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In Ron Howard We Trust – Why Solo Still Matters

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It’s no surprise that The Last Jedi is taking up every headline this side of the galaxy. The trailer left us with more questions than answers, and TV spots, cast interviews, and a steady stream of tie-ins have kept us speculating about the fates of our beloved heroes and who this Snoke fellow might be. But I want to step away from Episode VIII for a few moments to discuss something that deserves just as much excitement and fanfare: the Han Solo film.The Han Solo standalone film, recently titled Solo: A Star Wars Story, has received public skepticism and an unenthusiastic reaction from much of the Star Wars community. There has been a collective indifference about Han Solo in his younger years but I believe there is a meaningful story behind how he became the beloved scoundrel that we know and love.

The initial skepticism for the film came when directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were first slated to direct the Star Wars standalone. Since this duo primarily directed comedies, there was concern that the Han Solo film was going to turn into a “buddy comedy” (reminiscent of 21 Jump Street) – which was reasonable to worry about. Sure, Star Wars had humorous qualities to it but it was not a comedy movie. What ultimately transpired between Kathleen Kennedy and the directing duo made it clear that Lucasfilm had no intention of being blasé with Han Solo’s story. A short time later, it was announced that Ron Howard would be taking the helm of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

With news of Ron Howard taking over, concerns over what had been going on earlier in the film’s production had been laid to rest (for the most part). However, there was still skepticism regarding what Solo: A Star Wars Story would be about. What could we possibly gain by learning about a younger Han Solo’s journeys through the galaxy? Han has always been a beloved character within the Star Wars community and the idea of putting an origin story to his name seemed risky at best. It was already a big, yet necessary, gamble killing him off in The Force Awakens. Thankfully, that gamble paid off. I think the ultimate question fans of Han Solo are asking is this: will this film change the perception of Han’s character that many fans have had for several years? Hopefully, yes and – hopefully – no. » Read more..

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