It turns out that the teaser trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story has even gotten Mark Hamill excited. So far, Disney and Lucasfilm haven't exactly had the smoothest of rides when it comes to the Star Wars spinoff movies. While Rogue One ultimately proved to be a solid hit, it was only after Tony Gilroy was brought onto the project to oversee extensive reshoots and re-editing (at a fee of $5 million) that the studios felt confident in the movie. Similarly, Josh Trank was once lined up to direct a Boba Fett spinoff for Disney and Lucasfilm, before his version of the project was abandoned in the aftermath of Trank's Fantastic Four disappointing at the box office.
Without a doubt though, the biggest headache that Lucasfilm and Disney has had to deal in this respect is Solo: A Star Wars Story. The film started shooting under directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (22 Jump Street), who are known for their improv heavy shoots and comedic style. Apparently, their vision for the movie was at odds with producer Kathleen Kennedy, and the duo was eventually fired with only a few weeks of filming to go. Ron Howard was quickly airdropped in to helm sweeping reshoots, but fans had begun to worry about the lack of stills, trailers, or promotional material in the build-up to Solo’s May 2018 release date - until this past weekend.
A full trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story was released shortly after Super Bowl 52, and managed to soothe a lot of fears about the movie following its difficult production. The trailer even got Mark Hamill jazzed about Solo, and in a new red carpet interview with Entertainment Tonight, he explained how tough prequels can be when it comes to pleasing fans:
Anybody that plays a young anything, like when they did the… prequel to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Tom Berenger and William Katt were great, but they said 'Oh, well he's not like Robert Redford, and he's not like Paul Newman.' That's already hard. But the [Solo] trailer looks fantastic! I don't know what anyone's complaining about.
Hamil, of course, recently reprised the role of Luke Skywalker for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which has proven to be a divisive entry in the larger Star Wars saga. The movie earned strong reviews from critics, but many fans were upset by key twists and story reveals, especially with regards to the character of Luke himself. Even Hamill admitted to having his doubts about the character’s arc, before he came around to director Rian Johnson’s vision for the movie. The actor has since regretted expressing those doubts in public since his comments were used by unhappy fans to “prove” that he didn’t like the movie.
There’s also been a mixed reaction to this week's news that Game Of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and DB Weiss are going to write and produce a new series of Star Wars movies. Hopefully, Solo: A Star Ways Story will win fans over and be the critical and commercial success that Disney and Lucasfilm need it to be, to overcome its painful birth.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019