubbish or fly through an asteroid field. 

How did Han and Chewbacca meet? Why is Chewie the co-pilot?

The short version is Han saved Chewie's life. Here's the fully story of the rescue.

What is this Kessel run and parsecs business? Did George Lucas get something wrong?

A Parsec is a measurement of distance not time – so Han was simply making an idle boast to impress Obi-Wan and young Luke about the speed of the Millennium Falcon.

Or was he?

Tie-in books have explained that Han meant he cut down the distance commonly travelled on the Kessel run by flying close to Black Holes that no one else had dared to. If you look closely at Chewbacca in this scene, he does seem a bit sceptical about Han's claim, however!

George Lucas has explained that the remark meant that the Falcon's computer was so advanced that it was able to plot a shorter route through hyperspace than any other ship, and thus travel faster.

The new Han Solo film will apparently feature the Kessel Run so we might finally lay this debate down. 

I heard the Falcon appears in The Revenge of the Sith as a cameo appearance. It this true?

At the beginning of one shot closing in on a docking bay on Coruscant, a YT-1300 freighter is seen flying in to dock. George Lucas has confirmed that it was the Millennium Falcon that was seen and not just some other YT-1300 freighter. 

Obviously, Han had not yet won the ship from Lando and another crew was flying her. Here's some more facts about the prequel films.

What does it mean when Han says to Chewie "Punch It!" in Empire?

It means step on the gas bro, shit's about to get heavy and we need to GTFO!!! Han Solo also says 'push it' in the Solo film. There's plenty of movie quotes about the Falcon

What names has the Falcon has had prior to being the Falcon? 

  • Corell's Pride
  • Fickle Flyer
  • Meetyl's Misery
  • Stellar Envoy
  • Jackpot
  • Gone to Pieces

How did George Lucas give the Falcon its name?

A sweet theory is that Millennium Falcon's name was probably inspired by a combination of talking Falcon from The Maltese Falcon film and combining it in a roundabout way with The Eagle spaceship from Space 1999....

Apr 11, 2018

Is 'Splinter of the Mind's Eye' Star Wars canon now Mimban is in the Solo movie?

splinter of the Mind's Eye book cover
The book cover
Splinter of the Mind's Eye is a classic Star Wars novel written by Alan Dean Foster

It takes place between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. In effect the first original full-length expanded universe works and was published shortly after the release of the original movie.

The plot features only Luke, Leia and Vader as they jostle on the planet Mimban to find the Kaiburr crystal, a device which allowed the user to greatly increase their Force powers.

The book was commissioned by George Lucas as a being the basis for a potential sequel to Star Wars. Alan Dean Foster was writing the novelisation of Star Wars and also SOTME as second book. He was as simply instructed by Lucas to write the book based off some ideas and film treatments that George threw at him.

In light of this novel being intended as serving as the basis for a film sequel to Star Wars, Foster made the decision to place his story on a misty jungle planet - this was intended to reduce set and background costs for a film adaptation. Is a misty jungle planet familiar to any one? ...

According to Foster, Lucas's only request upon inspecting the first draft was the deletion of a space dogfight featuring Luke and Leia before they crash-landed on Mimban, which would have been effects-heavy and thus expensive to put to film.

The reality is that when Star Wars 'went global' Lucas changed story direction and the film sequel script was first drafted by Leigh Bracket, which after her death from cancer, Lucas refined further with help from Lawrence Kasdan.

In terms of the old canon timeline, Empire made no reference to the book's plot. Technically it can serve as canon and perhaps more so than recent efforts in the expanded Star Wars universe. That said, the ending features Luke cutting off Vader's arm and this is repeated in Empire. So it's probably best just to count this story as a good yarn about Star Wars and leave the real canon to the films and the novels that came much later that attempted to do real justice to the lore that developed.

In the new Star Wars canon which rebooted somewhat with The Force Awakens, the plant Mimban is featured in the Han Solo movie where we see Han hanging out dressed as a Mud Stormtrooper.

There are new rules about canon and this book no longer counts.

SOTME is regarded by many Star Wars fans as a classic Star Wars story and it is still a popular read.

Buy Splinter of the Mind’s Eye from Amazon.

Apr 8, 2018

Check out the Han Solo movie poster

Han Solo movie official poster  
Check out this Han Solo poster, released the same day as the full trailer.

