One of the many successes of Rogue One was Michael Giacchino’s exceptional soundtrack. The entire score remains a joy to listen to, but no track embodies this success more than the stirring Guardians of the Whills Suite.
Back in April I wrote how important Solo: A Star Wars Story is going to be for the Star Wars franchise, as it presented the fandom with its first chance to show Disney what it really thought of The Last Jedi. As it’s turned out that’s pretty much exactly what happened, and it’s currently looking 50/50 as to whether the film will even break even.
Yet it all seems a bit unfair to punish Ron Howard’s undoubtedly hard-working crew and cast for the stalled sequel trilogy – especially when Solo is a competent, well-made ride that actually adds to the characters we already know. And since this is the passion project of Lawrence ‘The Force Awakens‘ Kasdan we’re talking about, it could so very easily have gone the other way…
The Art of Storytelling
As a lifelong Star Wars fan (born in ’83 and raised on the Original Trilogy while still young enough to enjoy the Prequels), the Disney era has been pretty tough to take so far. That’s been reflected by a rising cynicism in my posts here, which, while understandable given the current state of Star Wars, isn’t exactly how I want to celebrate my fandom of the greatest film saga in Western culture.
With Solo only weeks away it’s time to heed the call of the light and bring balance to the blog. Welcome to the first part of a series about why Star Wars is so special – and where else to start but with the story itself?
The hype for Solo: A Star Wars Story is building and it’s hard to not want to get on board – the OT setting, Oscar-winning director and the fact that it’s yet another Star Wars movie for our eyes and brains to appreciate are all compelling reasons to book tickets for the day of release (May 25th, AKA the real Star Wars day).
But with Solo coming out so soon after The Last Jedi, the spin-off finds itself in a precarious position. Despite the production dramas and the fact that most observers have seen Ron Howard’s prequel as somewhat of a pointless project, this is fast becoming the story that will define the short to medium term future of Disney’s Star Wars.
This week the deadlock finally broke as Lucasfilm brought us not just one but two advance looks at this May’s Solo: A Star Wars Story.
First out of the traps was the ‘Big Game‘ TV spot, which debuted in the US with the Superbowl and caused chatter amongst nerd keyboards globally. The one minute reel gives us the briefest of looks at the core cast (hey there, moody noir-lit Han) and some cool visuals, along with a most un-Star Wars take on the soundtrack.
On Monday morning (US time) the full teaser trailer saw release on Good Morning America. It gives us a bit of a better look at the characters (hey there, double-bandolier strap Chewie), a few more impressive character designs and visuals and a bit more understanding of the plot (so it’s a heist film, right?). In short, it does everything a good teaser trailer needs to do.
There is still the big question that’s going to loom over the entire film – and no, I don’t mean whether or not Alden Ehrenreich the right choice to play Han (first impressions are so-so on that score, but I’m willing to be impressed). What Solo: A Star Wars Story needs to demonstrate to me is whether there was ever a good reason to make it at all.
Lucasfilm has already slaughtered the Original Trilogy‘s sacred cows with the Sequel Trilogy, so we shouldn’t be surprised by anything that fundamentally changes our understanding of the Han Solo character. As far as I’m concerned, if the film manages to get anywhere near Rogue One quality while also giving us a good reason for Han to return to smuggling in later life (because The Force Awaken‘s deadbeat absent dad really didn’t fly), then I’ll be happy. Anything more than that will be a bonus.
Buy into the hype train (or don’t). We’re going to find out all about Solo on May 25th.