The moment that millions of Star Wars fans have been waiting for a long time is almost here. Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) is coming out worldwide next month. And as a little surprise, the movie will premiere at Cannes Film Festival before its massive theatrical release. The prestigious film festival ensures this way to focus the media attention showing before nobody else one of the releases of the year, as they did last year with Twin Peaks: The Return (2017) screening the first 2 episodes of the TV show.
Surrounded by a lot of controversies due to a constant dispute between producers and creators, when veteran filmmaker Ron Howard took control of the project everything seemed to go smoother. It is true that it can’t be that easy to be part of the mastodontic Disney money making machinery, releasing a new Star Wars movie every year since they bought the franchise rights from George Lucas. To keep the audience interest and the movie quality must not be an easy quest, as happened with the first of the original saga spin-off Rogue One: A Star Wars Story (2016).
Lawrence Kasdan, old collaborator of George Lucas being author or co-author of the scripts for Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back (1980), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi (1983) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015), as well as of other blockbusters like Silverado (1985), The Bodyguard (1992), Wyatt Earp (1994) or Dreamcatcher (2003), has been in charge of the screenplay of Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) together with his son Jonathan Kasdan. That is good news, and an attempt to get back the essence of the original movies from the side of the producers.
But what is this movie about? What place does it take in the whole Star Wars universe? Well, as the name suggests, here Han Solo is the center of the plot and takes place as a prequel to the original trilogy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, years before joining the Rebellion.
Actors Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover have a tough and almost impossible job in portraying the characters of Han Solo and Lando Calrissian, as surely can’t compete with the iconic performances the original actors Harrison Ford and Billy Dee Williams set as part of the history of movies. But at least they are accompanied by a cast full of big stars to wrap up a movie of this dimensions. Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson, Paul Bettany, Jon Favreau, Clint Howard and Warwick Davis complete the main cast. Joonas Suotamo repeats as Chewbacca, a role he is familiar with after portraying him in Star Wars: The Last Jedi (2017) and being the double in Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015) when the original veteran actor Peter Mayhew was unable to perform.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) has in many senses the feeling of continuity. New actors for old familiar characters, but also veteran filmmakers with new stories. In the end, it all seems to have a sense, at least on the paper. Is the Star Wars franchise in good hands? Does Disney still have a margin of credit, although the exhausting exploitation of the saga, to deliver more movies with still a big dose of interest? Is this going to be more of the same or is it going to bring new sauce to our beloved classic characters and stories? You know the saying, “adapt or perish”. Me, as part of the hundreds of millions of fans of the Star Wars universe worldwide, I still don’t know if the saga is adapting to better or dying slowly and in decadence. But hey, “hope” is a key in the movies, right? Let’s have some hope.
At least, the official trailer looks attractive, dark, intense and spectacular. But I don’t know if it should be Star Wars or any other science fiction title. What do you think?
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