Monday 23 September 2019

Hollywood feels the force of new Star Wars blockbuster

The film tells the story of the early years of smuggler Han Solo.

LA Premiere of “Solo: A Star Wars Story”
LA Premiere of “Solo: A Star Wars Story”

By Associated Press Reporters

Star Wars favourites from four decades of the series converged on Los Angeles for the glittering world premiere of the latest episode.

Solo: A Star Wars Story tells the story of the early years of smuggler Han Solo, who was played by Harrison Ford in seven films in the franchise.

The film stars Alden Ehrenreich as Solo and Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, both actors playing younger versions of the characters made famous by the original Star Wars trilogy.

Emilia Clarke and Alden Ehrenreich arrive at the premiere (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Solo also features fan favourites Chewbacca and the Millennium Falcon — in its earlier days before being introduced as a grimy, albeit fast, hunk of junk in the original Star Wars film.

Solo is one of the franchise’s most popular characters. Ford’s portrayal of the gruff smuggler in the original Star Wars catapulted him to stardom and has become one of the roles most closely associated with the actor.

Thandie Newton plays Val in Solo: A Star Wars Story” (Jordan Strauss/AP)

For the premiere, Disney built a giant replica of the Falcon on Hollywood Boulevard. Glover was seen posing underneath the giant prop.

The film is the second standalone film set in the Star Wars universe.

Rogue One, released in 2016, told the story of the theft of plans for the superweapon the Death Star, which was destroyed at the end of the 1977 film that made Star Wars into a global sensation.

Mark Hamill attends the premiere (Jordan Strauss/AP)

Disney has become known for its elaborate premieres for its Star Wars films, placing an X-Wing replica on Hollywood Boulevard for Rogue One.

And there was a simultaneous debut at several Hollywood cinemas for 2015’s The Force Awakens, which was the return of Ford, Carrie Fisher and Mark Hamill to the franchise after a 30 year hiatus.

George Lucas arriving at the premiere of the latest film in the franchise he started four decades ago (Jordan Strauss/AP)

Solo is the biggest role yet for Ehrenreich, who starred in the Coen Brothers film Hail, Caesar!

While many other characters have made cameos in Star Wars films that tells stories before the original trilogy, the franchise has stayed away from showing Solo as a younger man.

The new film also features Glover stepping into a role closely associated with another actor: Billy Dee Williams played Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back and Return Of The Jedi.

Williams attended the premiere, as did Star Wars creator George Lucas.

PA Media

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