Star Wars is one of the biggest franchises in the word of movies. It has a following like no other and every time it comes out with a movie, good or bad, people have been known to flock around the theaters. The only exception to this is their latest release ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’. The movie is an anthology story about the origin of one of the most beloved scoundrels in the history of movies, Han Solo. The film was originally set to be directed by the director duo that gave us the Lego Movie, Chris Miller and Phil Lord. However, towards the end of the principle photography, both of them exited the project and Ron Howard took over, but this is only one of the many reasons that this movie has had such disappointing returns. Here are some of the probable causes for the failure of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Harrison Ford Is Han Solo
Solo is a story that shows how Han Solo became a legend in the galaxy far far away, before we met him in ‘The New Hope’. Harrison Ford Being too old to play the character, the character had to be recast, and the role went to Alden Ehrenreich, who by the way is a phenomenal actor, but no one can really replace Harrison Ford as Han. The casting choise saw some backlash from the very beginning but then we started to get reports that Alden required an acting coach for this role. Such worries kept the production in a questionable position from the very beginning.
Ron Howard as Director of Solo
It is one thing to change the directors of a movie before or during the pre-production process due to creative differences. The situation is a lot more serious when the directors are changed when the principal photography is in the final stage. It is not a good sign for the production if the studio is having creative differences right before the post production process is about to begin. This is a major miss step from Lucasfilm, and raises a lot of questions towards them like, are they too stubborn about their stories and want to give very less creative freedom to the directors, or are they playing too safe and do not want to take any risk in a franchise that was built on taking risk and trying new things. If the reports are to be believed, more than 70% of the film was reshot which exponentially raised the budget of the film, already pegging it towards a slimmer profit margin, if any.
It would not be an understatement to say that the this was a huge misstep by the marketing department for Solo. The first trailer for the move dropped about 1 or 2 months before the release of the movie, and to top that the first teaser was not even that good. Then the second trailer was highly appreciated but then the posters of the movie got in the hot waters for plagiarism. Unlike Rogue One, the marketing of solo was not able to excite the fans enough to fill the theaters on a long holiday weekend.
The Original Star Wars trilogy was released in the summers and it worked wonders for them, but the landscape for summer movies was very different at the time. Now is a time when the quintessential summer blockbuster movies can be released all year long. Black Panther got a February release and the movie almost broke all superhero movie records. Thor: Ragnarok got a November release and did exceptionally well at the theaters. As for Star Wars, a December release had been doing wonders for their films. But they decided to put Solo right in the middle of the summer season, which in my opinion was a huge mistake. Summers are loaded with so many high octane blockbuster films already and above that the movie had to follow the release of Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2. Where as in December the movie would have had a lot less competition and the feel of Star Wars is almost like holiday season. I hope the other movies from this franchise will stay in December.
The origin story of Han Solo is inconsequential. It is a story about a character that we know very well and is not dead. So aside from the hardcore fans the regular fans had very less motivation to watch this movie. If we take an example of a marvel movie, each movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is its individual story but somehow furthers the over arcing story. However in solo, we all know what this story will lead to and what will happen to the character. There would be no point in falling in love with the new characters as they will play no part in the future stories, and the character himself is not dead so nothing in this movie will have any sort of consequence. all that this entire movie had to offer was nostalgic moments and some fun sequences, which in my opinion are not enough to earn the kind of money a Star Wars movie is expected to make.
Still from Solo
In order to keep making huge profits from the Star Wars franchise, Lucasfilms will have to make some changes in their planning. They will have to put more trust in their directors, have a better marketing campaign, have a better planning of the overall stories that it wants to tell and keep its movies in the holiday season. Star Wars has the biggest and arguable the most passionate fans who are willing to stand by their movie, provided they are given quality stories and a jolly fun time at the theater.