[Updated] Woody Harrelson Confirms Mentor Role In Upcoming Han Solo Movie

Woody Harrelson

Update: Not so fast, folks. Despite the actor addressing rumors with Variety, it seems there’s still an air of mystery surrounding Woody Harrelson’s character in next year’s Han Solo movie – according to Lucasfilm’s Pablo Hidalgo, at least. Referencing the confusion that surrounded Darth Plagueis two years ago, Hidalgo hinted that Harrelson’s character may not be Garris Shrike after all. Either that, or this Tweet is little more than a red herring.

Original story: He’s been described as a mentor, an old ally to Han, and a bit of a criminal, but thanks to Variety, we now know the identity of Woody Harrelson’s character in the untitled Han Solo anthology movie.

While promoting his Sundance drama Wilson, conversation inevitably swerved toward Disney’s Star Wars spinoff, at which point Harrelson confirmed his character to be Garris Shrike, the dubious mentor to Alden Ehrenreich’s future smuggler. Much like Saw Gerrera before him, Shrike is a character plucked from the now non-canon Star Wars expanded universe, and is best described as a former bounty hunter who spearheads a group of child thieves. One of his pint-sized accomplices just so happens to be the young Han Solo, who eventually escapes Shrike’s grasp to become a pilot for the Imperial Navy.

When Disney first acquired Lucasfilm and all its assets four years ago, the Mouse House made the somewhat contentious decision to rebrand the expanded universe as Star Wars Legends, quietly nudging it outside the core universe to sidestep any potential issues with continuity. That means co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are likely cooking up a slightly different arc for Garris Shrike and his wisecracking protégé, but it’s fascinating to learn that Disney is pulling another character from the archives in time for 2018. Emilia Clarke and Donald Glover are also on board.

As things stand, Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s untitled Han Solo movie is due to release on May 25th, 2018. Sources close to production claim that date is tentative at best, and it’s more likely that Disney will relocate its second anthology movie to December of 2018 to align with previous Star Wars movies.