New Solo trailer raises expectations!

The new Han Solo trailer gives us a really close look at Han Solo and Chewie as they kick around with Lando and some new friends.

There's a key element of humour there and it appears that the Han friendship with Chewie is a newish thing....

Looks to be a treat!


Apr 7, 2018

Top 20 reasons to never visit Tatooine

Mos Eisley Spaceport

Top 20 reasons to never visit Tatooine


Luke Skywalker's home world and basically a giant sand box with plenty of reasons to never visit the place.

So here's 20 reasons to never visit the place.
  • The milk is blue
  • Han shoots first
  • There’s too much scum
  • There’s a good chance Storm Troopers will burn your Aunt and Uncle
  • There’s too much villainy
  • There’s too much sand
  • There's too much scum and villainy
  • You heard of Jabba the Hutt right?
  • There’s too many Tusken raiders
  • Too easy to fall into a Sarlac Pit
  • There’s too many womp rats
  • You can’t find the droids you are looking for
  • There’s too much pod racing
  • Too many virgin births
  • There’s not enough pod racing
  • T-14 hyperdrives are so very expensive
  • We mentioned the sand right?
  • There’s two suns which means twice as much sunscreen is needed
  • Moisture farmer is seen as a good career choice
  • Your droid will not be served in Chulmun’s Cantina
  • It’s a long way to Tosche Station to get power converters.


Reasons to not visit Mustafar
  • Force choking is very popular
  • People deal in absolutes
  • The lava really burns
  • People will steal your light saber when you are casually having a lava swim.
  • The trip will cost you an arm and your legs. 

Apr 6, 2018

How many "High-Altitude Windak Pressure Suits" are there in Star Wars?

This is one of the coolest bits of Star Wars trivia to come across out desk in a while.

Bossk was a non speaking bounty hunter that was briefly spied in Empire Strikes Back and even more briefly in Revenge of the Jedi (On Jabba’s sail barge which I guess means he’s dead now…).

bossk suit doctor who star wars RAF

Legend has it the Bossk costume was actually a space suit recycled from the 1996 BBC production Doctor Who episode called The 10th Planet.

How does this come about you might ask?

Star Wars was largely made in England so you can image the costume designers rummaged through a whole lot past costumes and props for their production and given it’ ‘space suit’ qualities, it was used.

OR there might be other reasons as to why the suit ended up in Empire!

The suit has actually been identified as a ‘High-Altitude Windak Pressure Suit’ which was used by English RAF pilots in the 1960s.

So the suit on Bossk was not necessarily from the good Doctor’s production but is arguably of the same vintage.  

Eagle eyed trainspotters might have spied the suit in the Cantina scene in A New Hope as well and possibly on some A – Wing pilots found skulking in the back ground of briefing missions.

Heck, Luke Skywalker even wore one… so the question is how many High-Altitude Windak Pressure Suits are there in Star Wars then?

And if you are wondering about some other of the bounty hunters spied in the film, check out IG-88's origin story.

Mar 22, 2018

10 things we really love about Return of the Jedi

The three most powerful men in the Galaxy?

10 things we really love about Return of the Jedi

We love The Return of a Jedi movie - both as we remember from as a child and now as an adult.

Well, apparently I'm an adult.

Things we loved as a kid
  • The Rancour – he was a scary as monster who ate green pigs for breakfast but Luke bested him.
  • Ewoks, Wicket in particular – we loved these fellows. The scene where they think C3PO was a flying god was pretty funny. The Ewok attack on the Bunker was just awesome, with all the cool tricks and traps they sprung on those stupid Storm Troopers was simply great entertainment.
  • Bib Fortuna. I saw him on a poster as we were waiting to go into the movie and never forgot that moment as the excitement was building and during the movie he was pretty scary and ugly.
  • A green lightsaber. GREEN! How cool was that? And it flew out of R2D2’s head.
  • When Luke goes to strike the Emperor down but Vader’s saber beats Lukes. Awesome and you knew they were about to have the battle they didn’t finish in Empire.
  • When Vader saves Luke. BEST FEELING EVER.

