Excerpted from InquaMag.com
Solo: A Star Wars Story’s opening weekend is now behind us. Domestically it made $103 million which about $40 million less than Disney was expecting. For comparison, Rogue One opened with $155 million and The Last Jedi made more than $220 million. So if we’re only comparing Solo to Star Wars movies, it didn’t do very well. However, clearly Solo isn’t a failure. It still made money and lots of it. Most non-Marvel movies these days would be lucky to see a $100 million opening weekend.
That being said, I think Solo is evidence that Disney needs to find a new strategy for Star Wars going forward. There are a couple of reasons for this observation. The first and strangest is that fans weren’t as eager to see the swashbuckling smuggler as Disney thought. Han Solo is among the Star Wars Trinity along with Luke and Leia. He balanced out Luke’s youthful impetuousness and Leia’s moral responsibility. He was a lovable force of chaos. So for his solo movie (ha, punny) to only make $100 million dollars is strange indeed.
My interpretation of this is that fans didn’t need or want a Han Solo solo film. They didn’t ask for one but they got one anyway.
Han always had a sense of mystery about him. What is the Kessel run? Under what circumstance did he and Lando meet? How did Han become such a galactic ruffian? While many of these questions were answered in books, general audiences remained in the dark. For a movie to pull back the curtains of Han Solo’s life feels unneeded–almost unnecessary. I had more fun imaging Han’s backstory than I did actually watching it.
Secondly, critics aren’t really sure what to do with the film. On the one hand, it isn’t a terrible movie. For how infamously perilous Solo’s production was, it is nothing short of a miracle that Ron Howard was able to present a consistent and enjoyable film. The story works and checks all the boxes a Star Wars movie needs to. And it’s getting moderately favorable reviews. But something is lacking. Solo just doesn’t have that je ne sais quoi. It isn’t underwhelming but it isn’t overwhelming either–it’s just whelming.
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