“Solo: A Star Wars Story” elicits a lukewarm reaction
Star Wars fans hold their breath in disinterested anticipation of Disney’s take on the galaxy’s favorite smuggler. | Photo Courtesy of starwars.com
Disney has made its next big move in the Star Wars universe by dropping the first trailer for the Han Solo origin movie last Monday, and the general reaction has been mixed to confusion as to why they made this movie in the first place. Unfortunately, the entertainment leviathan has found its space opera franchise in troubled waters after the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” in December, which remains Disney’s most divisive flick by far. Make a light speed jump to today, and Disney is attempting to win fans back with a fresh and re-casted take on one of the most beloved fictional characters of all time—Han Solo. What could go wrong? As it turns out, a lot can go wrong. Take a look at the troubled history of “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”
Lucasfilm announced that comedic favorites Phil Lord and Christopher Miller would direct the anthology film. Lord and Miller made a name for themselves after directing hits such as “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” “21 Jump Street” and “The Lego Movie.” Bringing in Lord and Miller gave a fairly clear idea as to what the tone of their Star Wars film would be like—light, fun and full of witty quips.
Disney selected its directors, and then the daunting task of casting the iconic Harrison Ford’s replacement began. Fans waited with trepidation when rumor after rumor poured out. In January 2016, Variety released a shortlist of actors who Disney was considering. This list included names such as Miles Teller, Emory Cohen, Ansel Elgort, Blake Jenner, Dave Franco, Jack Reynor, Scott Eastwood and Logan Lerman. Shortly after, a relatively unknown name began to sweep the headlines when Lucasfilm announced that Alden Ehrenreich would play the galaxy’s favorite smuggler.
Filming began in January 2017 and seven months later, Lucasfilm, Lord and Miller announced that they were parting ways over creative differences—a polite way of saying they were fired. The main reason for the break up was a difference in vision. Lord and Miller wanted to deliver a comedic version of the story with a heavy amount of improv, while Lucasfilm wanted to maintain the more serious tone of Star Wars that stuck to the script. Rumors also came out that Ehrenreich, the film’s star was having trouble with the improv. Lucasfilm’s president Kathleen Kennedy reportedly hired an acting coach to assist Ehrenreich. All of these stories factored into a loose and comedic tone that Lucasfilm was not happy with, so they parted ways with their director and brought another well-regarded filmmaker—Ron Howard—to right the ship. Howard directed acclaimed films such as “Apollo 13,” “A Beautiful Mind” and “Rush.”
Howard began the cleanup work, and rumors that Howard reshot most of the film began to spread. More rumors came out saying that Disney has given up on “Solo” after “The Last Jedi” received a mixed fan reaction. All this has led to a highly skeptical reaction to the first trailer. Now, it is important to remember that these are rumors with little credibility, but it raises the importance of Disney making a quality film about the franchise’s most popular character. “Solo” will be Disney’s fourth Star Wars film, and “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi” have received mixed to negative reactions from fans—although critics have loved them. “Solo” represents a chance for Disney to prove a point and to win over the fans who remain unimpressed by their recent outings.