Welcome, readers, to another coffee-induced ranting episode of my column, where I excitedly yell all of my opinions into space and hope someone listens. In this episode, I’ve decided to talk about something that has been keeping me awake and making me slightly nervous. Yes, that’s right, I’m talking about “Solo” (2018), the next installment in the Star Wars anthology series.
I previously assured myself that this film will be fantastic and, truth be told, I still think it will be. I’m a firm believer that Disney and Lucasfilm won’t release a “bad” or “average” Star Wars film, especially not after reactions to “The Last Jedi” (2017) polarized the fan base. After that controversial and necessary shakeup in the Skywalker saga, “Solo” should be a play-it-safe move, with plenty of nostalgic moments, funny one-liners and Star Wars references.
Now, however, as the film begins its promotional work and tours, more behind-the-scenes drama is being revealed. Since the film’s co-directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, were fired last year by Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy, “Solo” has entered the hyperspace of rumors.
Supposedly, Kennedy fired Lord and Miller over “creative differences,” which came after the co-directors presented a rumored “unworkable” script and demanded around 30 takes per scene on filming days. A “Vulture” magazine article from last week presented information gathered from an anonymous actor on the set of “Solo,” who said the actors often expressed confusion about the large number of takes and felt like Lord and Miller were unsure of what they wanted from the scenes.
The source told “Vulture” that while Lord and Miller were good directors, “they weren’t prepared for Star Wars.” The source also claimed that Ron Howard, the director hired by Kennedy after Lord and Miller’s boot, was extremely efficient in filming, shooting around two to three takes per scene. I mean, Howard really didn’t have any choice but to be efficient, considering Lord and Miller had already shot around two-thirds of the film before Howard joined for reshoots.
Howard told Entertainment Weekly that “Phil and Chris’ fingerprints are all over the movie.” Their continued influence on the film was confirmed by the anonymous actor with “Vulture,” who said that Howard filmed from the same script Lord and Miller did. Furthermore, Howard supposedly used mostly parts from the whole sets Lord and Miller filmed with. To quote the actor, “Ron [Howard] is just using parts from those sets. I guess they’re not shooting wide angle. Maybe to save money.”
Needless to say, I am stressed. I don’t think anyone realized how deep these problems were, and after the fan hatred toward Alden Ehrenreich, who plays Han Solo in the film, I didn’t think the drama could get much worse. Nonetheless, I do think Disney will play it safe with this film. If “Solo” were that bad, I truly believe they would’ve pulled it, accepted the loss and regrouped. In spite of my worries, you’ll find me seeing “Solo” opening night with a cautiously excited expression on my face.
As always, email me your thoughts! May the Force be with you!