Han's rescuers
Things we love about Jedi as an adult
  • A certain bikini seems quite appealing.
  • When Leia return’s Han’s I love you with I know. How clever was the call back to Empire when Leia declared her love and then shot an approaching Stormtrooper?
  • Listen very carefully as Darth Vader picks up the Emperor and throws him down the Death Star shaft. This is the only time the Jedi theme music plays over a shot of Vader, reflecting his return to the light side of the Force. That’s great film making right there.
  • When Luke is on the Jabba's Sail Barge fighting guards bearing staffs and blasters, he uses his light saber to deflect them.  This perhaps a call back to the original movie where Luke wears a blaster helmet and tries to anticipate shots from the Training Remote Old Ben found on the Millennium Falcon. This shows the progress Luke has made as a Jedi Knight. His skills are complete?
  • Attack on the Death Star II - especially that moment when the Falcon flies towards the screen with Tie Fighters all around. Movie magic.
That's what we love about Jedi - what are your favourite moments, characters and bits of trivia?

Mar 17, 2018

Leigh Bracket's role in bringing The Empire Strikes Back script to the silver screen

How much of Empire Strikes Back script did Leigh Brackett write?

Leigh Brackett's name famously gets a nod in the credits of The Empire Strikes Back as having been part of the writing team with George Lucas and Larry Kasdan.

Who is she and how much of the movie did she draft?

Who is she?

In this modern era of post Jedi, Thrawn and Clone Wars, I would bet three of our Earth dollars that most of this generation hasn't read a single Leigh Brackett science fiction novel or probably even watched some of the other films she wrote script for.

That's not to blame them for anything, neither has this author!

But back in the day, Leigh Brackett was a popular writer of science fiction novels such as, The Starmen and Alpha Centauri or Die! and had written a few movie scripts, notably Rio Bravo and The Long Goodbye.

Rio Bravo is considered an all time great movie if you were wondering.

Eventually George Lucas decided he needed some help with his second Star Wars film as his world had become so big after his ANH success and he asked Leigh for a draft of the the film based on some of the ideas he had come up with.

Lucas relayed this story as their first conversation:

Lucas: Have you ever written for the movies?
Brackett: Yes, I have. Rio Bravo, El Dorado, The Big Sleep, The Long Goodbye...

Lucas then paused briefly

Lucas: Are you that Leigh Brackett?
Brackett: Yes. Isn't that why you called me in?
Lucas: No, I called you in because you were a pulp science fiction writer!

The sad twist of fate is that shortly after completing her first draft, she died. Bracket and Lucas never even had a chance to talk about the words she wrote for him.

Cancer is a bitch.

George Lucas has been quoted from 'Star Wars: The Annotated Screenplays' as saying:

"Writing has never been something I have enjoyed, and so, ultimately, on the second film I hired Leigh Brackett. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out; she turned in the first draft, and then she passed away. I didn’t like the first script, but I gave Leigh credit because I liked her a lot.

She was sick at the time she wrote the script, and she really tried her best. During the story conferences I had with Leigh, my thoughts weren’t fully formed and I felt that her script went in a completely different direction."

The man who took over from Brackett, Lawrence Kasdan later said of Leigh's draft “I only skimmed it. It was sort of old fashioned and didn’t relate to Star Wars. The characters all had the right names, but her story’s spirit was different. I’m sure that had Leigh lived, she could have made the changes that George wanted in an excellent way.”

Is that the end of it?

Not really. Lawrence Kasdan is also quoted in Cinefantastique Vol. 28:

"What I worked on was a draft of the script George had written, based on the story George had given to Leigh. I don’t know what of Leigh’s draft survived into the draft George wrote.

What George handed me was a very rough first draft, really somewhere between an outline and a first draft. The structure of the story was all there – it was the skeleton for a movie. What was needed was the flesh and the muscle.”

But Larry then totally sharpens his thoughts:

"Look, there's no question that Leigh Brackett was one of the great screenwriters of all time. But it was an odd job for her, and there's nothing of that draft left in "Empire."

Now, we should take some of that with a pinch of salt and understand that Kasdan was speaking in broad terms and a lot of what Bracket wrote in the first draft would have been changed, restructured and dropped and added by Lucas who did the second draft.

 Effectively Kasdan comes in as the writer of the third draft and changed it all up again, including Han going into carbonite and the line “I’ll be back” becoming the “I know”.

But while that last Kasdan quote may ring around one's ears a wee bit, we can totally read Bracket's draft and decide for ourselves what carried over from her draft into the final move, and what didn't.

