During the time of Solo: A Star Wars Story, everyone either judged it too harshly or refused to see it, and I’d like to say that was a mistake, because Solo is fun. The problem that made it a “flop” stems more from the fact that the movie was mired in budget problems due to reshoots and a change of direction partway through filming. So, even if Solo didn’t lose money, it took a great deal to break even on the money spent on the film. It’s rumored that the film cost $275 million to make and only grossed $392.9 million worldwide.
But, as Solo cowriter Lawrence Kasdan (yes, that one, who wrote Empire Strikes Back and more) points out: It is most definitely Disney who is to blame for the failure of the standalone film. At the Austin Film Festival, Kasdan spoke about the film, stating, “Then the studio blew it. But that’s not unusual.”
It’s not surprising that Kasdan puts the blame on the studio rather than on the actual quality of the film, not only because he cowrote it, but because Solo is great—maybe better than even The Force Awakens (which grossed over $2 billion worldwide).
I think the best way to express how surprising Solo is would be to look at my own feelings about the movie before it came out. With rumors of the cast being told to use improv and Philip Lord and Christopher Miller (of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse fame) being fired, it seemed as if this movie was doomed from the start. Even with Ron Howard taking over and getting advice from Geroge Lucas, I still had my reservations because Chewbacca and Han Solo are my favorite Star Wars characters.
But then, my fears vanished when my disaster fave who can’t flirt with a girl to save his life continued his trend of hopelessly following around a girl like a puppy and met his best friend, Chewbacca, when Chewie was supposed to eat him. The movie is filled with incredible performances by Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and even Woody Harrelson. Solo brought to life a world we didn’t think we needed to see and gave us the dawning of the friendship between Han Solo and Chewie.
Does Solo have problems? Of course it does, but fans love it. That much was made clear when the hashtag #MakeSolo2 trended on Twitter this year. All I’m saying is that, when it comes to the world of Star Wars, Solo: A Star Wars Story was a movie most of us thought was unnecessary, but if we all gave it a chance, we could have made it a success. Alden Ehrenreich brought a beautiful new layer to Han Solo, and he was so good that I learned how to spell Ehrenreich, and I feel like I should get an award for that.
If you haven’t seen Solo, please do. Please come love it with me.
(via Syfy, image: Lucasfilm)
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