Not too long ago, we were given a taste of the consequences when huge franchises try to do something new. Star Wars: The Last Jedi tore the Star Wars fandom right down the middle. Some longtime fans didn’t appreciate what Rian Johnson brought to the franchise, while others loved that The Last Jedi kept them guessing at every turn. One thing was clear, however — the Star Wars franchise is being taken in a new direction, and nobody involved was afraid of veering away from more familiar characterizations. With all of that in mind, we have to ask — do fans have a reason to be wary of Solo: A Star Wars Story?
After months of anticipation, the first trailer was recently released, giving fans a lot to chew on while we wait for May to arrive. The teaser opens with a couple of shots from an exciting chase sequence before showcasing the interior of an apparently brand new Millennium Falcon. We’re given the framework of the film, which is Han’s backstory, including the infamous Kessel Run he boasted about in Star Wars: A New Hope. The new faces may take a little getting used to, but all in all, the trailer teases us with something potentially awesome.
The first film in the Star Wars Anthology series, Rogue One (directed by Gareth Edwards), proved that a new atmosphere and new faces joining a beloved franchise’s history wasn’t necessarily too great of a risk, which bodes well for the new entry in the spin-off series. From the action sequences to the music booming through the trailer, it’s clear that we’re about to see something different in Solo: A Star Wars Story. But even though the blend of new and old worked wonderfully in Rogue One, as we now know, it may not always sit well with the franchise’s passionate fandom, particularly those who are still reeling from the unruly debates surrounding Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi.
Why was The Last Jedi so divisive? You’ll hear many fans cite Rian Johnson’s style of humor as one cause. While some felt Johnson had done a great thing by introducing more comedy into the Star Wars universe, others felt it was out of place and unsettling. Then there was the film’s depiction of Luke Skywalker, who seemingly lost all the hope his character had maintained and fought for in the original trilogy. Johnson tried to take the old and keep it from going stale, but this approach left some fans confused, disappointed or even outright angry.
So far, it seems as though there is no intention to cause yet another shift in the franchise with Solo: A Star Wars Story. In fact, the desire not to turn Star Wars mythology on its head impacted the film’s production, with original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller being replaced late in production by Ron Howard.
Solo‘s trailer offers us a look at the atmosphere of the film, which is noticeably dark. That’s not a bad thing — in fact, its one aspect that should please longtime fans. It’s completely in keeping with the tone of the original film, which blended all kinds of humor with a consistently dark undertone. Hopefully, this will allay the fears people had after hearing about the film’s issues with directors.
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