Back in November, which under the rapid-fire schedule of the Star Wars rumour mill may as well have been a decade ago, everybody’s favourite scruffy nerdherder Harrison Ford said that he would be “open” to returning to his second most famous role as the smuggler turned rebel hero, Han Solo.
Well it looks like he may just have got his wish. Maybe.
The original story was broken on Friday night by perennial scoopers Latino Review. They initially reported that the 70-year old actor was already locked in to reprise his role as the Corellian captain of the Millennium Falcon. However since then, Geoff Boucher, previously of the LA Times and now with Entertainment Weekly, reported that the deal is still far from being complete, and may not be for some time.
@GeoffBoucher: “Harrison Ford deal? My source says not yet.’It will not be for weeks and perhaps months.’”
Weeks and months, not “definitely not happening”, which means that Ford has been approached in some way. Please excuse me as I quickly touch myself inappropriately.
If this casting holds up, it should give us our first real clues as to what Michael Arndt’s script for Episode VII is actually about. There’s never been any sort of flashback mechanism employed in any of the previous films, and if that trend continues, and Ford is not going to be showing up under layers of makeup and hours of post processing to remove his old man earring, then it’s safe to guess that the new film will take place somewhere around 40 years after the end of Return of the Jedi. That places it close to the beginning of the Legacy series of stories in the Expanded Universe – the era that focused on fallout of the first generation of new Jedi knights since young Darth Vader had eventually had enough of being called “Annie” in front of all his friends and decided to murder the world with wooden acting and his famed “limb to lightsaber” fighting style.
Most importantly though, at about 45 ABY (that’s 45 years After the Battle of Yavin for you Star Wars EU noobs) we suddenly hit a big blank patch on the Star Wars timeline lasting for about 90 years, before we pick up with the adventures of Luke Skywalker descendant Cade Skywalker. That’s nearly a century’s worth of untapped story potential that would allow JJ Abrams and the folks at Lucasfilm to tell original stories without stuffing up the canon of the EU timeline.
This has been the era that I initially said would be the best bet - maybe focusing on the now grown up offspring of Han and Leia, Jaden and Jacen Solo, and all their Jedi Knight-ing - and it looks like I may have been right. Take that, Mom, for disapproving of my supergeerkery over the years!