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‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Is Almost Done, But Will It Be Any Good?

Star Wars was a great movie, and it launched a generation of fans for whom Star Wars was almost a religion. It also spawned two sequels which became as beloved as the original movie. And for nearly twenty years, fans wanted more Star Wars. The universe Lucas created, where space wizards with laser swords fought pitched battles of good vs evil using a mystical force that touches everything in the universe, was as big a reason for the success of Star Wars as the plot of the movies themselves.

Eventually, Lucas gave fans the thing they’d been salivating for those two long decades, a second Star Wars trilogy, and fans quickly learned to be careful what they wish for. To say that the Star Wars prequels, starting with 1999’s The Phantom Menace, were poorly received is an understatement. The movies weren’t just bad, they actually made the universe the original trilogy created worse for having watched them. Fans hated it, and Lucas was done with Star Wars. So done that he sold it to Disney and said “have at it, Hoss, you deal with these fans and their unreasonable expectations that movies be good.”

Disney did exactly what you’d think Disney would do with the rights to Star Wars, which is to immediately set out to create enough Star Wars movies that even the most hardcore Star Wars fan would be sick of them. And boy howdy have they done that. The first two Disney-produced Star Wars movies had a real “been there, done that” feel to them, with The Force Awakens mostly retreading the ground the original Star Wars had trod, without the wonder hat comes from seeing it for the first time. Ditto Rogue One for anyone who had seen The Dirty Dozen.

Then came Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which under-performed box office expectations and got a mixed reception from fans. If nothing else, it was interesting in that the main plot was essentially that Luke Skywalker had watched the prequel trilogy and decided to throw out all his Star Wars toys because they were just so terrible they ruined the whole franchise for him. A lot of people can relate to that sentiment, if nothing else.

That brings us to Solo, the troubled production which will tell the story of Han Solo as a young man. It’s already on shaky ground with me because apparently they’re going to spend a good deal of screen time explaining that George Lucas wasn’t an idiot who didn’t know that a “parsec” is a measure of distance and not time by showing Han Solo making the Kessel Run, something that kept me awake at night. Maybe the rumored Obi-Wan movie can spend an hour of screen time explaining why he called Vader “Darth” like it was his first name before Lucas decided it wasn’t actually his real name instead of telling a good story.

Vulture ran down the problems Solo had behind the scenes, aside from the highly publicized departure of directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, who were replaced by Ron Howard, which isn’t a good sign. Another bad sign is that Miller and Lord had no problem with Disney taking their names off the project even though most of production was finished when they left and Howard was essentially just doing re-shoots. Sure, it seems like them being magnanimous, but it also screams “this piece of shit is all on you now, bro.”

Howard wasn’t even brought in to film rewritten scenes, he’s just refilming shots Miller and Lord already got.

The additional photography on Solo is said to consist of scene-for-scene do-overs of things previously shot. “It’s exactly the same script. They’re filming exactly the same things. There’s nothing new,” says the actor, adding: “[Lord and Miller] used whole sets. But Ron is just using parts from those sets. I guess they’re not shooting wide angle. Maybe to save money.”

On top of that, Alden Ehrenreich, who is playing Han Solo and upon whom the success of the movie almost entirely rides on (unless Donald Glover’s performance as Lando can carry everyone else, which is a real possibility if you’ve ever seen Community), needed an acting coach because he couldn’t act like Han Solo.

In March 2017 the studio took the nearly unprecedented move of hiring an acting coach to help star Alden Ehrenreich more convincingly channel Ford’s swashbuckling affect in the original three Star Wars movies. “Trying to mimic Harrison Ford is really tough,” our source says. “Lucasfilm wanted something very specific: copying someone else. Alden’s not a bad actor — just not good enough.”

Having an on-set acting instructor may have assailed Ehrenreich’s sense of pride, but it almost immediately made an impact on his line delivery. “You could see his acting became more relaxed. He became more Harrison-like,” our source says. “The coach helped!”

Wow. Look, I love Star Wars as much as the next guy whose early masturbatory experiences revolved entirely around Carrie Fisher in that gold bikini, but I’m starting to think Star Wars isn’t all it’s cracked up to be as a film franchise. The potential is there, but not even George Lucas, the man who created the galaxy far, far away the movies take place in, could get more than three good movies out of it. And even then it’s more like two and a half. It might just be time to say goodbye to Star Wars and let someone with a vision create a new world to bring the imagination of a new generation to life.

Just kidding, everyone go see Ready Player One, a mishmash of pop culture references from when the guy writing Ready Player One was a kid, that’s what movies are now.

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