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It’s not a million light years away from the kind of gig you’d imagine Timothy Zahn concocting. Han, Lando, Chewie and a gaggle of underworld types, all scrabbling for a living and making the best out of bad situations. Scoundrels, in Leia’s memorable words.

EW continue their most generous barrage of fascinating content as they focus on Becket, Val and Vos – aka Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton and Paul Bettany.

Tobias Beckett

“Well, he really shapes Han really more than anybody, as Han comes to realize that in a lawless time he needs to try to come to terms with some kind of moral code,” says director Ron Howard.

Screenwriters Lawrence and Jon Kasdan both re-read Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island before diving into the script, looking to create a similar mentor/apprentice relationship to the pirate Long John Silver and young Jim Hawkins.

In that story, Silver was a scoundrel who had been around nefarious circles for a while, but without any great success to his name.

“He is a very tough criminal,” Lawrence Kasdan says of Beckett. “And, as you might think with Woody, who has enormous humanity, it’s not just that.”

Howard says Beckett is “such a charismatic character.” And he does have a soft spot, choosing not to end this wannabe smuggler to tries to ingratiate himself.

“Han sort of forces himself into Woody’s life,” Lawrence Kasdan says. “It starts a relationship that has enormous impact on what kind of person Han will be.”