‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Breakout Phoebe Waller-Bridge Didn’t Know What a Droid Was When She Auditioned — Watch

She’d never seen a “Star Wars” movie, either.

Anyone who’s seen “Fleabag” or “Killing Eve” knows Phoebe Waller-Bridge is an especially gifted actor and writer, but that doesn’t mean she’s well versed in all things. For instance, she didn’t know what a droid is when auditioning for “Solo: A Star Wars Story” despite the fact that she’s playing one in the new standalone film — not that it stopped her from getting the part.

“I was going to the audition and I thought, ‘This character’s amazing, she’s a revolutionary, she’s really cool, and the dialogue was amazing.’ But it kind of said just in one of the stage directions, ‘droid.’ So I was like, ‘droid, droid…'” she explained on “The Graham Norton Show.” And then I googled ‘droid’ and then nothing much came up, weirdly, just pictures. It wasn’t explicit that it’s a robot.” This led her to extreme measures: asking her cab driver on the way to the audition what a droid is.

He didn’t know and, upon calling his family, found that they didn’t either. Waller-Bridge thus decided to play the character as a human because “most of the times when you audition, it’s a human.” She was asked to perform “a bit more droidy,” and finally realized after being given a bit of direction that “it’s a fucking robot!”

Waller-Bridge’s performance has been praised, with many pointing to her as one of the film’s highlights. Also revealed during the segment: Waller-Bridge had never seen a “Star Wars” movie before auditioning. Watch the full segment below.

‘Shippers, delight: Solo writer says Lando is pansexual

Star Wars has had a habit in recent years of playing coy with questions about its characters’ sexuality, encouraging fans who really want to see Oscar Isaac’s Poe and John Boyega’s Finn kiss while taking half-steps like introducing canonically LGBT cha…

Star Wars has had a habit in recent years of playing coy with questions about its characters’ sexuality, encouraging fans who really want to see Oscar Isaac’s Poe and John Boyega’s Finn kiss while taking half-steps like introducing canonically LGBT characters in Star Wars novels, but not the films. Now Solo co-writer…

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‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’: Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian Is Pansexual, Confirms Screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan

He says he’d have liked to include an “explicitly LGBT” character in the film.

In news that surely won’t provoke angered reactions from the same group of moviegoers who called for boycotts on the last few “Star Wars” movies, screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan has addressed Lando Calrissian’s fluid sexuality in a new HuffPost interview. The character, portrayed by Billy Dee Williams in the original trilogy and now by Donald Glover in next week’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” has always had a swaggering air about him. Asked directly whether Lando is pansexual, Kasdan was “emphatic” in his response: “I would say yes.”

“There’s a fluidity to Donald and Billy Dee’s [portrayal of Lando’s] sexuality,” continued Kasdan, who co-wrote the film with his father Lawrence (who also co-wrote “The Empire Strikes Back,” “Return of the Jedi,” and “The Force Awakens”). “I mean, I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie. I think it’s time, certainly, for that, and I love the fluidity ― sort of the spectrum of sexuality that Donald appeals to and that droids are a part of.”

“He doesn’t make any hard and fast rules. I think it’s fun,” Kasdan added. “I don’t know where it will go.”

The latest round of “Star Wars” films have also inspired fans to “ship” the characters played by Oscar Isaac and John Boyega, though Poe and Finn have yet to consummate that would-be relationship onscreen. “Solo” arrives in theaters next Friday, May 25.

Here’s why Ron Howard gets sole directorial credit for Solo

For fans of the franchise, it can be difficult to think about the director’s credit on Solo: A Star Wars Story without it having a little asterisk next to it. Around this time last year—and right at the tail end of principal photography—Phil Lord and C…

For fans of the franchise, it can be difficult to think about the director’s credit on Solo: A Star Wars Story without it having a little asterisk next to it. Around this time last year—and right at the tail end of principal photography—Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired from the production and replaced by veteran…

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Han Solo brings not enough fun to Cannes, while a superb film makes its late-festival premiere

It’s a question that comes up every time a Mad Max or a Pixar creation crashes the Palais, and every time one doesn’t: Do Hollywood blockbusters really belong at Cannes? To see one at the festival, an event theoretically devoted to provocation and inno…

It’s a question that comes up every time a Mad Max or a Pixar creation crashes the Palais, and every time one doesn’t: Do Hollywood blockbusters really belong at Cannes? To see one at the festival, an event theoretically devoted to provocation and innovation and basically any kind of world cinema not processed for…

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‘Star Wars’: Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan On Why the Franchise Isn’t Ready for a ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ Tone

The long-time “Star Wars” scribe co-wrote the newest standalone film, but while he admires movies like “GOTG,” he doesn’t think it’s the right tone for his franchise.

