The Han Solo Film Adds Kevin Rubio's Tag and Bink
Tag and Bink are dead, but somehow, the lovable losers of the Star Wars universe have defied the odds once again and become the latest Legends to escape the Expanded Universe and join the post-Disney era of Lucasfilm. This unexpected piece of news was broken by Ron Howard, the director of the Han Solo film that is a mere 7 months away. Howard posted a picture on twitter of two Imperials from the movie with the caption #tagandbink?
#tagandbink ? pic.twitter.com/1EzUbS3MQs
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) October 14, 2017
Now, you may be asking: who the hell are Tag and Bink? Like all great stories, it starts twenty years ago, when a filmmaker named Kevin Rubio made a Star Wars comedy short called Troops. That was about a parody of both Cops and Fargo set within the first Star Wars movie as some dimwitted stormtroopers left chaos in their wake. Troops not only won a lot praise and awards, it led to Rubio writing a Tag and Bink comic book with artist Lucas Marangon.
As envisioned by Rubio, Tag Greenley and Bink Otauna were Rebel soldiers who bungled their way through the original trilogy and inadvertently explained some of the plotholes and inconsistencies. That are quite literally the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of the Star Wars universe, and even the name of the comic, Tag and Bink Are Dead, was directly lifted from Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, which chronicled the title characters stumbling through the events of Shakespeare's Hamlet.
Howard’s post could have easily been a joke, but Rubio posted his reaction to the news on twitter, and Han Solo co-writer Jon Kasdan not only confirmed the news, he revealed that he and Toby Hefferman were pictured in Howard’s tweet in-costume as Tag and Bink.
Thank You, Kevin. I'm a huge fan and I had to get 'em in there, and then had to play it myself (with Toby Hefferman) to do it justice
— Jon Kasdan (@JonKasdan) October 14, 2017
"I'm pleasantly surprised to count Jon Kasdan as one of my fans," Rubio told us, when reached for comment. "When you're tasked to write any story, you hope that it and the characters will be memorable and strike a chord in readers to make them want to revisit them again, and again. In this case it means that at least once in my career, I did my job well. Jon's dad was incredibly generous to me coming out of college and providing me with a leather bound first draft copy of Raiders of the Lost Ark, when I asked him about the mechanics of writing action for a screenplay. For that, and now *this* I will be forever grateful for the kindness and generosity of both Kasdans. And how cool is Ron Howard? Am I right?! He's the Howard Hawks of the 21st century. (Look it up, kids)."
This is a welcome return to be sure, but it does raise some questions about whether the live-action Tag and Bink are Imperial officers or simply impersonating them. Within the first Tag and Bink comic, both men were on Princess Leia’s starship at the beginning of A New Hope and they end up disguising themselves as stormtroopers to survive. After narrowly avoiding detection, they appeared to die in the Death Star’s destruction. But a follow up comic retconned their deaths so that they ultimately died on the second Death Star. Trust us when we say it’s a lot funnier than it sounds, and even the demise of Tag and Bink was treated like a grand cosmic farce.
Rubio later wrote Tag and Bink into the prequel trilogy era as a pair of inept Jedi trainees, who befriended Anakin Skywalker during his rise and fall from grace. They were even among the few to escape Order 66 when Anakin spared their lives, and they never actually became Jedi.
Tag and Bink are probably the last characters that we ever expected to see again, and it’s been over a decade since their last comic book story. About the only character less likely to reappear in Star Wars canon is the green space bunny, Jaxxon. It’s likely that Kasan and Hefferman’s Tag and Bink will be background players rather than major characters within the Han Solo film. Still, it should be really fun to see some of their misadventures realized onscreen when Han Solo is released on May 25, 2018.
Images: Dark Horse Comics/Lucasfilm