By: Hawk Ripjaw –
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Nothing builds intrigue and suspense for a movie’s release like behind-the-scenes drama.
I have to wonder what exactly the hell Kathleen Kennedy was thinking when she hired Phil Lord and Chris Miller to direct Solo. Dominating Lucasfilm with the iron grip of Grand Moff Tarkin, Kennedy is infamous for her intolerance for insubordination. So you would think that a pair of directors who keep the number of cameras low and the number of improvised lines high might not be the best choice for a studio-dominated franchise tentpole. It is common knowledge that Lord and Miller really, really like having their actors just start saying shit and using the funniest lines in the final cut, so it seems obvious that their Solo would be a wacky adventure bordering on spoof.
I spent a lot of time wondering what the thought process was behind having such freewheeling directors behind such a tightly-controlled franchise–Kennedy is, again, a producer that you fuck with exactly one time before it’s the last fuck you ever make as a filmmaker for Lucasfilm. But then I remembered that Disney’s revival of Star Wars has been mired in multiple weird roadblocks, like Colin Trevorrow being fired from The Last Jedi after turning into a huge prick that thought he was better than Kennedy (although I prefer the rumor that she hated The Book of Henry so, so, furiously much that he fired him for that). Or Gareth Edwards being quietly replaced by Tony Gilroy for reshoots that the entire cast tried to shrug off.
Variety has a really cool story on the making of the film, shedding more light on the actual production and revealing some interesting things: for starters, it seems that Lord and Miller did precisely what everyone suspected would happen and later knew had happened: they experimented too much and their boss did the thing that she was known for. Secondly, Michael K. Williams was originally going to be the villain! Now it will be impossible to not wish for what could have been. The replacement choice of Ron Howard feels disappointingly safe–someone who will follow Lucasfilm’s instructions to the letter, and make a decidedly less interesting movie as a result.
As it stands, this trailer is decent enough, besides the weirdly cut dialogue, and cliche-sounding plot, unnatural-looking acting from Alden Ehrenreich, and the real lack of any significant reason to show us a Han Solo origin movie. But Donald Glover as Lando is worth a ticket purchase on his own, and come on–it can’t be worse than Attack of the Clones, right?
I don’t have the energy to have any sort of strong opinion on how this will turn out.