Will The Force Awakens be more than just Star Wars Greatest Hits?

16 Jul 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

10 actors who could play the young Han Solo.

Right now, Star Wars fans are wondering: “Who is Tasu Leech?” But LEGO and Lucasfilm are probably asking: “Who got their hands on that LEGO box?” As director J.J. Potentially bad news for those who hoped to see Daniel Craig in Star Wars: The Force Awakens after Simon Pegg “accidentally” told British newspapers that the James Bond actor would play a Stormtrooper in the new movie: Craig has responded to the idea with one word: “Pffft.” He actually offered more than one word, but the others weren’t any more forgiving to the notion. “Why would I ever bother doing something like that?” he asked Entertainment Weekly when the rumor was brought up. “F—ing hell!

On Tuesday the film world was rocked by the news that Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, the duo behind The Lego Movie and the two hit 21 Jump Street films, have been hired to direct a Star Wars spin-off movie centred on a young Han Solo. There were rumors the Shaun of the Dead star would be appearing in the background as a Stormtrooper, but he’s obviously a bulky creature of some sort.

Thanks to Harrison Ford’s great performance, the wisecracking captain of the Millennium Falcon has become one of cinema’s most beloved characters. One such leak occurred on Wednesday on the LEGO/Star Wars fansite From Bricks to Bothans, which acquired images of packaging for an upcoming Millennium Falcon playset. There’s that oft-repeated anecdote of Ford arguing with George Lucas about the Star Wars script: “You can type this shit, George,” Ford told him, “but you sure can’t say it.” Later, when Return of the Jedi rolled around, Ford notoriously lobbied Lucas to kill off his character, to no avail. The item includes minifigs for Han Solo and Chewbacca, as well as new characters Finn, Rey, and BB-8, but it also shows off two never-before-scene characters: one an anonymous member of the Kanjiklub gang (whatever that is) and the other is a braided, bearded individual named “Tasu Leech.” Assuming Tasu is associated with these Kanjiklub folks, it seems they have some hostility toward the crew of the Falcon. Both aren’t exactly the most exciting reveals—the Falcon looks like the Falcon, and we’ve already seen the updated X-Wings in action in both teaser trailers (although this does confirm that the black-and-orange ship seen on set during filming is Oscar Isaac’s personal ship).

Rumours have been circulating for months that Pratt (pictured above) is all but guaranteed to play Indiana Jones in a planned reboot for the series, so the idea of the actor playing another famous role originated by Harrison Ford seems like a bit of a stretch. What did he have against Han? “He was not so interesting to me,” Ford would explain in one interview, adding in another, “He’s certainly a much less interesting character than Indiana Jones,” before concluding, “He’s dumb as a stump.” Message received! This candy-apple red crustacean-looking fellow is one of the denizens of the pirate lair run by Maz Kanata (played by Lupita Nyong’o.) At first, he (or she) appears to be humanoid, but in the video, the bottom of that mask opens up into a mouth that emits a distinctly inhuman sound.

Poe’s X-Wing comes with 4—well, let’s say three and a half: Dameron himself, a female X-Wing pilot, an alien ground crewman and an incredibly cute little BB-8. He currently stars in Jurassic World, the top film of the year so far, and broke out in last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy, the highest grossing film of 2014 in the US. Perhaps it’s just an anonymous background figure, but the scarlet visage is striking and mysterious, in the same way Boba Fett once was — before we knew what was beneath the helmet. Which is why it was such a surprise yesterday when Ford was the final guest to take the stage at Comic-Con’s big Force Awakens panel, and instead of seeming ill at ease or like he’d rather be anywhere else, Ford spoke movingly about his participation in Star Wars and seemed to have turned a significant corner in his appreciation for it. “It should have felt ridiculous!” Ford barked, when asked about returning to the franchise. “Here I was, doing something I did so long ago.” I could feel the fans around me steeling themselves.

There’s something intimate but creepy about this pose, like the girl in the black-and-white jester outfit is some kind of pet — Salacious Crumb to his Jabba the Hutt. Despite strong performances in a number of films including Red State, The Brass Teapot, Sky High and the upcoming Stanford Prison Experiment, Angarano has yet to hit the big time. Entertainment Weekly did some hardcore investigative journalism, however, (scrolling randomly through The Force Awakens’ IMDB page) and the actor who looks the most like Tasu is this gentleman: Yayan Ruhian, an Indonesian martial artist who co-starred in 2011’s The Raid: Redemption as the ruthless Mad Dog and 2014’s The Raid 2 as the machete-swinging henchman Prakoso. It had taken almost four decades, but Harrison Ford has finally made peace with Star Wars! “I never thought it would come back to bless me rather than haunt me,” he continued, even as he acknowledged, “The original Star Wars that I was a part of really was the beginning of my working life.” And while I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t witness it myself, Ford then got choked up. The British star knows a thing or two about working in the blockbuster realm, having starred in Peter Jackson’s King Kong remake, the upcoming Fantastic Four reboot and Steven Spielberg’s computer-animated The Adventures of Tintin.

He is also a marvellously physical actor (see his breakout performance as a ballet dancer in Billy Elliot) and devilishly handsome — two traits that whoever plays Solo must possess. At one point in Hall H, Hamill brought up the chemistry between Luke and Leia, which began as an almost-romantic connection before the two discovered they were siblings and Leia ended up with Han. “When you find that the only woman you fell head over heels for is your sister, it tells you something,” laughed Hamill. “That must have been quite the traumatic experience, you know, because we were both after her.” He gestured to Ford, who responded by reaching over and rubbing Hamill’s shoulder as consolation. “How many times do I have to say I’m sorry?” said Ford, bringing the house down. But this footage shows detailed shots of Daisy Ridley’s desert scavenger clumsily piloting the Falcon to liftoff — and no one is in the cockpit with her. And while you might have expected the unreformed Ford to hop on a plane immediately at the conclusion of his Comic-Con panel, the newly evangelized Star Wars fan actually stuck around, accompanying his cast to a concert of John Williams music from the franchise a few hours later.

Mann emerged as arguably the biggest actor breakout of this year’s Sundance Film Festival thanks to his star-making turn as a film-obsessed loner in the event’s Grand Jury Prize and Audience award winner Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. In recent years, could you have imagined the withering glare Ford would have given you if you’d suggested he so much as hold a cheesy toy lightsaber?

Ford used to roll his eyes at Han Solo, but it turns out, they’ve got a lot more in common than he thought: Though they’re both rogues who only seem to be in it for themselves, you can never count out a surprise return in the third act that reveals just how much they really care. He handled it beautifully by penning a first-person essay titled “Why I’m Torching the Colour Line” for Entertainment Weekly, and would probably have to do something similar if he were cast as Solo. But he proved he has what it takes to lead a movie in the recent thriller Escobar: Paradise Lost, by not getting blown off the screen by Benecio Del Toro, his chief adversary in the film. In Jason Reitman’s live stage-reading of The Empire Strikes Back late last year, Page took on Solo, against Jessica Alba, who was tasked with playing Princess Leia.

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