Heavy spoilers for Solo: A Star Wars Story ahead. You have been warned.
Breaking Solo Down
Yes, we know the narrative.
Solo: A Star Wars Story did not meet the expectations of box office experts:
Over the weekend, Director Ron Howard also addressed this storyline:
— Ron Howard (@RealRonHoward) May 27, 2018
And co-writer Jon Kasdan agreed and looked to change the narrative:
Look, "fell short of expectations" isn't what anyone hopes to hear in the bedroom or at the box office but, mostly, I'm just thrilled by the reaction to #Solo. And if ya want more #underworld stories, keep askin' Disney and Lucasfilm for 'em! Believe it or not, they listen.
— Jon Kasdan (@JonKasdan) May 30, 2018
Thankfully, there are a whole lot of folks who enjoyed the film. And the film’s box office take hasn’t kept those who love the Saga from breaking down each little detail. In fact, some of the work seen below — even from fans who aren’t convinced of Solo’s viability — shows how important the film might be to the overall canon and future storytelling.
Mr. Sunday Movies
My man doesn’t love the movie. Nevertheless, he breaks down the film.
Decent stuff, but some of this needs fact-checking with the Solo visual guide:
Flicks And The City
Nice work Jan! Glad you are back on the Star Wars beat.
Star Wars Explained on Solo
Alex, of course, doesn’t do anything halfway. His work should not be missed:
iO9: Solo Underperformance ≠ Dissonance of Dissatisfied Fans
Moving into some prose produced on Solo: A Star Wars Story, we find Charles Pulliam-Moore’s iO9 piece entitled, “Everyone Needs to Calm Down About Solo‘s Box Office Performance“:
[T]here’s this strange narrative that’s developing within certain corners of the Star Wars fandom that Solo’s underperformance is somehow directly related to dissatisfied fans who did not feel well-enough catered to by The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi. If you’re the sort of person who has issues with Rey’s parentage or Leia’s ability to use the Force, then there’s a very good chance that you’re into this idea of karmic, box office retribution. That’s… fine (if a bit self-aggrandizing), but the reality of the situation is that Disney’s probably not going to change much about its Star Wars plans going forward as a result of Solo’s box office performance.
Meanwhile, io9 also helps fans to figure out when and how exactly Darth Maul returns in Solo. James Whitbrook wrote:
Although Clone Wars came to an end before Sidious’ plans for Maul could be shown on screen, the gaps were filled in by both the Darth Maul: Son of Dathomir comic (one of the last Star Wars comics published by Dark Horse before Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm lead to the rights transferring over to Marvel, and adapted from a scrapped Clone Wars storyline) and the Ahsoka novel. The former sees Sidious successfully eradicate Talzin and the Nightsisters, leading to Maul fleeing once again back to his stronghold on Mandalore—only for the latter to see Ahsoka Tano joining Republic forces in the final days of the Clone Wars to help liberate the planet from Maul and his Shadow Collective, although Maul escaped…It is after these two stories that Maul’s Solo appearance lies.
Wrong about Solo?
Another interesting piece, this time from Whatculture.com and entitled, “11 Reasons You’re Wrong About Solo: A Star Wars Story – For a series that doesn’t care about odds, this film sure overcame them” said:
Solo doesn’t fall when it most matters. Instead, it makes the jump to hyperspace with a compelling narrative, some fantastic performances and an equally fantastic aesthetic spearheaded by Bradford Young. Yes, it might not reach the dizzying heights of Rogue One or The Last Jedi, but it is irresistible once it gets going, providing a trip to a galaxy far, far away that’s sure to provoke as much as it will excite.
My favorite reason? 4. Ehrenreich Completely Defied Expectation:
Ehrenreich silenced all his critics with a performance that not only deepened our understanding of Han Solo, but one that was compelling enough to sit alongside Ford’s too. It’s that good, and to that extent, Ehrenreich is probably the best thing about the film.
I agree. And so did Harrison Ford, as Variety’s Kristopher Tapley reported in his story, “Inside Solo: A Star Wars Story’s Bumpy Ride to the Big Screen“:
Howard and Ehrenreich note that Ford, who has seen the new film twice, adores it. He called Howard, glowing, after he saw it the first time.
“I had never heard Harrison effusive about anything, and he was raving about it,” Howard says. “He said, ‘Alden nailed it. He made it his own.’”
And now — beyond the negativity — Star Wars fans have to decide about the film on their own, too.