In recent years, vast, interconnected, and constantly evolving cinematic universes have become some of the box office’s most reliable winners, capable of spawning sequel after sequel, remake after remake, all in hopes of snagging a dedicated audience who can’t stand to miss a single film. Look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which is now pushing up on 20 films told over a decade (total domestic take: over $6.5B), or the DC universe, which includes just five films so far, but already has over $1B in domestic dollars. Not even “Star Wars,” still one of the most popular cinematic series of all time, can escape the allure of the sprawling series.

And yet, even as the franchise continues to announce new offerings, from a new animated series from Dave Filoni to a steadily-growing selection of so-called standalone films, one thing sets it apart: an on-screen chronology that hasn’t wavered. While some aspects of the “Star Wars” canon, like “extended universe” novels and early comic books, have changed over the years (when the film series kicked off again with “The Force Awakens,” Lucasfilm was sure to announce what was and was not part of the new canon going forward), the first six films have always remained part of the official storyline.

That’s a rarity in the cinematic landscape, and while “Star Wars” is recasting roles in new standalone films like “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” the series is still maintaining the same continuity. This isn’t Marvel’s awkward handling of Spider-Man — three different stars, three different franchises, over the course of 15 years — and it’s the kind of thing even its biggest competitors aren’t always capable of doing.

That’s not going to change anytime soon, at least according to long-time franchise screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan. IndieWire recently asked Kasdan if he thought “Star Wars” would ever fall into the recasting and reworking cycle other franchises sometimes fall prey to, and he was philosophical, but firm. In short, is “Star Wars” ever going to start over from scratch?

“Well, you know, anything can happen,” Lawrence Kasdan said. “But I think it’s really a nice quality of ‘Star Wars,’ that if you lay out all the movies, you can put them firmly in one chronology.”

His co-writer (and son), Jonathan Kasdan, was equally sure it wouldn’t happen, even in a franchise-mad culture. “I think it’s part of [why] people who have enormous affection for this thing, or are passionate about it,” Jonathan Kasdan said. “I think that would be to go further than anyone would allow, to start rewriting history on that scale.”

“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

Lucasfilm

But does that mean that the series doesn’t have room for a canon film that’s tonally different than its predecessors? When Phil Lord and Chris Miller originally came on board to direct “Solo,” the expectation was that the comedic filmmakers would add a distinctly humorous flavor to the Alden Ehrenreich-starring prequel. A recent report from Wall Street Journal held that the pair were going for a “Guardians of the Galaxy” type vibe, one that was nixed when the pair were replaced by Ron Howard. The film still has moments of humor, but they’re similar to those that pepper the rest of the franchise.

Personally speaking, Lawrence Kasdan isn’t sold on the prospect of putting that kind of humor into the franchise. Asked if “Star Wars” might ever embrace a film like “Guardians of the Galaxy” or “Thor 3,” and he was clear: that’s not “Star Wars.”

“It may be that the times and the zeitgeist dictate that at some point. But we’re not at that point, in my mind,” Lawrence Kasdan. “And look, I’m about through with ‘Star Wars,’ so maybe other people [involved in the franchise] will feel differently. But, I love ‘Guardians of the Galaxy,’ and I like that kind of movie. To me, it isn’t what ‘Star Wars’ is.”

The elder Kasdan, who has written four “Star Wars” movies so far, isn’t totally ruling it out, however, because he dose realize that the franchise is now in the hands of other filmmakers who might have different ideas. He’s still expecting them to hold true to the franchise that they grew up loving, though.

“A lot of these guys are my friends, Rian [Johnson] and [David] Benioff and [D.B.] Weiss, these are people that I know and respect and they share an emotional connection to the saga,” Lawrence Kasdan said. “That doesn’t mean they’re going to make the movies just like the original movies, but it means that the spirit of the original movies impacted their lives. And I would expect that their movies would reflect that.”

