This Friday saw the release of another movie from the Star Wars franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story. The movie is a part of the anthology series that Lucasfilm has planned. This series would feature stand-alone movies that connect with the original trilogy. After the success of ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ Lucasfilms decided to continue with this series and went ahead with Solo, sure to see the success story repeat itself. However, the opening weekend box office returns for the movie seem to be vastly disappointing. It made a sum of 103 million dollars over a four day weekend, which is a lot of money for any other movie form any other franchise (with an exception of a few) but for a Star Wars movie, this is a huge setback.
The movie is about everyone’s beloved stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder, Han Solo from the original trilogy. The movie, overall, received above average reviews from the critiques and it also possessed the name power of the brand that is Star Wars. This should have, ideally pushed it over a sum of 150 million dollars, easily but it barely crossed the 100 million mark by the last day of a holiday weekend. Even with its set-backs in the production, the movie seemed to be a guaranteed success, so why did not make the money it should have? In my opinion, something about having a movie about Han Solo always sounded like a bad idea.
The main purpose of these anthology stories is to enhance the experience of the three original Star War movies. ‘Rogue One’ ended about 5 minutes before ‘The New Hope’ started and now, knowing what lead to the moment when princess Leia putting the plans of the Death Star in R2-D2, brings a new dimension and depth to the Moment. But this is mainly because; we never really knew what really lead to the story of The New Hope. The same logic cannot be applied to ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’. Han Solo is one of the most iconic characters in the history of cinema. The classic movies introduce us to the character brilliantly and give us plenty of time to understand the character and fall in love with him, which we all did. We got to hear great stories from his past like the race of the Castle Run and we accepted him as the charming scoundrel, played perfectly by Harrison Ford. Along with that the character got the perfect send off in ‘The Force Awakens’ as he is killed by his own son.
So now going back to the origin of the character, was an odd decision. Some have argued that the origin of Han Solo is so mysterious that it has a lot of story-telling opportunities. And even though I agree to the statement, I do not thing some stories should be explored. Sometime the mysteriousness of an object makes it more interesting that what it actually is. Another example of the same would be with the ‘Halloween’ franchise. The first movie established Michel Myers as a mysterious and scary killer, and we all loved it. But the sequels, tried to explore his back story and now all those movies are being treated as they never existed.
A mysterious origin of Han Solo was a huge advantage to the character as it allowed us, the audience, to imagine the epic scale of all the stories that we had heard in out head, which means that we had our own version of those events and that take the bar of expectations to the 11th cloud. So from the get go, the movie is already under a lot of pressure, which is never good.
Also, this movie was a bad idea from kits conceptualization because it has literally no consequences. It will not add to the original trilogy and it will have no effect on the new trilogy. So if a person is not the biggest fan of the franchise, he/she will have no reason to watch Solo amidst all the other awesome movies that are out now, including Deadpool 2 and Avengers: Infinity War.
Some might suggest that it is a little hypocritical to bash Solo when we all have been asking for an Obi Wan movie since forever. To that I say that, we do not know much about the journey Obi Wan Character after the prequel and before ‘The New Hope’. Getting to know that story will help us develop a deeper understanding of the character in Episode 4. So that story is not inconsequential.
In my opinion, Lucasfilm needs to reconsider their priorities regarding the anthology stories and give us stories that do not rely on nostalgia, instead they deeper our understanding of the characters in the current or the coming trilogies.