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The Kasdans Mined Inspiration From Heat, The Big Lebowski While Creating Solo: A Star Wars Story

Solo: A Star Wars Story has been described as many things by many people.

It’s an origin story, first and foremost, while Lucasfilm boss Kathleen Kennedy believes the forthcoming prequel contains all the hallmarks of a “gunslinger-type” movie. Ron Howard, on the other hand, has been quoted as saying that his version of Solo is more akin to an old-school Western with heist elements – fitting, really, given it centers on the galaxy’s most endearing smuggler.

And thanks to Entertainment Weekly’s ongoing coverage, we now know where screenwriters Lawrence and Jon Kasdan sourced their inspiration for the Han Solo spinoff. Of course, as a long-time veteran of the Star Wars saga, Lawrence Kasdan looked to the original trilogy while writing Solo, but it turns out Heat and The Big Lebowski (!) informed the story, too.

We talked about the relationship between Val Kilmer and Robert De Niro in Heat, where there’s a sort of older, wiser criminal, and then someone who’s learning the ropes from them. We wanted this movie to have that flavor and that swagger. No one is reliable… There’s always a chance of betrayal. And, I wanted to take what is essentially a street smart, but very innocent, young man, and figure out how could we start him on the journey to being the character who comes into the cantina?

Bouncing off that, Jon Kasdan name-dropped Unforgiven as a big influence for its long gunslinger archetype. And Clint Eastwood, of course. But don’t fret; Unforgiven is a “much darker movie” than the hotly-anticipated Solo.

“There’s a feeling in Unforgiven between the kid and Clint that hits the kind of [apprentice/gunslinger] relationship we were interested in,” said Jon, clarifying that Unforgiven “is obviously a much darker movie than [Solo] is.”

Han and Chewie in Solo: A Star Wars Story

Another one of Solo‘s influences? The Big Lebowski, of all things, after Jon Kasdan told EW that Han is not unlike The Dude, with Chewie filling the fuzzy boots of his cranky sidekick, Walter Sobchak.

[Solo] has that flavor of a crime world that has weirdness and surprise and people stumbling into things — and other people very intentionally getting into [trouble]. The Big Lebowski is a great example because Solo has a more off-kilter tone than you’ve ever seen in [Star Wars].

Part Heat, part Big Lebowski – all Star Wars. Look for Solo to take flight on May 25th, when Ron Howard’s anthology pic will become the follow-up act to a little-known comic book sequel by the name of Deadpool 2 (May 18th).