I must admit, I have been pleasantly surprised by the recent Star Wars movies since the Disney take over. I was expecting Disney to completely ruin everything right off the bat, and so far, they have avoided total disaster, even if the new movies have their fair share of issues.
I fear this may change soon with the impending “Solo: A Star Wars Movie” train wreck. Watching trailers for the new movie is like watching a mushroom cloud spelling certain doom. The lead actor, Alden Ehrenreich, hardly resembles a young Han Solo, and his performance was apparently so bad the studio hired an acting coach for him. This raises the question of why he was hired in the first place, but even if the acting coach pulls a miracle, the movie still looks lifeless. Based on the trailers, it appears the movie will cover Han’s first encounter with Lando, taking the Falcon from him, and the Kessel Run. It is quite plausible to assume that he may well be meeting Chewbacca for the first time. So, all of the key moments we learn about Han’s past in the original movies will be explained in a film that takes place across a few weeks in the universe.
Why exactly do we need this movie then? Why not write a story that expands on a lesser known part of the Star Wars universe or even a completely separate part altogether? So far, the movies are largely piggy-backing off the original movies for ideas. We have movies that focus on the Death Star plans and the First Order, essentially The Evil Empire version 2.0 with an even bigger superweapon that literally eats stars and kills solar systems.
Therein lies the real sin of this impending disaster. This would not be the first time bad acting or writing ruined a Star Wars movie; George Lucas’s prequel trilogy was essentially a well-intentioned storyline with poor acting, lousy dialogue, and an over usage of CGI. However, Lucas’ films were trying new ideas, even if some of those ideas resulted in abject horrors like Jar Jar Binks and Midichlorians. There is some evidence of what Lucas was trying to accomplish, and in the right hands, this could be done beautifully. This was apparent in “The Clone Wars” where his ideas were handled by capable writers and resulted in an actual quality product that helped expand the universe of the Prequel Trilogy era and connected the movies together meaningfully.
“Solo,” on the other hand, does not appear to have many positives other than the casting of Donald Glover as young Lando. Ehrenreich is unconvincing as Han Solo while the plot appears to be merely explaining every interesting tidbit about Han’s past in as short a timeframe as possible. Terrible decisions, terrible performances, and a lack of interesting ideas may well make this movie the worst Star Wars movie to date. Disney has so far relied on competent acting and directing to overcome the lack of genuinely unique ideas. Losing that means losing the one thing the new Star Wars movies had going for them. It is hard to see “Solo” as anything other than Disney’s lack of originality combined with utterly shambolic execution. I hold little hope for this film.
This should not be a surprise. Sooner or later they were going to falter and release an absolute mess of a movie. It is a shame that they could not at least try to make something original for once. I would rather that Disney took risks and failed rather than churning out bland stories and hoping that the performances on-screen save them.