While the U.S. warily eyes the United Kingdom—fearing that it’s readying to tell the story of a young Han Solo’s upbringing as a shipbuilder’s apprentice, pure of heart, and his being driven into the pirate trade for want of the acceptance of high society—it seems we could have once seen a decidedly more American version of Han’s story. Writer-director Stephen Scaia has revealed that plans were in place for a young Han to be a central figure in Star Wars: Underworld, the previously promised live-action Star Wars TV series he worked on before it was shelved, due to overwhelming production expenses. That show had been described by producer Rick McCallum as comparable to Deadwood and The Godfather in terms of its seedy, adult tone in its look at the crime bosses and bounty hunter cocksuckers who populate the underworld of Coruscant and beyond. It was a world that would have made perfect sense as a backdrop for a young, roguish Han Solo, back before he became neutered by love and loyalty.
Scaia relayed the info in a video promoting his Kickstarter campaign for another Lucasfilm-tangential project, the Indiana Jones fan film Army Of The Lost Horizon (which is certainly a good way to get that campaign some attention). Among the events in a young Han’s life he says Underworld would have covered: meeting Chewbacca, winning the Millennium Falcon from Lando, finding the perfect vest to wear for the rest of his life (we assume), etc. In other words, all things you can probably expect to see either referenced or flat-out depicted in the standalone movie.
With Disney now also in control of—and making vague movements toward—those 50 or so Underworld scripts that were completed, it’s not a stretch to believe it might be pillaging some of them to make its Han Solo and Boba Fett movies. And now it remains to be seen whether those movies could lead to finally bringing Underworld to American TV screens, or whether that concept is really dead. Have we at last yielded our Han Solos truly and completely to the British? As patriots, we say no to you, sirrahs! Let us rise up and dump our Harrison Ford in Boston Harbor!