Woody Harrelson Confirms Name of 'Han Solo' Character

Woody Harrelson Confirms Name of 'Han Solo' Character

By Robert Dougherty Jan 23, 2017 11:19 AM
Photo Credit: Fox Searchlight Pictures

Woody Harrelson had already confirmed he was playing a mentor-like part in the young Han Solo movie. Yet while at the Sundance Film Festival, Harrelson let his character's name slip, which was a name familiar to enough hard core Star Wars fans to fill in some key blanks.

Harrelson spilled the beans in a video interview with Variety while promoting his new Sundance film Wilson, ironically alongside Episode VIII cast member Laura Dern.

While the Variety reporter was the one to mention the name Garris Shrike, Harrelson was the one that didn't correct her. If that is indeed a confirmation on what the character's name is, it is one that is familiar in Star Wars lore, in books if not in movies.

According to the 1997 Star Wars tie-in book The Paradise Snare, Shrike was a bounty hunter turned criminal who taught Han his trade, which fits the early descriptions of Harrelson's character in the movie. However, the book also characterized Shrike as an abusive figure, despite how he took Han in when he was an orphaned two-year-old boy.

When Han escaped Shrike's crew, went out to smuggle for the Hutts and got a bounty on his head, Shrike tracked him down, was defeated in a fight and taunted Han with the knowledge of where he really came from. Yet Shrike was then shot down by a competing bounty hunter before he could reveal the truth.

The movie certainly doesn't have to follow this storyline, especially since the Star Wars expanded book universe has largely been disowned from official canon after Disney took over. But Disney has recently been borrowing from Star Wars animated shows, so perhaps taking a page from old books is the next step.

This would be the second straight Star Wars anthology movie to borrow an extremist mentor figure from other avenues of the expanded universe. Rogue One took Star Wars Rebels character Saw Gerrera, turned him into Forest Whitaker and made him a long time mentor of Jyn Erso before she escaped to forge a less than legal life on her own. Now they may repeat that formula with Han Solo, even though Shrike is a more criminal and less freedom fighting seeking mentor, at least in his past incarnation.

However Harrelson and young Han Alden Ehrenreich face off, shooting will start in February, with the movie tentatively slated for a May 25, 2018 release.

Tags: Star Wars Anthology: Han Solo (2018), Wilson (2017), Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016), Star Wars: Episode VIII (2017), Woody Harrelson, Alden Ehrenreich, Star Wars
About the Author
Robert Dougherty is a longtime online freelance writer, who wrote reviews, articles & editorials on movies/TV for several years on the now defunct Yahoo Voices.
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