Solo: A Star Wars Story
is just over the twin-sun horizon now, and there’s still a feeling of trepidation surrounding the second spinoff from the galaxy far, far away. There’s plenty of pitfalls and dangers, but also cause for excitement, so here’s four things we at OnScreen hope aren’t in the movie, and two things we hope are.
There can be a tendency when it comes to prequels to want to explain every minor facet of a character’s make-up as pertains to what we meet them later in their timeline. But Solo: A Star Wars Story takes place ten years before the start of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope. As such, the core tenets of Han Solo should all be present, but it’s not imperitave that all of that classic Han iconography is present and set by the end of this film. Han still has ten years after the credits roll to become the person we first met him as. As such, not wanting to see the character’s classic vest jacket and white shirt is less about that specific outfit, and more as a general guiding principle. We accept that we’re going to see Han’s unique DL-44 blaster, and the Millennium Falcon was always a given, but we simply don’t need everything to drop into place in the final twenty minutes. Nothing would be worse than the film suddenly controting itself to create a situation similar to the end of Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, in which the film’s epilogue is simply every character rushing to their New Hope starting positions.
Luke / Leia
We have absolutely no need to see Luke and Leia as children, not even in cameo form. If Jabba ends up being involved in the film, which is highly likely given some of the announced toys for the initial waves of Solo: A Star Wars Story, then seeing Tatooine is a given. It’s something the audience can accept. But director Ron Howard will have to resist the urge to give us a brief glimpse of a young boy in a white tunic, running around a moisture farm. It’s unnecessary. Similar to Han’s vest, there are still ten more years to go before the connections between these characters matter; revel in that, and deliver a good time.
“Kid, I’ve flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, and I’ve seen a lot of strange stuff, but I’ve never seen anything to make me believe that there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything.”
There are certain lines in the Star Wars original trilogy that have an unfortunate after-effect of locking off certain story options now that Lucasfilm are looking to fill in those untold stories on the big screen. We know, for example, that at some point between Solo: A Star Wars Story and Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back that Han and Lando have a disagreement (something Han mentions as being “a long time ago”), and similarly we know that Han cannot canonically witness The Force before the events of George Lucas’ original trilogy. There are ways around this line of course, Han admits he thinks it’s all “simple tricks and nonsense” after all, but following Rogue One: A Star Wars Story somewhat cheating its way into the Force with the semi-sensitive Chirrut Îmwe, it’s time for a Star Wars movie to trust the audience enough to function without the Force.
The cantina on Mos Eisley where Han shoots Greedo is infamous amongst Star Wars fans, and is one of the most memorable scenes from the first Star Wars movie. But, again, this one comes down to resisting temptation. Tatooine and Jabba are expected, and the urge will of course be there to show a glimpse of Chalman’s Cantina (named for the wookie who owns the joint, but is never seen on screen). But this is one reference that will absolutely come across as tacky and cheap. Nostalgia can be a perfectly valid aid to filmmaking, but should never be used as a crutch.
It’s hard to say why the most famous bounty hunter in all of Star Wars is also the most beloved. He’s got a fantastic armour design, that’s for sure, and the surly, stoic, man-of-few-words in the original trilogy left fans clamouring for more. Before Disney purchased the rights to Star Wars, over twenty years of stories had been published in novels and comic books set in the Star Wars galaxy, both in and around the original trilogy, but now with the slate wiped clean there simply isn’t all that much content surrounding the mercenary in the Mandalorian armour. Solo: A Star Wars Story would be a terrific place to highlight just why Han Solo is so terrified upon hearing Fett’s name in Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. Used sparingly, he’d make for an excellent and dramatic antagonistic force.
The Sabacc Game
So in the latest trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story we can see that Han and Lando’s first meeting takes place over a game of sabacc. One can’t help but hope that this game is to set up for the audience a more casual game later on between the two, in which both characters are trying to out-cheat each other for the keys to the Millennium Falcon. We’ve known for years that the Falcon previously belonged to Lando, but this is a tremendous opportunity to show us how he lost it in the infamous card game.