Friday, May 6, 2016

Fox’s Fanatic Fixations #01: Jonesin’ Solo

Alden Ehrenreich (left) who has been cast as the new Han Solo, originally played by Harrison Ford (right)


With the announcement of Alden Ehrenreich as the new (young) Han Solo, many fans are calling it blasphemous and unwarranted, while stating that he doesn’t look enough like Harrison Ford to get the job done. While there may be some merit to those accusations, Star Wars has seen recasting before in Obi-Wan Kenobi and even as recently as the “new” Mon Mothma, who I am personally glad to see return after her deleted scenes in 2005’s Revenge of the Sith.

But to many, Harrison Ford is irreplaceable. And to be quite honest, I concur with that thought. He has a certain chutzpah that no one else can capture to its fullest extent. He is exciting to watch; even during a scripted scene, he always seems to be unpredictable in a way that makes you want to see what he does next.  He has a talent for captivating audiences, and selling dialogue better than it would appear on a written page.

Yet, cinema is plagued with (often unwanted) reboots and remakes, and an overabundance of sequels (I’m looking at you, Ice Age 5), which are occurring at a pace faster than people who remember the originals are dying. Remaking and recasting films with less than thirty years on them seems to be the popular thing now, and common feelings are that they only serve to tarnish the memory of the original (“Thanks for killing my childhood” – Overdramatic Fanboy #8675309). But in rare cases this can work (Ewan McGregor anyone?).

While Harrison Ford may not be replaceable, this is not the first time another actor has tried to fill his (always somewhat fashionable) boots. But is it more about the actor or the character being portrayed?

So with that, I invite you to the first installment of this new series I’m trying out, with a new discussion on an old topic.