Variety had the scoop of the day with news that Woody Harrelson is in early talks to star in the Han Solo Star Wars Story film set to be released in May 2018. The story states Harrelson's character would be a mentor to the young Han Solo played by Alden Ehrenreich. This news leads me to speculate what type of mentor Harrelson character will be, and what role he will play in the story.
My first gut instinct in hearing Han Solo has a mentor, is why? Wasn't the cool smuggler born with the inherent self confidence and charm we see as he comes onto the screen in Star Wars Episode Four A New Hope? I do think we will still see the brash smooth talker, but contrasted with a mentor who is an old grizzled smuggler who is tries urge caution to a young Han.
I envision a character who knows how to get by in the universe. A grinder who has a ship and plays it safe. He likes the brash Han and lets him and his Wookie friend work on his crew. This or Han in a brash attempt frees a Chewbacca while working with the mentor character. Han for his part might resent the safe nature the mentor character always takes, and thinks he should take more chances to make money faster. An example would be Harrelson's character cautions Han on taking jobs with Hutts, but in the end Han doesn't listen.
Harrelson is a fantastic actor and I can see him playing a smuggler or even just a normal freighter pilot who keeps his head down to get by. He likes the brash kid, but also wants to direct him down a safe path. Maybe this won't be the case, and the mentor will be like Hondo in Guardians of the Galaxy and direct Han down a more dangerous dubious path. Woody has definitely played these types of characters before, but I'm hoping for a more subdued role from him in Star Wars.
This of course is all very early, and maybe Woody Harrelson won't even get the role. Adding talent to a project is never a bad thing, and the cast for the young Han Solo film is shaping up with some amazing talent.
Comment and let me know what type of mentor you want Woody to play in the Han Solo movie.