It's been interesting to see how the newly-relaunched Star Wars franchise has handled the old Expanded Universe books and comics. Lucasfilm made a clear and deliberate statement, shortly after the sale to Disney, that the countless books set in the Star Wars universe that were published in the last 30 years were basically Elseworld tales that had no bearing on the official canon.
And yet, as time has gone on, we've seen Lucasfilm seemingly start to look to those books for elements and characters to bring into the official canon.
Such seems to be the case with Woody Harrelson's character in the upcoming Han Solo: A Star Wars Story.
During an interview with Variety, where he was promoting Wilson at Sundance, Harrelson was asked whether or not he was playing Garris Shrike in the Han Solo film. After some stalling, Harrelson stated, "Yeah, I am."
Garris Shrike was a character that appeared in the Rise of The Empire era of Expanded Universe books. Here's a brief description of his bio in those books, and how it relates to Han Solo, courtesy of Wookiepedia:
"Garris Shrike was the man who raised Han Solo. As a young man, he was a bounty hunter, but his quick temper kept him from collecting many live bounties. Instead, he turned to crime, collecting a group of orphans whom he used in confidence tricks and thefts, based aboard the decommissioned troopship Trader's Luck in orbit over Corellia. One of those orphans was Han Solo. Shrike rescued Solo from the streets, raised him, trained him, and beat him profusely when aggravated."
There's no telling whether or not they'll use any or all of that bio for the movie, but it should give you an inkling where he may fit into a story about a young Han Solo.
It should be noted that I wasn't convinced by the video of this interview that Harrelson really understood the question. The interviewer's vocal inflections while asking the question were a little off, and so I got the distinct impression that Harrelson was slightly dazed and confused about what he was actually answering.
I'll let you be the judge:
For now, if we are to assume that he did understand the question, then this is confirmation that Harrelson will be playing Garris Shrike in Han Solo: A Star Wars Story.
What do you think?