There is no doubt of STAR WARS’ durability as a franchise. Now in its 41st year, the series has prospered under the new stewardship of Walt Disney, though not without some bumps in the road. ROGUE ONE underwent a change in director and major reshoots after initial production. THE LAST JEDI did not but has not gone over as well with fans as the studio hoped.
However, the big question mark is SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. Original directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller were hired to (presumably) bring the same sort of irreverent sensibility that made THE LEGO MOVIE such a critical and box office darling. However, part way through the filming of SOLO, the pair were let go. After a production break, veteran director Ron Howard was brought on board to complete the film and reportedly reshot a huge amount of the original material.
After a commercial hyping the release of the trailer during the Super Bowl, the spot appeared online today. Fan reaction has been mainly positive thus far, which no doubt comes as a relief to everyone at Lucasfilm and Disney. However, the fact that there was any trepidation at all with such a reliable property underscores the main problem here: Disney is making these things too quickly.
The release of the original films and prequels were each spaced three years apart. When SOLO hits theatres in a few months, it will be the fourth STAR WARS in only three and a half years. The fact that two of these four movies required a change of directors and major reshoots demonstrates a lack of care in the all-important conception stage. Could Disney’s haste be compromising their golden egg? It seems like a distinct possibility. We’ll know for sure this summer when SOLO’s reviews and returns start coming in.