Disney and LucasFilm's highly-anticipated Han Solo spin-off started production in London last month, with the studio releasing the first official photo, featuring Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca, along with Emilia Clarke and Phoebe Waller-Bridge, whose characters have not yet been confirmed. The photo also featured Woody Harrelson, who confirmed in an interview just a month before filming started, that he is playing the iconic character Garris Shrike, who first appeared in the 1997 novel The Paradise Snare, and was seen as a criminal mentor to Han Solo in the years before A New Hope. Now it seems that the actor may be playing the same character, but with a different name.
While promoting his new movie Wilson on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the late-night talk show host brought up his new Star Wars movie. While the actor wouldn't say much, the host asked if he could at least say who he was playing, although his answer may be quite surprising to some who have been following this movie. Here's what Woody Harrelson had to say, when asked who he is playing in Han Solo: A Star Wars Story.
"I play a guy named Beckett, who's kind of a criminal and a mentor to Han. That's all I can say."
Just weeks before Woody Harrison supposedly confirmed he's playing Garris Shrike in an interview, the actor said he is playing, "a mentor to Han, but I'm also a bit of a criminal." Since this character description matched that of Garris Shrike, it lead several fans to theorize that he's actually playing Garris. The actor is even currently listed on IMDB as playing Garris Shrike, which leads to even more confusion about why he told a national TV audience that he's playing Beckett, but there is one possible explanation.
Back in 2014, Star Wars: Rebels producer Simon Kinberg teased that the new Star Wars movies, which began with Star Wars: The Force Awakens, would avoid the Expanded Universe, the massive collection of novels, comic books and other stories that weren't officially connected to the Star Wars timeline now known as the Legends canon. It was later confirmed that the Expanded Universe is officially not part of the Star Wars canon, with a new series of books, comics and other materials that are part of the canon, arriving regularly throughout the past few years. Since Garris Shrike has never been seen in the Star Wars movies, and since he debuted in the Expanded Universe novel The Paridise Snare in 1997, it's possible that Beckett is a composite of Garris Shrike and other character elements devised by LucasFilm, but that's only speculation.
While Woody Harrelson wouldn't say much else about the plot of Han Solo: A Star Wars Story, he did confirm that he'll be shooting in London until the end of July. We also reported earlier this month that production will shift to the Canary Islands, which will be used for scenes set on Han Solo's home planet of Corellia, which, if this report is true, will mark the first time the planet has been seen in a Star Wars movie. Phil Lord and Chris Miller are directing Han Solo: A Star Wars Story from a script by Lawrence Kasdan and Jon Kasdan, with LucasFilm setting this spin-off for release on May 25, 2018. Take a look at part of Woody Harrelson's appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.