This is Good News
Han Solo is the unique blockbuster film that has a firmly set script. Lawrence Kasdan and his son John reportedly wrote the Han Solo script together and it was completed well before the start of production. Han Solo's fixes aren't necessary because the script evolved and the footage needs to catch up, but because the footage deviated script and it needs to be redone to match the original intention. This means that many of the common stumbling blocks seen in movies as a result of the reshoots, particularly in the story department, aren't an issue here. In fact, since the reshoots are occurring as an extension of principal photography, there's not even a risk of anyone's haircut not matching between takes.
All that being said, it's very important to separate the traditionally negative perception of reshoots with what's going on with The Untitled Han Solo Movie. Reshoots shouldn't be an inherently bad word in the first place. Reshoots happen with almost every movie, and they're an important part of the production. Sure, sometimes they signal fundamental issues with a movie, but that's not the case here. The fact that Ron Howard is redoing such a significant chunk of the movie is truly turning it into a Ron Howard Star Wars movie, a prospect that would have excited many fans before the whole Lord & Miller kerfuffle. This "back to (almost) square one" mentality means the Han Solo movie is going to be as close to a singular vision as possible instead of some sort of Frankensteined course correction where fans spend the next decade picking apart which parts were shot by Howard and which weren't.
The nearly seamless transition between Lord & Miller and Ron Howard ideally means the movie itself will also be without seams, suggesting that next May we'll have the opportunity to buy tickets to a Star Wars movie directed by Ron Howard, starring the kid from Hail Caesar, The Mother of Dragons herself, Woody Harrelson (who needs no special title), Maeve Millay - the baddest host in Westworld, and Troy Barnes as Lando, also featuring the cinematography of the guy that shot Arrival and all written by Mister Empire Strikes Back and Raiders of the Lost Ark himself, Lawrence Kasdan.
The path Lucasfilm took to get to this place was needlessly complicated and doubtlessly wasteful (incredibly so based on the amount being reshot), but when it's all said and done, they've put the pieces together for what could be an amazing Star Wars movie. With the recent news that Colin Trevorrow has been removed as director of Episode IX, that brings the total number of Star Wars movies that have lost a director to 3 out of the 5 currently released or slated. So long as Lucasfilm continues to shatter box office records and garner positive reviews they'll likely escape too much criticism for this practice, but their ability to vet directors earlier in the process clearly needs work as it's not sustainable and is already driving some potential directors away since it's become clear that only a certain type of personality can work in Lucasfilm's system.
- 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: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019