Now that we’ve all seen The Force Awakens approximately six times each, it’s time to look ahead to the future of Star Wars at the movies. We’re getting a new installment in the saga every single year through at least 2019, beginning this December with the spinoff Rogue One, continuing with Episode VIII in May of 2017, and so on. All of these projects sound exciting, but by far the most challenging for fans will arrive in 2018: The much-anticipated, much-debated spinoff film following the adventures of young Han Solo.
The movie came out of the gate with some very solid credentials. It will be written by The Empire Strikes Back and The Force Awakens cowriter Lawrence Kasdan (along with his son Jon), the man who arguably has more Han Solo experience than anyone one the planet not named Harrison Ford. Directing duties have fallen to Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the mega-talented team that’s given us The LEGO Movie and 21 Jump Street, so we know there’ll be a sense of action and fun throughout. There’s just one big problem: In a world with Harrison Ford still in it, who the hell can possibly take his place as young Han Solo?
As you might imagine, the internet has plenty of ideas about that, and so do the film’s producers. They reportedly interviewed thousands of young actors for the part, ranging in age from 17 to 34 (Ford was 35 when he first played the character). And now Variety reports that they’ve narrowed it down to 12. The full list isn’t revealed, but it reportedly includes Miles Teller (Whiplash), Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars), Dave Franco (Neighbors), Logan Lerman (Percy Jackson) and Scott Eastwood (The Longest Ride). With the exception of Eastwood (29), all of the choices seem to be falling between the ages of 20 and 25, which jibes with Kasdan’s remarks in the past that the film will probably be set a decade before we first meet Solo in Star Wars.
According to Variety, Lord, Miller and producer Kathleen Kennedy will be testing all of the actors in the coming days, and we could have a decision in two weeks. If that seems a little fast for a film that doesn’t come out until 2018, it could be because the Lucasfilm team is hoping to slip young Han into Rogue One, which is set between episodes III and IV of the main saga. Then again, they might just want to have plenty of time to tease the perfect Han out of one of these young stars. Stepping into a role originated by the biggest movie star on the planet won’t be easy for any of them.