The Star Wars universe is moving full steam ahead. After the successful release of both Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens and Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, Lucasfilm is closing in on the start of production on the young Han Solo movie. Directed by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, the movie will tell the origin of everyone’s favorite smuggler, but this time Alden Ehrenreich will play the role instead of Harrison Ford.
Lucasfilm and Disney have assembled a talented cast to support the newcomer with Donald Glover, Emilia Clarke, and more recently, Woody Harrelson joining the cast. Harrelson is set to play the character’s mentor, but the name of the character he would be playing had not been confirmed. That is, until now.
In an interview with Variety, Harrelson was asked if he is indeed playing the character Garris Shrike, as some have speculated. After some inner turmoil over what his response should be, he did confirm that this will be his role. This marks just the latest example of Lucasfilm pulling from Legends.
Shrike is a character created by author Ann C. Crispin for her book, The Paradise Snare, in 1997. While the book and this take on Shrike is not officially canon anymore, Lucasfilm will once likely draw inspiration from the character in the page to the version that will appear on screen. In The Paradise Snare, Shrike rescued an orphaned Han Solo and raised him as his own, teaching him in the ways of crime and how to fly.
However, Shrike’s relationship with Solo was not perfect. Shrike would often beat Solo when he was unhappy with him, straining their relationship until Solo left. The two would eventually meet up again with Solo potentially on the verge of killing his mentor, but Shrike met his end at the hand of a fellow bounty hunter instead.
Again, it is unclear how much of this lore Lucasfilm will stick to with Harrelson’s portrayal, but it would not be surprising for them to stick to most of it. If they do, it will be interesting to see how much of this is actually shown, as these events would take place at a younger age than it is anticipated that Ehrenreich will play. Even if they do not show his upbringing with Shrike, the film will certainly make reference to these events. In either instance, Shrike lines up with Harrelson’s previous description of his character being a bit of a criminal and it is great to finally know who Harrelson is playing.