So what are some differences between Brackett's draft and what was the final story line?
  • Han Solo was not frozen in carbonite. 
  • There were no bounty hunters like Boba Fett or IG 88
  • Lando Calrissian's last name was Kadar and he was a clone of his grandfather... 
  • Planet names are different or changed around. Hoth is not an ice planet. 
  • Yoda is called “Minch”. He was quite a serious character in tone from the get go, rather than the joker we first met in Empire 
  • There's a plot where Han Solo needs to speak with his step father which was to lead into the events of the next film. 
  • Luke doesn’t have his arm severed by Vader - but is still rescued by Lando and ... Han Solo. 
This is not to say the ideas that Bracket and Lucas came up with in their first run aren't there thematically or didn't make it into production:
  • The opening of Bracket's work took place on an ice planet with Luke Skywalker getting lost whilst riding a white lizard (hey, remember that lizard Obi-Wan rode in Revenge of the Sith...) the lizards became taun taun and Luke was still attacked by some kind of snow man. 
  • Vader still used Han Solo as bait on the Cloud City to try and trap Luke. 
  • C-3PO still ends up in pieces on Bespin. 
  • Lando still is forced to cut a deal with Vader.
A bigger idea that was cut from Empire but introduced in Return of the Jedi was the relationship between Luke and Leia. The concept of Luke having a twin sister was introduced in Bracket's first draft. Bracket named the sister Nellis.

This idea was obviously transferred to Leia’s character.

You can read the Bracket’s draft here and make up your own mind!

Mar 14, 2018

"The Star Wars" graphic novel based on the original Star Wars draft by George Lucas

Once upon a time at a desk George Lucas wrote an initial draft of a film called "The Star Wars". It was probably on that famous yellow paper he used.

It featured a old Jedi General called  Luke and a green alien called Han Solo. Eventually this draft became simply "Star Wars" and Luke but a boy and Han just a man.

And that's how it stayed for some 30 odd years until comics writer J.W. Rinzler managed to convince George Lucas to let him turn that draft into a graphic novel, The Star Wars.

Rinzler said on the novel's release:

“It took years actually,” he admitted. “I was writing The Making of Star Wars and I read all the drafts, and when I saw the first rough draft I thought, ‘This is amazing, and so different from what the film was.’ Each of the very early drafts is very different from the final film, and I thought, it would be nice if this was somehow made into a comic book. It felt like a very natural idea. I mentioned it to George once or twice, and he was a bit hesitant, wasn’t very sure if it was a good idea or not.”

Years later, after he discovered that Dark Horse had also asked to adapt the draft into a comic book, Rinzler came up with an to convince the reticent Lucas. “We’d recently done a book about his favorite Star Wars comic book art. He said to me while doing that, a few times, how much he loves seeing comic books without the word balloons — that he loves seeing the art tell the story. I said to Dark Horse, if you want George to sign off on this, you need to hire an artist, I’ll adapt a few scenes and then I’ll show it to George. It took a few months, but when I showed the pages to George, sure enough, he approved the project.”

“It’s totally different, and although the characters are still there, they’re also totally different. Luke Skywalker isn’t an eighteen-year-old kid. He’s an old Jedi general with decades of experience. Leia is a princess, but she’s not related to Luke; she has a different mother and father. Han Solo is there, but he’s a giant green alien. A lot of the relationships are all there, they’re all percolating.”

The new series, which will be illustrated by Mike Mayhew, finally brings the near-mythical earliest draft of one of the most successful science fiction franchises of all time to an audience that has been patiently waiting for it for decades. According to Rinzler — who also works as an executive editor at LucasBooks — convincing George Lucas that it was a good idea to let everyone see his first draft wasn’t easy.

Although he won’t be drawn on plot details, Rinzler said that “In some ways, the original draft is closer to Buck Rogers and Flash Gordon in tone, and it’s also closer to Kurosawa’s Hidden Fortress — In fact, there even is a hidden fortress in the rough draft.”

The writer’s excitement about the project is clear when he talks about the series, and the story. “It’s great fun to make this available to the world,” he said. “This was George’s blue sky version of the film at the time, something he knew wouldn’t be filmable. This is all of his imagination just with no tethers attached. It’s a great story by one of the greatest storytellers of this generation.”

Here's some more images from the 'The Star Wars' graphic novel: