The maligned Solo: A Star Wars Story didn’t do so hot during its Memorial Day opening weekend, which stinks if you saw the film and realized how entertaining it is. I’ll be the first to admit that I wasn’t too high on Solo during its tumultuous development, and I even questioned its merits after seeing the first few trailers, but after taking in two screenings last week, I’m happy to report that I was very wrong in terms of the film’s ability to be entertaining, as well as its lead actor’s ability to, well, act. Solo is a very solid Star Wars film that is just fun to watch, and based on the narrative threads it introduces, there is no doubt that there are plans for sequels, but those could now very well be scrapped, which kind of sucks for people like me who are down for these non-Skywalker Star Wars movies.
As a lifelong Star Wars fan I really do find it hard to believe that someone who has dedicated their life to all things Star Wars won’t enjoy this film if they go see it. It’s okay to be angry at Star Wars if The Last Jedi bummed you out, but as with most things in life you should experience Solo for yourself before casting it aside as some worthless pile of junk. Don’t let the critics, or the trolls sway your opinion on this film without seeing it first. If you see it and you hate it, then so be it, I’m completely fine with that approach, but when people start shitting on a movie as if they’ve seen it themselves even though they haven’t, I just can’t buy those arguments.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that fans that were skeptical of the film went out to see it, because Solo only pulled in $168 million worldwide over Memorial Day weekend, which came in under projections. Considering that the movie cost $250 million to make, its opening haul is a punch to the Mouse’s gut, which may in turn fundamentally change any future plans for the Solo franchise, as well as plans for other standalone Star Wars films.
I’m not sure exactly why Solo underperformed, but there are variables that are easy to highlight as being big reasons why it had a soft launch. For starters, releasing it six months after The Last Jedi probably didn’t help. The fan backlash from that film is still fresh, which probably amped up the troll movement to shit on Solo just to shit on it because they’re unhappy with how Disney has been handling the Star Wars license. I’ve always thought that the powers-at-be should have pushed the film until December 2018, which would have allowed for more time in between Star Wars movies to give fans a breather and possibly enough time to get over their Last Jedi conundrums.
Maybe it didn’t perform well because of the stinky aura that surrounded its production. I mean we had a Director change, as well as rumors that Alden couldn’t act his way out of a paper bag, plus don’t forget we didn’t even get a trailer until nearly three months from the film’s release. Although, all of these predicaments could still be alleviated by just going to see the movie, so I don’t think these factors played too heavily into Solo’s poor opening weekend.
There’s also the idea that taking on a major Star Wars character from the Skywalker films is just too sacred. I can sort of buy this argument, and I questioned the idea of a young Han movie from day one, but again, after seeing it I’m a true believer now, so like the argument above, I do believe if a Star Wars fan just goes to see Solo they will enjoy it. I know that’s a huge reach, mostly because of how toxic Star Wars fandom has become since Disney taking over, but I do believe that Solo is a fine Star Wars film, and I would love to watch a sequel or two.
Sadly, I don’t know if we will ever get the Solo sequels now unless it starts to take off thanks to word-of-mouth reviews. That’s a damn shame too, because there are plenty of plot threads that had their seeds planted in Solo that could be paid off on in sequels, but with the paltry opening weekend haul it took in, I fear the Disney suits will now temper, or shut down future Solo projects, as well as other non-Skywalker projects. I’m sure some of you are smiling over the news of this film’s stumble, which I’ll never understand because Disney Star Wars is better than no Star Wars at all, but that’s your right, just don’t try to spread your hate my way.
Here’s to holding onto a sliver of hope that we will see more young Han, but I fear the damage is done and this franchise is unfortunately dead on arrival.
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