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Who is Alden Ehrenreich? Han Solo, that's who

Posted Friday, May 6, 2016 at 11:26 AM Central

by John Couture

What do they say about best-laid plans and all that? The plan was to curate all of the previous month's best Star Wars news and present it to you in a neat little package on the 4th of every month. Go figure, that not two days go by and the plan is already out the window.

Well, sometimes, the news is just too big to sit on for three weeks. The casting of a young Han Solo is just the type of breaking news that will necessitate it's own stand alone story. So, who is Alden Ehrenreich?

Well, for starters, he has been cast as Han Solo in the anthology film Han Solo: A Star Wars Story according to various reports. But, who is he?

Well, considering that my wife and I count ourselves among the handful of people to have actually seen Hail, Caesar!, I can tell you that he is a revelation and his casting destroys any lingering trepidation that I may have had about Disney resurrecting a younger version of this iconic character. If his name and face seem foreign to you, don't worry, I hadn't seen him in anything before Hail, Caesar! either.

If you want to see what the new Han Solo is going to look like, here you go.

"I'm a Cowboy, baby!"

OK, that was a bit of a tease on my part, but his character in Hail, Caesar!, Hobie Doyle, is a Western actor suddenly thrust into a whole new genre. And let's just say that the transition is rough. As long as Han Solo doesn't have to say "Would that it were so simple," we should be fine.

If you're wondering about a Star Wars connection, you needn't look long. The young actor was allegedly found by none other than Steven Spielberg himself who noticed him acting in his friend's bat mitzvah video. Director Francis Ford Coppola (more Star Wars connection) gave him his first breaks by casting him in a couple of his smaller films. The L.A. Times published a great piece on the young actor when Hail, Caesar! came out earlier this year. It's well worth a read.

If you're still unsure about his acting chops, then why not see him act opposite Queen Amidala, Natalie Portman herself. Apparently, the young actors were cast opposite one another for a Dior perfume ad. It's as glorious as anything you ever dreamed up in your Amidala/Han Solo fan fiction.

As for directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, they are keeping mum for now, assuredly waiting until the ink is dry on that contract, but they did let one thing slip out on May the Fourth.

Speaking of May the Fourth, couldn't they have leaked this news two days earlier? It seems that Star Wars day provided the perfect backdrop to make such a huge announcement. That and, well, it would have been nice not to have my plans get dashed so quickly. I'm sure that I'll have more on this story come June 4th.

Until then, I will leave you with this. There were rumors out there last year that they were hoping to get the young Han Solo in place so that he might have a cameo in Rogue One, which is set to release later this year. The timing of this "announcement" is perfect if one were to believe that those rumors are true.

Han Solo: A Star Wars Story is currently set for release on May 25, 2018. However, after Disney moved Episode VIII from a May 2017 to a December 2017 release, it makes you wonder if they will follow suit on Han Solo? Having Star Wars own the December box office for the foreseeable future seems like a very Disney move to me, no?