Watching the Han Solo movie is like taking a solo trip across the Star Wars universe. Just like solo trips, the movie is inherently pointless and without direction but a priceless adventure nevertheless.
What’s more, almost every character in the film is out on a solo adventure, Han, Qi’ra, Beckett are mostly lonely and heartbroken.
(May I also add that there is a weird solace watching this flop Star Wars spin-off in 2020 when the COVID pandemic has us more isolated than ever.)
Taking place in early years of the Empire’s reign, Solo: A Star Wars Story follows Han Solo making a name for himself in the seedy underworld (or as he calls it the mudworld).
Along the way, he meets Lando Calrissian, obtains the Millennium Falcon, pulls off a dangerous train heist, and wrestles with the scarier adventures in the name of love!
The 2018 spin-off Solo: A Star Wars Story was declared a flop, but how bad could it be if fans have demanded a sequel?
Now I am not very surprised considering the film’s detached status (from the original canon plot) despite being funny, gorgeous and emotional. It is basically the best kind of Tinder date and thus not of any immediate interest to the die hard Star Wars fan.
But Disney could not have been more wrong in assuming fans wouldn’t be interested in a sequel until the latter organised an online campaign demanding for a Solo sequel.
They seemed especially interested in knowing what happens to Qi’ra, the mysterious new character introduced in the spin-off.
But whether the story continues or not, if it does, what paths could it tread down, read on to find out.
Leading the film is Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, with Donald Glover as Lando, Emilia Clarke as Qi’ra, Woody Harrelson as Beckett, Thandie Newton as Val, Phoebe Waller-Bridge as the droid L-3, Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca, and Paul Bettany as the antagonist Dryden Vos.
1. Box Office Disappointment
As mentioned before, Solo: A Star Wars Story was probably the first Star Wars film to ever be declared a flop, despite being critically acclaimed.
Now the film was definitely a cinematographic delicacy. However, the story itself seemed forced around giving answers to age-old Star Wars queries which never really needed to be answered.
Fans had already imagined the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs and also how the 190-year-old beast Chewbacca must have becomes Han’s best friend and co-pilot. Or how Lando lost his Millennium Falcon to Han in sabacc.
For 40 years, all these mysteries were seen as by-products of the Original Trilogy Star Wars chemistry. Imagination filled up what the films left open ended until in 2018 all of them were carved into stone for all to see.
It was akin to a book-to-film adaptation in terms of murdering of a million imaginations for a single point of view.
Clearly not everyone was onboard. After the 10 day opening gross of the film Solo performed massively under expectation, it was announced an official “flop”. What’s more.
Solo’s massive bombing at the box office has forced Disney to put another standalone film, Boba Fett, and all other spin-offs, “on hold” as they focus on Episode XI.
2. Fan-Cry for Sequel
Many-a-fans reported of the Han Solo film that the film grows on the viewer in the second, and preferably the third, watch.
Told through the eyes of the unattached Han Solo, the movie had me appreciating the most mundane aspects of the Star Wars universe.
So it takes a while to let go of the baggage of the canon films and enjoy Solo for what it offers and it offers so much.
When Han first enters the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon, we rediscover the sheer delight of flying in outer space with him.
When the droid L-3 is torn apart into two pieces in Lando’s arms, and Chewbacca comes through in rescuing a heartbroken Lando from the battlefield, we realise how fragile all relationships are.
Then there is the Kessel Run which reminds us just why dogfights are so awesome and not to forget the spectacular landscapes of outer space.
The ‘Make Solo 2 Happen’ campaign was first launched nearly a year after the film’s release in May 2019, by “The Resistance Broadcast, a podcast dedicated to all things Star Wars. Star Wars fans were taking to social media in large numbers, clamouring for a sequel. The hashtag soon went viral in the US, reaching the upper echelons of Disney as well.”
However, according to Solo’s director Ron Howard, the film was definitely an “underground hit” even though it is still lacking a confirmed sequel. OTT platforms seem to have done better in helping the audiences realise the awesomeness of this spin-off film.
“Well, there’s no sequel planned now. It’s amazing to be a part of a Star Wars movie that seems to be a kind of underground hit, which is not what you’d expect, but that’s been an odd, strange journey for that movie”Howard
3. Plot For Solo 2
Even though the first movie’s box office performance seemingly put a kibosh on sequel plans, the Han Solo film definitely planted a bunch of narrative seeds to be explored in future installments.
Written by long-time Star Wars steerer Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jonathan, Solo has been directed by Ron Howard—who took over after 21 Jump Street’s Phil Lord and Chris Miller parted ways with the production. (due to their differences with Lucasfilm’s creative vision for the Han Solo film)
When we left Han Solo in Solo: A Star Wars Story, he’s successfully won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian in a game of sabacc, and he and Chewbacca were reportedly heading to Tatooine to meet a “very big gangster” – a not-to-subtle reference to Jabba the Hutt.
Han’s relationship with Jabba could easily be Solo 2’s driving narrative. Or maybe it could show us Han and Boba Fett crossing paths for the first time.
Then there are what fans are calling a spin-off of the spin-off, this time dedicated to Solo’s mystery woman, Qi-ra.
From being a scrunge rat surviving on stolen credits to being sold to Crimson Dawn to becoming its head by the end off the film – Qi’ra has the most interesting and the most mysterious life in the film.
Personally, I think the filmmakers could have focussed on Qi’ra instead and had the film’s plot running in the backdrop. Besides, while we know where Han’s life will ultimately take him, Qi’ra and her life path remained opaque.
Then there are a number of unanswered questions. What happens to Darth Maul? What happens to Qi’ra and Han? Do they meet again? What does Lando’s and Han’s relationship look like? Does Chewy manage to free more of his enslaved tribesmen? That is just to name a few.
It makes us wonder if Disney had a sequel in mind all along, even as it ordered Solo. In fact, the number of potential plot lines for the continuation of the story is remarkably high.
4. About Solo: A Star Wars Story
The 2018 Star Wars spin-off film Solo: A Star Wars Story follows the adventures of Han Solo and his friends Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian in the early years of the Empire. Han is out to make a name for himself in the seedy galactic underworld all while dreaming of flying among the stars.
He is seen in the classic will they/won’t they relationship with fellow Corellian scrunge rat Qi’ra. One of the greyest characters of the franchise, Qi’ra helps Han survive the ruthless criminal organization, Crimson Dawn. However, by the end of the film, she is seen spearheading Crimson Dawn.
The film offers a treat for Han Solo fans, answering so many questions from the original trilogy about the galaxy’s favorite hero. However, it has been termed as redundant and irrelevant to the original canon plot.