Jonathan Kasdan is already seeing some evolutions throughout the series, and while “Star Wars” may never veer as wildly as some of its other franchise brethren, that doesn’t mean that anything is off the table.

“I admire the desire that Kathy [Kennedy] has, and that [franchise] filmmakers have, to push those boundaries, little by little, as they go,” Jonathan Kasdan said. “And I think Rian made bold decisions [in ‘The Last Jedi’], and Kathy will continue to encourage spreading of wings and stretching out in different directions. Where that will lead is very exciting, you know? As long as it’s good.”

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” will be released in theaters on May 25.

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‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Screenwriters On Potential Sequels and Designing a Script Full of ‘Possibilities For Future Adventures’

While Lucasfilm has yet to announce any official sequels to their latest standalone film, its writers get honest: they built this one as a starting point.

[Editor’s note: The following contains very light spoilers for “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”]

That’s the funny thing about prequels: you know where they’re going. Ron Howard’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story” may be set in the early years of beloved rogue and rascal Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich), but even the most casual of franchise fans is well-schooled on where Han’s later years take him, thanks to original star Harrison Ford’s appearance in four of the blockbuster hits.

That didn’t get in the way of screenwriters Lawrence and Jonathan Kasdan, the father-son duo behind the latest standalone film in the burgeoning franchise, who set about making a very different film than the others in the franchise (including those written by Lawrence himself, like “Return of the Jedi,” “The Empire Strikes Back,” and the recent “The Force Awakens”).

“When we sat down to write, it was with the idea that the movie would be unlike the other ‘Star Wars’ movies,” Lawrence Kasdan told IndieWire in a recent interview. “It’s not just that it’s a standalone — which is a business term to me — but that it’d be tonally and thematically different from the other movies.”

Set a decade before the events of “Star Wars: A New Hope,” the film follows Han’s early years, with special attention paid to some of the infamous events that have previously only been talked about in other films, like meeting his best pal Chewbacca, winning the vaunted Millennium Falcon in a card game, and earning his stripes as a smuggler to be reckoned with. While all those elements are familiar enough, “Solo” is still a very different take on “Star Wars” lore, one mostly free of many of the trappings expected of the franchise.

"Solo: A Star Wars Story"

“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

Lucasfilm

“There’s no Force, there’s barely an Empire,” Lawrence Kasdan said. “This is about people scrapping their way, people who essentially don’t have an identity when the movie starts. Han has no identity. And, he finds himself, begins to find himself, over the course of this movie. That is different from all the other ‘Star Wars’ movies.”

The film leaves plenty open at its conclusion, including a big nod to the presumed next adventure of Han and Chewie, one that will bring them into contact with another fearsome “Star Wars” villain (hint: think large). In a recent interview with Esquire, Ehrenreich let slip that he’s signed on for three movies, though the Kasdans caution against reading too much into that. More business terms and all.

“When they make a deal with someone like Alden, they protect themselves for that, because you know, you’re really screwed if you don’t have a deal with somebody like Alden, and you desperately do want a sequel,” Jonathan Kasdan. “It gives them enormous leverage. So, they make those deals inherently.”

While Lawrence Kasdan issued a “none” when asked if there were any current plans for more “Solo” movies, Jonathan Kasdan cut in with a lightly hedged answer.

“There are none, except that it’s something that we have talked about,” he said. “We did write a script that was designed to be pregnant with possibilities for future adventures, and we were adamant that this story take place at last 10 years earlier than ‘A New Hope.'”

A decade is a long time, and someone like Han could certainly get a lot done in that time, enough to turn him into the beloved figure fans first met in “A New Hope.” It may sound daunting, but the Kasdans seem to be inspired by the possibilities, and eager to see how a hero takes shape, albeit in reverse.

“We think there’s a lot of living that Han has to do before he can get to be that guy that Luke meets in Mos Eisley, and we’d love to see more stories,” Jonathan Kasdan said. “One of the most satisfying things for me about seeing the finished movie just the other day was a feeling that by the end of it, Alden has earned his bones as Han, in a beautiful way…I felt like the audience bought him and they were ready to keep going with him. I think that’s not such an easy achievement and I’d be very excited to see where it went now.”

“He’s great,” Lawrence Kasdan said of Ehrenreich. “And he caught the spirit [of Han], and that was all we were after.”

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” will be released in theaters on May 25.

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