Solo: A Star Wars Story – Lightsaber Training with Ray Park + More!
Recently, I had the most epic day at the ABC Building in Burbank, CA. As a Star Wars fan, I was already excited to soon see Solo: A Star Wars Story again once it came out on Blu-Ray, but to make things even better I was able to attend a press day that included a sneak peek of some of the Solo: A Star Wars Story special features as well as….drumroll please….lightsaber training with Ray Park. Ray Park joined the cast of Solo: A Star Wars Story to reprise his role as Darth Maul. As any Star Wars fan knows that Darth Maul is famous for his double-sided lightsaber, so we were all thrilled when we saw Ray Park enter with a double-sided lightsaber to show us how to use a lightsaber!
Lightsaber Training with Ray Park!
He first showed us his amazing lightsaber-wielding skills, swinging the massive double-sided lightsaber so fast that you can hear a “whirring” sound – just pure excitement for us Star Wars geeks! It was an absolute treat to see Ray Park show us his lightsaber skills, which he then used to show us individually how to spin a lightsaber (let me tell you, it’s much harder than it looks, but Park was an amazing teacher).
He also told us about his martial arts training (which is how he was approached to audition for the role of Darth Maul). One of my favorite anecdotes he shared about landing the role of Darth Maul, was that since he was a gymnast his whole life, he could never have piercings. Finally when he was 22, he decided he wanted to rebel a little and get an ear piercing for the first time. Two days later, he heard he had an audition! He tried to cover up his earring for the audition, but George Lucas noticed it and asked “Is that an earring?” Park replied, “Yes, I just got it done, but in two weeks I can take it out so it won’t be a problem.” Then Lucas nodded and said, “You know, I think Darth Maul would have an earring.”
I just love hearing about fun and random character developments like that!
Solo: A Star Wars Story Bonus Features
We saw a sneak peek of some of the bonus features that Solo has to offer, and they are absolutely incredible! We took a look at Solo: The Director & Cast Roundtable, where the cast sat down with director Ron Howard and talked about how they told their families they landed a role in a Star Wars film, and how the public reacted once the casting announcements were released.
In the bonus feature Team Chewie, we get the inside scoop on the dedication and labor it takes to create a Chewie suit (his hairs are sewn in by hand!), and the physical challenges actor Joonas Suotamo had when putting on the Chewie suit. Particularly the mud pit scene was quite the challenge since it made the Chewie suit three times heavier than normal when caked in mud!
And there are some funny bonus feature moments, which show the film crew recording different animal noises to then morph them into Chewie’s growls, and some great deleted scenes (including an impromptu snowball fight).
You can find these and many other bonus features on the Blu-Ray and Digital HD! Solo: A Star Wars Story is now out on Digital HD, and will be available on Blu-Ray September 25th.