Han Solo and Turkish Star Wars
Since the first Star Wars appeared in theatres in 1977, it has continued influence popular culture in ways never seen before. Over the last 40 years, it has earned its own special day (May 4th), Jediism has become a religion, and since Star Wars became a Disney franchise, there has been an explosion of new films, books, and comic books.
This week, the first film of a new trilogy focusing on the backstory of Han Solo was released, called Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Han Solo is one of the most interesting characters in the Star Wars universe. One important reason for this is that the creator of the series, George Lucas, made some major changes to the story in later re-makes of the film. The best-known of these changes is that in the first scene where Han Solo appears in the original version, Han is arguing with Greedo, a bounty hunter, and he shoots him before Greedo fires his gun. This scene, called the “Han shot first” scene, was changed in the re-make to make Greedo the one who shot first.
Han essentially is someone who is only interested in making money and looking out for himself. He travels from planet to planet smuggling stolen goods, and he is an anti-hero who enjoys risking his life. He’s never really been a part of the Empire, but instead joins the Resistance. In this new Han Solo film, we learn why.
The new film tells about the places where Han grew up and the events that shaped his personality. We learn about how he met Chewbacca, who never leaves his side, and most importantly, we find out how he won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian.
Solo is the first film in this chronological series. It tries to answer most of our questions about Han, and it’s usually very balanced. However, it doesn’t really explain certain details, like why Han is so reckless and ill-tempered. Fans are likely to find this film better than The Last Jedi but not as good as Rogue One. Throughout the two-hour film, audiences won’t see many surprises, and the film goes by the rules.
Another important element of the film is Donald Glover playing the role of Lando. Lando’s character is as interesting as Han’s, and not although it’s not nearly enough, we eventually do learn some more about him. We also learn more about his friendship with Han and how that intriguing chemistry evolved, and at one point, you’ll even wish Lando had a bigger part in the screenplay.
After the success of Star Wars, many countries around the world made their own movies based around the same idea. Most of them are low-budget science fiction movies that never got very popular except for the ones that were made for children.
The 1982 movie Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam (The Man Who Saved the World) is slightly more well-known by those who are interested in the topic. This film, generally known abroad as “Turkish Star Wars,” has reached the point where there are very few Star Wars fans who haven’t seen it, and in early May of this year, a high-resolution version of it was screened in England.
Starring Cüneyt Arkın and Aytekin Akkaya, no one would have even known about Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam if some unfortunate events hadn’t occurred. After the 1980 military coup, director Çetin İnanç thought science fiction wouldn’t be a type of film that could cause problems with the government, but science fiction movies were very expensive to make. The filmmaker built a set and three model spaceships in Kilyos, which cost a good deal of money for that time, but the set was destroyed in a storm.
Besides this, İnanç snuck into movie theatres at night to make his own copies of A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back, which he later used for the outer space scenes in his movie. The soundtrack is mostly lifted from Indiana Jones.
In Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam, there is a shield made from human brain matter and human willpower that protects the world from the attacks of an unknown force. The evil Emperor, who cannot penetrate this shield, finally decides he needs a real human brain to do it. At that moment, Murat (played by Arkın) and Ali (played by Akkaya) crash land their spaceships on an unknown planet, and it turns out it was the Emperor who made them crash so he could take their brains.
Even though the space scenes are stolen from other films, the costumes are hilarious, and the plot is absurd, Dünyayı Kurtaran Adam earned an interesting reputation within just a few years and remains a cult classic today.
A sequel was made, called Dünyayı Kurtaran Adamın Oğlu (Son of the Man Who Saved the World), that tried to cash in on the reputation of the first film, but it never achieved the success of the original. Looking at the two films, the younger Arkın as Murat looks a lot like Luke Skywalker, and while his character in the first film bears more resemblance to Han Solo, in time he starts to be more like Luke.
In the film Solo, we can see that Han, like Murat, is good and helpful, and we understand that Han started to care only about himself after all that he experienced as a youth. Murat, however, is a grown man, and so he does not deviate from his path no matter what challenges life throws at him.
Looking at the Star Wars books, cartoons, and comic books, it’s evident that they don’t just repeat the stories in the films—they have expanded into the events of the entire galaxy. For this reason, whatever happens after Disney’s story of Skywalker is important, but the fact remains that Battle of Yavin is one of the most important events in the history of Star Wars. For those not in the know, the war at the end of A New Hope where they annihilate the Death Star is called the Battle of Yavin.
Now, everyone is wondering who will be in the future installments of the Solo film—will it be Obi-Wan Kenobi, Lando Calrissian, or Boba Fett the bounty hunter? Of course, we know that Disney and Lucas Film are capable of creating surprising, breakthrough stories like Rogue One. Still, if they want to make fans of the series truly happy, they have to remember to break the rules.