Warning: Possible SPOILERS ahead for Han Solo
Not long after Disney purchased Lucasfilm, they announced to many excited fans that the Skywalker family's adventure would continue. Equally exciting, they declared their intention to add “anthology” films, or features based on Star Wars characters and stories loosely connected to the main trilogies, into the mix. In 2015, Lucasfilm made Han Solo's youth the focus of their second standalone picture.
Transpiring roughly ten years before the first Star Wars trilogy, the Untitled Han Solo Anthology Film will chronicle Han's foray into smuggling, as well as his relationship with Wookiee copilot and best friend Chewbacca, his “Imperial Entanglements,” and so much more. Thus far, the Solo shot has suffered a few setbacks, including a bumpy production marred by major directorial changes. But things seem to have settled down. With a new director aboard and reshoots underway, the Han and crew are back on course.
Here’s everything we know about the scruffy-looking nerf herder’s anthology film so far.
Page 1: Intro (this page)
The Movie Remains Untitled
When filming started last winter, the working title was listed as “Red Cup” -- a joke on the red, plastic cups made by the Solo Cup Company. The first scene was entitled “Han Solo first shot,” a reference to the debate over George Lucas’ Star Wars Special Edition, which digitally altered the scene to make Greedo shoot before Han (supposedly to make Han more kid-friendly).
Several months later, purported crew members tweeted two different versions of production shirts, suggesting the film will be titled Star Wars: Solo. One logo sported Han’s signature DL-44 blaster as the “L” in the logo while another featured the classic Star Wars font. Another possible name arrived via leaked images of Lego toys, which teased the film’s name as, unsurprisingly, Han Solo: A Star Wars Story.
So far, Disney hasn’t revealed the official title, so fans can only speculate whether either title might stick.
Lucasfilm Fired Directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller
One of the most controversial aspects of the young Han movie was its directorial issues. Initially given full confidence, directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord apparently rubbed several key Lucasfilm personnel the wrong way. Four months into production, with several weeks of shooting left, they exited the film, citing creative differences. Soon after, reports of internal conflicts trickled out, and Lucasfilm admitted to firing the directors – a move criticized by some (notably John Landis) and defended by others.
The pair apparently felt creatively stifled by Lucasfilm, who found their comedic tone inappropriate for the franchise. They also butted heads with Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy over not shooting enough takes (meaning less raw footage to choose from for the final edit). They also reportedly deviated from the script, earning the ire of writer Lawrence Kasdan.
In addition, Disney probably booted the directorial duo from the picture before Directors’ Guild rules awarded them control of the final cut. At this point, Lord and Miller could be allowed a director’s cut, although it’s unlikely. Lucasfilm quickly hired Ron Howard to finish the shoot. Fears that the production was doomed or unsalvageable will (hopefully) prove unfounded.
Ron Howard Replaces Lord and Miller
Lucasfilm took Lord and Miller off the Han Solo movie on June 20, 2017. Two days later, they hired Oscar-winner Ron Howard (In the Heart of the Sea) to finish production and engage in potentially extensive reshoots. Howard proclaimed his desire to “honor” the previous directors’ work and dove right in. Since taking over, he’s made a point of reassuring fans with continual social media updates and images from the set, becoming Lucasfilm’s least-secretive (though still spoiler-free) director to date.
Han Solo Is Probably Undergoing Extensive Reshoots
Even though much of the footage shot by Lord and Miller was usable, the duo was reportedly behind schedule. As a result, the Han Solo movie still required a good deal of further filming. Howard arrived to finish roughly 3 weeks of shooting and five weeks of reshoots. At present, he’s filmed for roughly 12 weeks (probably including principal photography and reshoots), but the production rolls on, even though several major players have wrapped.
The full extent of what Lord and Miller completed versus what Howard is changing and rearranging is unclear. However, Howard is presumably tweaking several aspects of the movie, reshooting some of the dialogue to adjust for tone, and filming coverage shots for editorial purposes. He’s already brought in several new actors for new scenes due to script changes, reshoots, and actor availability. Lucasfilm also may have tasked him with recreating certain several action scenes as well.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 8/Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) release date: Dec 15, 2017