Young Han Solo Shortlist Inspires Considerable Feedback

Young Han Solo Shortlist Inspires Considerable Feedback

By Robert Dougherty Jan 15, 2016 10:36 AM
Photo Credit: LucasFilm

When the latest shortlist was announced for the Young Han Solo anthology episode of Star Wars, fans had a lot of opinions on the prospect of Miles Teller, Logan Lerman, Scott Eastwood, Dave Franco or one of many others filling Harrison Ford's shoes. That variety was laid bare on Facebook this week when readers of TheMovieNetwork.com and Movie Room Reviews made their voices heard.

As it turned out, the top choices for many of these commentors wasn't on the shortlist at all -- and was someone who already played a Ford character before.

Lionsgate

The other movie Ford starred in during 2015 was The Age of Adaline, where an actor named Anthony Ingruber played the young version of Ford's character. This came seven years after Ingruber gained Internet notority for impersonating Han's opening lines in A New Hope on YouTube.

These factors made many fans wish Ingruber was among the contenders, even if his resume is slimmer than that of those who did. However, actually looking like a young Han and not having the baggage of an established screen persona -- like Teller, Franco and Eastwood for instance -- is a deciding factor for many outside of Disney and LucasFilm.

Ingruber isn't the only name outside of the shortlist that was named, as a few users urged Chris Pratt and Shia LaBeouf to be considered. Of course, Pratt already has a quasi Han Solo character he is locked into in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchises, and LaBeouf's last attempt to be the new Ford in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was not warmly received.

All these suggestions for actors outside of the official shortlist probably doesn't bode well. Yet among those who actually chose from the actors in contention, one stood out by a wide margin.

Momentum Pictures

Eastwood was the closest thing to a popular choice, perhaps all too fittingly. As the son of Clint Eastwood, Scott is someone who is already trying to branch out from the shadow of an iconic action hero filled with one-liners and a shoot-first attitude from the 1970s. He is still trying to prove himself as an actor in films like The Last Ride and Diablo, yet he has some kind of mystery part in store for Suicide Squad -- whether or not it would lock him in for future DC movies.

Teller, Franco and Lerman garnered far fewer mentions in the comments sections -- although when they were mentioned, half supported them and half argued against them being a young Han. Teller's baggage from Fantastic Four, Franco being typecast and Lerman trying not to be typecast were cited as strikes against them.

There were a few who just wanted Ford to come back and be made up as a young Han through the magic of CGI, a la Jeff Bridges in Tron: Legacy. After Star Wars: The Force Awakens in particular, the need to keep Ford as Han and the resistance to letting anyone else take over is rather strong in some audiences. Yet there's a good chance Disney and LucasFilm aren't listening anyway, on that point and perhaps a few more.

The final decision may come down in a few weeks, and the divisive reactions may continue even longer, until young Han gets his own movie to prove himself on May 25, 2017.

Tags: Star Wars Anthology: Han Solo (2018), The Age of Adaline (2015), Scott Eastwood, Miles Teller, Logan Lerman, Dave Franco, Harrison Ford, 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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