Star Wars: Solo and Beyond

For many ardent Star Wars fans, the mere idea of Han Solo origin story Solo: A Star Wars Story was a misguided plan on Lucasfilm and Disney’s part. It’s never easy to portray a well-liked character in their younger days with a different actor, and that’s even harder when it’s someone as liked as Han, played by an actor as uniquely charismatic as Harrison Ford. Though some fans can get a little crazy, there’s reason for panic here considering the franchise doesn’t have the best record with portraying younger versions of popular characters. We don’t need another example.

It didn’t project confidence when directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were removed from its production last June, as it’s rarely a good sign when heads of a team are replaced so late in a movie’s creation. Replacement Ron Howard has a good track record, but whether he can assemble the film he wants in under a year remains to be determined. The movie being called “Solo: A Star Wars Story” also didn’t help because of how corny it sounds.

Plenty of pressure was on the shoulders of the teaser, which the fanbase would justifiably use to see if it’s something actually worth getting excited for; that, or it would hint that the final film will confirm their worst fears. The reaction from the trailer is a mixture of the two, as the scenes shown were a mixed bag in terms of quality.

Some parts look impressive. The environments and aesthetics are good, the kind you’d expect in an origin story for a bounty hunter in the Star Wars universe. But the most memorable parts of the trailer are for the non-Han Solo actors. Donald Glover looks fantastic as Lando Calrissian, to the point that maybe the movie should have been a Lando origin story. The same goes for Emilia Clarke as Qi’Ra, especially in the promotional poster.

Unfortunately, Alden Ehrenreich doesn’t quite live up to Han Solo from the scenes in the teaser. Upon seeing it, I couldn’t help but think it would have been a better idea for the producers to make this movie about another bounty hunter, so it wouldn’t invite these kinds of unflattering comparisons off the bat. Harrison Ford has unique verbal tics and body language that are tough for other actors to nail, and Ehrenreich comes off more as a bounty hunter that wants to live up to the legend of Han Solo rather than the authentic thing here. His entire performance can’t be judged from these snippets, but for trailers, it’s typically ideal to put the best foot forward.

Solo is due to arrive in theaters on May 25th, meaning there won’t be much time for more trailers in a little over the next three months. This will also be the first Disney Star Wars film not to be delayed from spring to the fall, which means it will be coming quickly after The Last Jedi hit theaters in December. It feels like this movie could be buried as a result of temporary fatigue, and given how its marketing hasn’t been on par with previous films thus far, I hope that’s not what they’re counting on. It would be best for everyone if this turns out to be surprisingly good.

There’s a lot of Star Wars content coming soon, which shows how big of a cash cow Disney knows this franchise is. Another trilogy by The Last Jedi director Rian Johnson was previously announced, along with a new TV show that will launch on Disney’s streaming network in 2019, and a new animated series. The current animated series, Rebels, will return to Disney XD on February 19th, to air the remainder of its final season. As it turns out, Disney is planning even more content beyond what was already known.

It was confirmed that yet another movie series is coming, this time from Game of Thrones TV series creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. This one will be separate from the Skywalker Saga, which will conclude with Episode IX in 2019, and the aforementioned trilogy from Johnson. No info was provided on what this will be about or when it will start. With GoT wrapping up with its final six-episode season next year, it could begin in 2020, which could put those wishes of an Obi-Wan Kenobi spinoff starring Ewan McGregor in danger.

Details about the live-action TV series should come later this year, since it’s planned to air sometime in 2019. Further info for the new movies will likely wait until Episode IX is closer to release.

There’s a lot of Star Wars coming in the near future, to the point that I can’t see how we won’t reach the oversaturation point in the next few years. To prevent that, Disney will have to make sure each movie series and the TV shows feel as distinct from each other as they can, which could happen if they’re set in different eras and focus on different factions and races. Whether that will happen is anyone’s guess, but it would be best if they didn’t drive this money truck right off the cliff.

Leave a Reply