The Millennium Falcon is without a doubt the most iconic spacecraft in pop culture. Save for maybe the Death Star, there isn’t another vessel that’s as recognizable. First featured in the original Star Wars film back in 1977, the Falcon continues to conjure up all sorts of warm, fuzzy memories for fans. We all, at some point or another, envisioned ourselves flying the ship, gunning the turrets, or playing a game of space chess in the common area.
With Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm, it seemed inevitable that we’d see many more voyages of the smuggler ship. We first saw its triumphant return in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but Disney and Lucasfilm had other plans as well. In addition to the continuing adventures on the spacecraft in the present day, we’d also head back to an even longer time ago, before Han Solo met the likes of Ben Kenobi and Luke Skywalker. With Solo’s earlier adventures, we knew we’d get to see the ship in its heyday.
Alden Ehrenreich was the man who was chosen to take on the mantle of Han Solo in the spinoff film, and as one would expect, as he was stepping onto the Falcon, he began to feel the weight of the role he was taking on. Speaking with Fandango, Ehrenreich shared how a co-director Phil Lord was able to put him at ease:
“Phil Lord made a joke and it turned out, for me, it was not a joke. He said this is like that scene in Hoosiers where [Gene Hackman] takes the kids out to the basket — and I’m gonna botch this line — but he says something like, ‘How many feet up is that basket? Ten feet. And how many feet is it back home? It’s the same.’ [Phil] said that as we were walking up the ramp, and it helped. [Phil] saying that really meant a lot to me, and it clues you in to the fact that this is the same job. This is the job you get to do.”
Despite the rush of butterflies one would get walking up the ramp of the ship, there is no denying how familiar many of us fans are. Should we have the opportunity to do so ourselves, one has to wonder how familiar the experience would be, given how much we already know about this world and this ship as fans.
Ehrenreich spoke to that idea:
“What’s odd about [being on the Millennium Falcon] is that it’s all so familiar. I mean I’ve known it since I was a kid — I played make-believe as a kid, pretending that I was on it. So the fact that I already know the world so well, there’s a comfort in that and a real excitement. I mean I got to work with Chewbacca for my screen test. I can’t think of another form of transportation that is so beloved in film.”
Let’s hope that when Ehrenreich brings Han to life, that it feels every bit as familiar and exciting to fans. As difficult as it is making good movies, it’s even harder when taking on the mantle of a beloved and well-worn character. Like it or not, there will be a lot of pressure resting on the young actor’s shoulders.
The Han Solo spinoff is slated to hit theaters on May 25, 2018.
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