Star Wars: Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow has offered his defense for Lucasfilm's troubled young Han Solo spinoff movie. The second anthology film set in a galaxy far, far away went through an unprecedented shakeup recently, as original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired four months into production following creative differences. Ron Howard swiftly came in to steady the ship, but the change raised serious questions about Han Solo's potential quality and Lucasfilm's vision for the standalone films. Details like the last-minute hiring of an acting coach for Alden Ehrenreich made several uneasy, and not much in the way of damage control was done at D23.
Thanks to Howard's social media activity, fans know that production on Han Solo is back in full swing and (presumably) running smoothly, but that arguably hasn't been enough to quell some of the lingering doubts that remain. Woody Harrelson, who plays Han's mentor Beckett, has assured everyone the Force is still with the movie, and now another member of the Lucasfilm family has offered his words of support.
In an interview with THR, Trevorrow commented on the Han Solo kerfuffle, promising viewers that the creative team is fully committed to making a high-quality movie for audiences to enjoy next summer:
"Movies are very personal, and art is very personal, and for people to try to turn that into something that is salacious or something that will get clicks is frustrating and sad for me because I know that [movies] mean a lot to everyone involved. And everybody involved in that movie is passionate about it and worked on it very hard and continues to work on it very hard."
While dismissing two fan-favorite directors with three weeks left in filming is hardly a good look, it's nevertheless difficult to argue against Lucasfilm's recent track record. Both The Force Awakens and Rogue One grossed over $1 billion worldwide and earned positive reviews from critics. Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi looks to follow suit and continues to build anticipation. The powers that be in the galaxy far, far away seem to have a strong handle on things, so hopefully Han Solo can keep the hot streak going. Despite his recent filmography (Inferno, In the Heart of the Sea), Howard remains a more-than-capable helmsman and understands what makes Star Wars so special. Plus, this franchise has been through plenty when it comes to troubled productions, and most of the time, things work out in the end.
Trevorrow added that filmmaking - particularly in the realm of tentpoles - is a collaborative process that requires the director, writers, and producers to constantly be on the same page. Based on reports, this is where Han Solo went wrong, as Lord and Miller allegedly clashed with screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy to the point where they could no longer see eye-to-eye. Whether the ends ultimately justify the extreme means the studio went through to complete Han Solo is a debate for another day. For now, moviegoers just have to cross their fingers and pray for the best. With 10 months until the film's premiere, there's plenty of time to correct the course.
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019