Star Wars Defends Han Solo's Prequel Movie Casting

The drama surrounding Solo: A Star Wars Story may be over, but it's not too late for the minds behind the Star Wars comic book to make another subtle defense of young Han Solo actor Alden Ehrenreich.

At least, that sure seems to be the case in Star Wars #62, when Luke Skywalker, Han Solo, and Leia Organa take a break from their heated war against the Empire to take in a bit of theater. It's there that they learn just how fickle an audience can be, now that the Star Wars heroes have seen their roles in the dramatized version of the Rebellion recast with living, breathing actors. The part of Luke Skywalker is played to perfection… but wouldn't you know it, it's Han Solo who takes exception to the actor given his part.

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A little backstory will help out Star Wars fans who aren't keeping up with the comic books, since the leader of this theater company knows Luke, Han, and Leia personally. The shape-shifting actor Tunga was previously recruited by the Rebels to masquerade as an Imperial Governor, leading to the better-than-the-movies Battle of Mon Cala. As Issue #62 reveals, the heroism of the Rebels is shown to have made such a mark, Tunga has taken the story to the stage. With some… notable differences.

It's a delightful bit of ‘meta’ storytelling from writer Kieron Gillen, suggesting that the exploits and heroes of the Rebellion were being retold, reenacted, and apparently re-imagined even as they were taking place. It was that kind of oral storytelling that brought Star Wars: The Last Jedi to a close, as small children acted out old Luke Skywalker’s stand against the First Order. Granted, those children seem to have taken fewer liberties than Tunga and his traveling players, judging by the starting role: the Jedi Knight, Luc Swordswinger.

Changes to the historical facts aside, we know that Tunga is performing for the right reasons, risking charges of treason by highlighting and spreading tales of the Rebellion's victories over the Galactic Empire. And with the ability to change his appearance to match Luke Skywalker identically, this would actually be the closest many citizens ever got to the frontline of the war.

But Han Solo is less than pleased when he notes the appearance and name of the play's roguish smuggler-turned-rebel, ‘Ham Nogo.’ Which is where Tunga defends his co-star, in a fashion that will feel familiar to defenders of Solo: A Star Wars Story's own controversial casting.

It’s Tunga's argument that the actor playing Han Solo is about more than looking like the original version, but more importantly "captures his roguish spirit." A not so subtle nod to the real world debates and criticism surrounding Solo's choice of leading man (considering how many young Han Solo fan-castings focused on appearance, including campaigns to have a YouTube impersonator lead the blockbuster film). But what makes this comic's message even clearer is artist Andrea Broccardo’s decision to dress Han in the exact same outfit worn by Alden Ehrenreich in Solo: A Star Wars Story, as opposed to his usual movie-accurate navy vest or jacket.

The comic team's defense (delivered through Tunga) shouldn't be all that controversial, considering Harrison Ford approved of Ehrenreich and his performance, for largely the same reasons Tunga supports his own fellow thespian. And whether or not Gillen and Broccardo admit it, it seems that the young Han Solo has a few more supporters from Star Wars storytellers.

Star Wars #62 is available now at your local comic book shop, and directly from Marvel Comics.

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