Solo: A Star Wars Story director Ron Howard has spoken about what he'd like to see from a potential sequel. Star Wars fans were a little dubious of Solo when it was first announced, with many believing no one could surpass Harrison Ford in the titular role, or the prequel would reveal anything worth knowing. The hiring of talented director duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller helped soothe those worries since the pair had experience with making great movies out of questionable ideas, e.g. The LEGO Movie and 21 Jump Street.
The production was thrown a massive curve ball when it was revealed Lord & Miller were fired from the production despite having shot a large chunk of footage. The pair's reliance on improvisation and desire to make a Guardians of the Galaxy-style romp clashed with that of Disney and Lucasfilm, and Ron Howard was ultimately selected to take over. Howard reportedly reshot around 70% of the movie, but despite the movie's difficult birth, the early buzz is that it's a fun, old-fashioned adventure.
When it was first announced, Solo: A Star Wars Story was said to be the first in a potential trilogy, and while another movie has yet to be confirmed, Howard offered us his thoughts on a potential sequel at the film's junket:
Well, there are so many possibilities and, you know, it’s kind of one of those things where we’re sitting around, waiting for those shots. Although, with [director of photography] Bradford Young, there’s not a lot of time. He moves fast. He’s an indie guy. And, so we were able to make this movie at a pace but, once he began to see the possibilities for scenes and ideas. So, I don’t have a big vision as to where the plot would go, even though ultimately we know where he’s headed and it would be intriguing to navigate him there.
The director feels fans will be satisfied with the answers they receive about Han's past in Solo: A Star Wars, and feels a future movie will have to deliver more answers in unexpected ways:
I think what I like so much about this script was that it answered a lot of questions that a fan would have about young Han. You know, what are some of the events or relationships that might have shaped the iconic version that we know from later movies, but he does it in ways that make sense. They are satisfying but surprising. So, I think that ought to be the litmus test for anything going forward, which is can you head in a direction that feels right and authentic and do it in a surprising way.
At this point, the question remains whether Solo: A Star Wars Story even receives a sequel. The movie was essentially shot twice, and factoring in the marketing costs it will have to gross huge numbers just to break even. That said, Solo is currently projected to earn record-breaking numbers on its opening weekend, and so long as audiences take a shine to this new take on Han Solo, there's every reason to think another movie will be greenlit.
The production of Solo: A Star Wars Story is a saga Lucasfilm will no doubt be happy to put behind them, and the film's success should somewhat justify their late in the day decision to reshoot much of the movie. They also made the surprise call to remove Colin Trevorrow from Star Wars: Episode IX in late 2017, and put the project back in the safe hands of J.J. Abrams. Various reports speculated on the reason behind the decision, but a recent article suggests Trevorrow handed in a first draft of the script that Lucasfilm found unacceptable, so they decided to replace him ahead of production.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019