Woody Harrelson was recently announced to play Han Solo’s mentor in the upcoming Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story due out May 25, 2018.
The actor has now dropped a huge bombshell at the Sundance Film Festival. When asked by Variety if he was playing the character Garris Shrike, the man who taught Han Solo how to fly, Harrelson reluctantly confirmed he is indeed playing Shrike.
Shrike was a bounty hunter who raised Han Solo. The character was first introduced in the novel The Paradise Snare by A.C. Crispin. This marks the second character after Grand Admiral Thrawne to return to canon since the extended universe was rebranded as Legends after the acquisition by Disney. The inclusion of Shrike almost all but guarantees the Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story will be the origin story of Han Solo. In addition to teaching Solo to fly, Shrike also served as Solo’s introduction into the world of smuggling.
The cast also includes Alden Ehrenreich as the young Han Solo, Donald Glover as the young Lando Calrissian, and Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke in a role that is still currently a mystery.
President of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy has described the film as a western with a color palette influenced by the paintings of Frederic Remington. The script has been penned by Star Wars writing alum Lawrence Kasdan and son Jon Kasdan. With Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, along with cinematographer Bradford Young on board, the film has the potential to have a bold look and feel that could strike a perfect balance between humor and drama.
The Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story is slated to hit theaters May 25, 2018, however, there is a rumor the film could be shifted to Holiday 2018. MakingStarWars claims to have a source in the theater industry that has received a release date for a Star Wars film on December 13, 2018. While May was the home of Star Wars for many decades, Star Wars has become part of the holiday season in the new era of the franchise.
UPDATE: A fan reached out to Lucasfilm story group executive Pablo Hidalgo on Twitter for clarification regarding Harrelson in the role of Garris Shrike in the Untitled Han Solo Star Wars Story and Hidalgo provided a rather cryptic response:
I'll let others sort it out, but ask yourself – what question was he answering? #cryptictweets.
— Pablo Hidalgo (@pablohidalgo) January 23, 2017
Although Harrelson did sound like he would have answered yes to anything when he nonchalantly revealed a major detail, this isn’t exactly an official denial from Hidalgo either.
What do you guys think? Do you think Harrelson would make a good Shrike? Or would you rather see him play an original character? Let us know in the comments.