It’s always been understood that Han Solo traveled in some shady circles prior to the events of Star Wars: A New Hope. Now, in Solo: A Star Wars Story, we get to meet some of the characters who inhabited those circles. Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, and Paul Bettany play three individuals who end up shaping Han into the man we eventually meet in a cantina on Tatooine. Director Ron Howard, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, and screenwriters Lawrence and Jon Kasdan recently spoke to Entertainment Weekly about these characters and what we can expect from them.
You can read a few spoiler-free excerpts below:
*Please be aware that clicking links to the Entertainment Weekly website may expose you to spoilers about Solo*
Tobias Beckett — played by Woody Harrelson
“Well, he really shapes Han really more than anybody, as Han comes to realize that in a lawless time he needs to try to come to terms with some kind of moral code,” says director Ron Howard.
Screenwriters Lawrence and Jon Kasdan both re-read Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island before diving into the script, looking to create a similar mentor/apprentice relationship to the pirate Long John Silver and young Jim Hawkins.
In that story, Silver was a scoundrel who had been around nefarious circles for a while, but without any great success to his name.
“He is a very tough criminal,” Lawrence Kasdan says of Beckett. “And, as you might think with Woody, who has enormous humanity, it’s not just that.”
Val — played by Thandie Newton
“She’s tied to Beckett, that’s how Han meets Val,” says Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. “They’ve been partners a long time.”
She’s not impressed with the Corellian pilot. “I will say at first glance, doesn’t necessarily have total faith in Han — as a lot of people he meets in his life tend to feel about him,” Jon Kasdan says.
Dryden Vos — played by Paul Bettany
Here’s the successful crime boss. The Godfather. The debonair and sophisticated hoodlum.
We’ve seen the sleazy take on a gangland chief with Jabba the Hutt, but Vos will give us the handsome version of a figure who has found great success by breaking the rules — but isn’t the kind to get his hands dirty.
“It’s a sort of combination of class and swagger and real danger which I think is a fun thing, and he absolutely inhabits it,” says Jon Kasdan.
You can check out the rest of the article at EW.com.
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