Flying Solo: Thoughts on Disney’s upcoming Han Solo spinoff film

These days, entertainment news seems to move at the speed of light; after a week, any announcement already feels like “old news.” Yet even though it may be a bit late to share a reaction to the release of the first Han Solo movie trailer, as a diehard Star Wars fan I couldn’t resist. ? I’ve actually been mulling over the trailer for the past week and I’ve finally decided how I feel about it. Overall, I’m cautiously optimistic for this film. I really don’t think that Disney *needed* to release a young Han Solo movie, and there are other spinoff topics I would have preferred. (Note to Disney: I still REALLY want a quasi-Western solo Obi-Wan film starring Ewan McGregor set in the desert of Tatooine!) However, the “Solo” trailer did make me more excited for this movie, and I do feel a lot more confident about it than I did before, even though I still have some reservations.

The Han Solo spinoff film has been famously troubled behind the scenes, which I think is one of the reasons fans have been skeptical about this film. The original directors — Phil Lord and Chris Miller, of “The Lego Movie” fame — were fired over alleged “creative differences” regarding the project, and Ron Howard was asked to step in. While this firing raised some concerns that Disney was being too controlling or manipulative, in an odd way the news of the firing actually made me more confident about the Han Solo film.

Some fans may disagree, but so far I’ve been very pleased with how Disney has handled Lucasfilm since they acquired the company. They’ve shown they care about the franchise and are willing to take creative risks, but they’re also careful not to damage the brand — at least in my opinion. As much as I loved “The Lego Movie,” if Lord and Miller’s approach wasn’t working for “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” I’m glad Disney stepped in and made a change. I’ve heard rumors that Lord and Miller were trying to make “Solo” too much of a comedy and were using a lot of improvisation. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that approach in film; it’s just not necessarily what I want from a Star Wars movie. I think Ron Howard will be able to capture the feel of classic Star Wars a little better.

That aside, the concern many fans still have is that Disney may have made the change too late. Will “Solo” end up as a cohesive, polished film, or will it feel rushed and choppy after all these shakeups and reshoots? I really wish Disney had pushed this movie back to November or December, instead of moving full speed ahead towards a summer release. However, in the end all the shakeups and skepticism and delayed advertising may work in the film’s favor, because people will probably be curious to see how it will all turn out. If it’s better than people expect, word of mouth is going to do a lot to boost this film.

I almost kinda wish Disney had given us JUST the 45-second Superbowl teaser we got in advance of the full trailer. It’s such a cool little teaser that offers just a hint of what we’re going to be seeing in the film. As many have said, modern trailers tend to reveal a little too much, taking away from some of the mystery of the final film. The teaser gives us just enough to speculate on. Still, there’s also some cool stuff to be seen in the full-length trailer.

I love how gritty and grimy the movie feels, with a similar look to “Rogue One” but with a little “Blade Runner” thrown in. I feel like all the new Disney Star Wars films have had really gorgeous cinematography and a nice blend of digital and practical effects and sets.

Of course, it’s going to be the characters who make or break this film, and in particular there’s a lot of pressure riding on Alden Ehrenreich as the young Han Solo. Harrison Ford is just so iconic in the role that it’s going to be tough seeing someone else play him. However, I intend to keep an open mind, and I’m rooting for him to succeed. I wanted to share the following image because this grin just FEELS like Han Solo to me. I also like the “It’s fine — we’re fine” moment from the trailer. And despite my initial feelings that we don’t *need* to see Han Solo’s origin story, I think this film could be an interesting opportunity to show how Han got to be so cynical and jaded by the time we meet him in “A New Hope.”

Donald Glover immediately feels perfect as Lando, and I can’t wait to see him in this movie. I actually wish this was a Lando spinoff film, with Han Solo as a side character, because we don’t know as much about Lando and there could be lots of opportunities to expand that character. Hopefully he’ll have a sizable role in this film. And I just love Woody Harrelson in whatever he’s in and I am excited to see him join the Star Wars franchise. I’m pretty sure Emilia Clarke’s character is gonna break Han Solo’s heart, either by dying or betraying him. Also, it’s always good to see Chewbacca again.

So, in the end, I’m looking forward to “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” Maybe it will turn out to be a train wreck and Disney will have to do some soul-searching about these spinoff films. But for whatever reason, I’ve got a good feeling about this. I don’t know if I’ll like it as much as “Rogue One” or Episodes VII and VIII, but I think it will be a fun time at the theater.

So, what do you think? Are you excited for “Solo: A Star Wars Story”? Why or why not?

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