Thursday, July 16, 2009

The Han Solo Serials

So Lucasfilm announced a couple weeks ago that it was beginning to think about filming the television show it promised us fans after Sith came out. Apparently it will focus on the 20+ year time period between Sith and New Hope. I'm sure that it will focus heavily on the rise of Darth Vader and the exile of Ben Kenobi. I'm sure a lot of emphasis will be on the rise of the empire and the persecution of the galaxy as the Darth Reich's shadow stretches to each planet in the universe. This could be cool but I doubt it will. Lucas is too much of a control freak to not be over-involved and make it a parable of the Bush-era tyranny.

This is an fucked out premise and Battlestar already did this.

I think that Lucas needs to hand over the reigns to me and get the fuck outta my way because my premise for a Star Wars series is, I believe, a solid one. I present to you: Solo.

The reason I think that Han Solo should have his own show is a simple one--he was the single best character of the original trilogy (besides Vader). Think about it, he was the best pilot, he got the best lines (laugh it up, fuzzball) and in the end, he got the girl. Yet, Solo was just on the cusp of being a secondary character, yet we get small glimpses into who he really is and why he is the way he is (mainly because the fastest mafioso slug in the galaxy has a price on his neck). And frankly, I'm sick of the Jedis being the main focus of what goes on in the Star Wars mythos. It's Han's time to shine.

Season 1: Point of Origin

Han's story should begin when he's young, dumb and full of something that rhythms with dumb. Fuck that Phantom Menace Jake Lloyd shit--I wanna see Han when he just graduates from Corellia High School--ready to take on the world. I know what you're thinking, "Corellia High, how 90210!" Well, my dear readers, I'm being facetious--I don't literally see Han in a cap and gown, glaring into the sun like John Cusack in the opening scene from "One Crazy Summer." Instead we'll catch Han entering the Imperial Academy with Wedge Antilles and Dorovio Bold where he enters the gauntlet with the best of the best, a sort of intergalactic Top Gun. Maybe I'll introduce an Ice Man to Solo's Maverick at the beginning to get the competitive blood pumping. Actually Wookiepedia already has a ready-made back story I could cherry-pick from for this first season.

...about halfway through the season, I'll introduce a young Wookie slave that Han ultimately saves and then is courtmarshalled and kicked out of the Academy for insubordination. This is where Han goes Solo (with his new Wookie friend, Chewbacca, who has committed a life debt to the young Corellian) and the two set out to explore the galaxy for illicit work now that Han has been stripped of any legitimacy. I see the season ending with a two hour finale that introduces a young Lando Calrissian whose freighter Han takes a shine to and that fateful hand of Sabacc when Lando loses the Millennium Falcon to Han. I would even goes as far as to make Lando seem villainous and try to kill Han after the game because that mistrust between these now friends had to start somewhere. Maybe season 1 ends with Han and Chewie narrowly escaping Lando and his android thugs from a Tatooine casino.

Season 2: Smuggler's Blues

In the second wayfarer, we find Chewie and Han evading Lando at every corner of the galaxy. Lando becomes so much of a thorn in Han's side that he enlists the protection of Jabba. The young Hutt is eager to make his name and he agrees to help Han out with not only protection but employment as well. Very quickly, Han earns the reputation as the biggest risk-taker in the smuggling ranks. Soon, be becomes Jabba's #1 mule for his intergalactic spice trade. The season is filled with high speed chases and new characters (including a love triangle between Han, Lando and some space chick (who Lando ultimately wins--which explains why Han is so protective of Leia when they are in Cloud City). There is even a pivotal episode where Chewie saves Han's life and the Wookie must make the decision to return Kashyyyk or stay with Solo. Another episode deals with the legendary story of when Solo drops a shipment of Jabba's Spice after learning what the drug does to the aliens that ingest it.

This is where my idea enters brilliance. The 2 hour finale of seson 2 will be a retelling of "A New Hope" only this time told from Han's perspective--so we're introduced to Obi-Won, Luke, Leia and the droids. I think the scene where Han mulls over returning to help Luke could be the one that wins this series an Emmy. The final scene of the season would be a shot-for-shot remake of the medal ceremony.

Season 3: Ski Hoth!

I see Season 3 as the best season--mainly because season 4 has a potential problem that I will address when I get there. I always wondered how the rebels made the transition from the forests of Yavin to the tundra of Hoth. Maybe Vader carpet-bombed Yavin and Hoth was the only option for the financially-challenged rebs. There could be a funny episode where Luke, Han and Chewie are chosen to go out and wrangle up some Tauntauns with minimal success, until Luke hones his Jedi mind control to take the beasts tame.

The final episode of season 3 would probably be the best of the series--a THREE-hour retelling of TESB from our hero's perspective. Solo will undoubtedly sweep the Emmys in 2013--with best actor in a dramactic series going to the voice of Frank Oz reprising his role as Yoda (the puppet--not the CGI green blur that does somersaults in the air). Unfortunately though, our hero will be in carbonate by the time the curtain falls on season 3.

