Walter Mencken 11 a.m., Nov. 27
Star Wars origin stories? Think of the possibilities!
All you haters just settle down and fire up the dream factory.
Some people weren't happy to hear the news that the upcoming slew of Star Wars films are going to include origin stories. And given George Lucas' idea of an origin story, I can understand that. [Language alert].
But Lucas is off the team now. We don't have to meet Han Solo when he was a little kid smuggling candy into school. We can have a Han Solo pic in the style of Scarface (and given Zac Efron's rumored stint in rehab for cocaine troubles, it might not just be in the style of Scarface). Naturally, we can't end with him floating in a fountain and tinting the water with his blood - it's a prequel! But think of where we meet Han in Episode IV:
It doesn't get much lower than Mos Eisley. Everything has gone wrong for our scoundrel of a smuggler. His reputation is shot because he got boarded and dumped a shipment. Jabba's placed a bounty on his head. His only friend is an oversized dog who communicates in guttural moans. His lifelong partner Lando hates his guts. ("Why you slimy, no good, double-crossing swindler.") Han Solo just before Star Wars is a '70s anti-hero who's come to the end of the line after a long run on the wrong side of the law. (Sure, the sheriff is corrupt, but he's got the law on his side.) He's a '40s noir character who just wants to drink himself to death before Greedo and company find him and put a blaster burst in his brain. His ship is a wreck, and he's hiding out on a godforsaken desert rock, hoping that Jabba won't look right under his grotesque and glistening nose. He's finished.
The story of how Han got to that point, a story that could easily encompass his entry into the smuggling life, could be awesome. Lemme work on it.
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