Woody Harrelson Describes His Character in the Han Solo Spin-off Film
When Woody Harrelson was announced as co-starring in the upcoming Young Han Solo Movie, fans were naturally curious who he might be playing. During an interview on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, the Oscar-nominated actor said he would be playing a character named “Beckett.” As of this writing, that is the character name listed on IMDB. Harrelson was mum on details but described Beckett as “a criminal and mentor to Han.”
Even though the name is different, the character will likely be based on Garris Shrike, a character from the Star Wars Extended Universe.
Shrike only appeared in the Extended Universe novel, The Paradise Snare (though he is mentioned in several other novels). The character was created by author Ann C. Crispin after Lucasfilm told her that Han Solo was raised by thieves and criminals that forced Solo into a life of crime.
The possible appearance of Shrike is surprising for fans because Disney has used little of the Extended Universe – which includes books and video games – preferring to create their own canon and characters. Whether Disney will follow the story or tell their own story with the source material is unknown at this time, but if they are changing the character’s name, it is likely Disney will put their own spin on the character.
In the book, Garris Shrike is a bounty hunter who turned to crime after his quick temper made it difficult for him to collect bounties… alive. Despite his claims to be otherwise, Shrike was quick-tempered and impatient. Shrike typically wears a full military uniform and ruled his crew with an iron fist. Things he did enjoy included Alderaanian Ale and gambling.
In the novel, Shrike adopted Solo as a young orphan living on the streets of Corellia. Shrike trained Solo, along with other orphans, to be a con artist and thief. Despite Shrike’s dictator-like rule, Solo was the most outwardly rebellious against him. Shrike often taunted Solo with information about his past before Solo eventually rebelled against him.
Woody Harrelson seems like a good choice for the character. He has shown great range as an actor, playing tough but likable mentors in films such as Zombieland while also playing deranged Mickey Knox in Natural Born Killers. Harrelson was also nominated for an Academy Award for his portrayal of the strict and stoic Captain Tony Stone in 2009’s The Messenger.