Season 4: Blue Harvest
I know what you are thinking--WTF are you going to do with Han if he's going to be frozen in carbonite the whole season. This is a sound inquiry--but hear me out. Up to this point, even though he is the main character, we haven't gotten to know the real Han Solo. Where did he come from? Who are his parents? Why is he such a bad ass? I started to think of being frozen in carbonite as a stint in solitary confinement, where Han must face his toughest enemy yet--himself. Through a series of flashbacks inside his carbon frozen prison, Han will be forced to evaluate him life in a way he never dreamed. It will be like a flotation tank experience he can't escape from. Maybe I'll crib his life story from the Wookiepedia, or maybe it will be a big fuck off to the lore--a completely original Han Solo backstory to drop in your cranial babies. I dunno--when this bitch gets picked up by Showtime--then I'll cross that bridge.
While this is going on, Leia and Luke plan his rescue after Lando and Chewiw obviously fuck up (see: Jedi)--maybe some Jedi shit will surface in season given Solo's limitation. I dunno.
Then, for the finale--a remake of the turd that Jedi is now remembered to be. It will be different in many ways but one difference will be obvious...


In Lucas' original script, the final battle was supposed to take place on Kashyyyk--but he wussed out and inserted little teddy bears to appease his children. Don't get me wrong--I loved the Ewoks when I was 6--I even slept with my Wicket bear until I was 8 or so--but I'll save that shit for my therapist. But looking back, the Ewoks were hella fag. So we take the mulligan Lucas tried to take in Sith by putting Kashyyyk were it was supposed to be--in "Revenge of the Jedi."

Then, depending on what Showtime and the cast want to do--we can end the series here--a heartfelt episode where Han finally parts ways with Chewie, when he insists that his hairy wingwookie stay on the planet where he belongs as he and the other rebels return to space...or the series could reach into the Timothy Zahn's your call Showtime--show us the money!

The Cast:
You need a seasoned vet to play Solo--but youth is essential. The actor I have in mind looks nothing like Harrison Ford--but he's got the chops to conjure the essence of the character while at the same time, making it his own.

Ryan Gosling as

The second most important character is to cast is Lando. The guy I have in mind is known for his comedic work, but I think he has the chops and Lando was kinda funny anyways...and now the ying to Han's yang is:

Donald Faison as

Too bad Jacko didn't turn out how this magazine projected and didn't die this summer--he could have read for Lando.

Luke and Leia aren't easy casts because of their youth--and the only pool to draw from these days are dumb Nickelodeon sitcoms and Degrassi High--but after some research I have found two potential Lukes and one tentative Leia (I'm open to suggestion because I basically just picked the first cute brunette I found.
Either Jeremy Sumpter from the last Peter Pan movie

OR Jamie Johnston from the above mentioned Degrassi High fame


Like I said--I got lazy with Leia--the best I could come up with was this teenie-bopper chick Demi Lovato from the Disney channel. The only reason I picked her was because it said on her Wikipedia page that she loved Death Metal. Yes, I am that shallow.


Another revelation that occurred to me as I write this was that I didn't have to think twice about who would play Obi-Wan in the season 2 finale...

Ewan Mcgregor (in aging make-up and gray hair) reprises his role as the one, the only

Last but not least we have Chewbacca. Now I know what you're thinking--any tall dude can play "the walking carpet"--hell, Peter Mayhew reprised the role in Sith--but I want to keep in line with the young blood of the cast so far--so I came up with someone who needs a steady gig and will bring a certain jenesequa to the Wookie (mainly because he likes to dress up in public as it stands now and he's only about an inch shorter than Mayhew)

Dennis "The Worm" Rodman as

Addendum: I almost forgot the bounty hunters that would be under Lando and later Jabba's employ that Han and Chewie would eventually run into on random planets in seasons 1 and 2 (because familiarity is what will drive the show--not lame new characters that show up in books and fan fiction):





The penultimate Bossk (whose specialty is Wookie hunting)

And the ultimate Boba Fett

There it is my gift to the world. I would love to see this show manifest itself on my television screen. Hell, I would pay money each week to catch each new episode at the local movie theatre--it's about time the serial made a comeback anyways--if not for the kids, then for their dads...the true fans..the ones George forgot.

The Han Solo Serials. Coming to a theatre near you...

Summer 2010


Anonymous said...

Oh, how I love it when somebody expresses exactly what I'm thinking :) I would be thrilled if such series were made - to tell the truth, I only watch Star Wars because of Han Solo (although I agree that Darth Vader is very cool and can't wait for my friends to get me Tom-Tom turn-by-turn GPS thing with Vader's voice).

So yeah, great idea. I'm so sorry Harrison Ford's age cannot be turned back to play young Han Solo - but I do agree with your choice, great pick!

Cedric Baker said...

If only Lucas had thought of this instead of that bomb of a holiday special as a way to maintain fan interest between A New Hope and Empire, with the original cast reprising their roles from the film.