Things we want to see in the Han Solo prequel movie

A new trilogy isn't the only Star Wars we're getting over the next few years. Scheduled for 2018, between Episodes VIII and IX, is a prequel movie dedicated entirely to the pre-A New Hope exploits of everyone's favorite snarky smuggler, Han Solo. While you'd be forgiven for running away screaming at the thought of another Star Wars prequel, remember that George Lucas will have less than a nano-parsec to do with this one. So there's potential for Han Solo: Episode I to be a classic…as long as they do it right. Here's what we hope to see.

A Truly Scoundrelous Solo

The biggest problem with a Han Solo prequel—at least from a Disney marketing standpoint—is that young Han was not a nice guy. He was a smuggler, a pirate, and a selfish womanizer, who cared about nothing except getting paid. And while you can certainly write a compelling movie where the main hero is basically a bad guy, people usually don't write those films with children and toy stores in mind.

That being said, the only way a solo Solo film will work is if he's as rough as humanly possible. Make him cold, keep him uncaring, draft and re-draft the script until his snark is vicious, and never have him lose sight of his one true love: money. Attempting to retcon him as a lovable rogue will do nothing but destroy the film before the first Wookiee growl. And don't worry. LucasFilm—you can easily do this without delving into R-rated territory. Shoot for a hard, boundary-teasing PG-13, and you've earned yourself a great opportunity for a fine film.

Original, Untold Adventures

One of the main reasons that prequels usually suck is that they're mostly fan service. This could be an extremely easy trap for the writers of Solo's movie to fall into, since we do know bits and pieces of his past. The trick is to not use them as a crutch to upright the entire movie, but to instead give us brand-new, unheard-of smuggles and bounties for Solo to strive for. Don't play connect-the-dots with Han's life. Draw a whole new picture yourself.

This means not including anything like the Kessel Run. There's really no need for us to see him do that, even if 12 parsecs is an incredibly impressive record. Besides, since a parsec is a measure of distance, centering any part of the film around the Run would basically mean seeing him fly from place to place, and nothing more. It would be far more interesting to see what he actually did on the planets he visited, before and after the Run.

And on a related note, please don't make any mention of the woman Solo was flirting with in the original, uncut Cantina scene from A New Hope. And if LucasFilm must show her, definitely don't make her a major character. It's possible for a story to be too clever for its own good, and that would be way too clever for any decent story.

A Good, Non-sappy, "How Chewie Met Han" Origin Tale

That being said, certain aspects of Solo's life can't be ignored. It's a given that Chewbacca will play a big role in this film, for one. Scoundrel Han or no, omitting the furry arm-ripper would remove an integral part of his life, and leave the film feeling incomplete. So the real question isn't "will Chewie be there?" but rather "how are they going to introduce him?" As George Lucas proved with the prequels, writing a good origin story isn't easy, and writing a bad one can be just plain destructive. So however Han and Chewie meet, it needs to be done extremely well.

The good news is, current canon is rather vague about their first meeting. All we know is that Chewbacca was an Imperial slave until Han freed him, and that Chewie swore a life debt to Solo as a result. That leaves plenty of room for all sorts of crazy stories and interesting interactions between the two. And no sap—this should not be a bromance at first sight. Probably, Solo should free Chewbacca for selfish reasons, as he witnesses the Wookiee's strength first-hand and wants to use him to make smuggling easier. In fact, since Solo needs to remain scum, don't have the two become full-fledged friends at all! We know that, eventually, they do, and we don't really need to know how. Just get them together in a fun way, and save the "awww" moments for our imaginations.

The Demise Of His Relationship With Jabba

Another part of Solo's past that can't be ignored is his relationship with Jabba The Hutt. He did some jobs for Jabba until being forced to abandon important cargo, thanks to a run-in with the Empire. As a result, Jabba wants his head, which is perfectly understandable. But the filmmakers could easily screw up this scene by focusing on all the wrong aspects. For one, don't bother showing the lost cargo—all that matters is that he lost it. The meat of this story should be Jabba's reaction to the loss, Solo's continuous attempts to make it up to him, and the circumstances that led up to him not being able to do so (failed jobs, clients shafting him promised pay, robberies, blowing the money selfishly, etc.) Give us reasons to both emphasize with Solo's plight through his actions, and understand where the big angry slug-man's coming from when he rants about wanting our favorite smuggler dead.

No Child Solo

The most important part of a Han Solo prequel is what it shouldn't include—namely, no part of the film—even a microscene—should be devoted to Solo as a pre-smuggler child. Originally, George Lucas was planning to include Solo in Episode III, as a young urchin boy living on the Wookiee planet Kashyyyk. He was to be raised by Chewbacca and was apparently an "absolute slob", according to Iain McCaig, the artist who drew up the concept of a young Solo for Lucas. This, obviously, was a terrible idea, and we're glad that Lucas was at least smart enough to omit that much from the prequels. Let's not revisit the same sort of idea that ruined Boba Fett forever.

It's not just because, as Episode I proved, awesome characters normally cease being awesome once we see them as tykes. It's also that…well, who cares? We don't need to know the exact moment that made Han Solo realize he should become a smuggler. We don't need to see his family (or lack thereof), nor do we need to see him and Lando Calrissian as childhood pals. All we need is a 20-something Han Solo being the best bounty hunter (and worst person) in the galaxy. After all, not every story's Chapter One needs to double as a life's first chapter, too.