Geekery: The Han Solo Solo Movie Has Problems

The news coming out from the set doesn’t paint a great picture of the project.

It’s a hard sell in the first place: a Han Solo movie without a 34 year old Harrison Ford in the title roll. Alden Ehrenreich was announced to minimal fanfare and some doubt, but his previous work was good. As more cast members were announced it started to feel more like a sure bet. Phil Lord and Chris Miller were announced as directors, giving fans some hope that we’d be getting a Star Wars buddy movie. Lawrence Kasdan was in as exec producer and the script. It was shaping up ok.

Until this last weekend. No one seems to be very satisfied with how the production is going – including Kasdan.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired three weeks before principal shooting ends due to “creative differences” according to Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy. Folks close to the pair of directors have said that they felt stifled by Disney’s shooting schedule and blocked in by the studio’s story requirements. The pair have been replaced by Ron Howard. On top of that it’s being reported that LucasFilm hired an acting coach for Ehrenreich late in production (not uncommon for a coach to be on board, but not hiring one this late in the game).

It’s not looking good – and it’s really public compared to the last anthology movie they had problems with…

It’s not a secret that Disney re-tooled a lot of Rogue One after Gareth Edwards delivered a final cut to them. Edwards worked with screenwriter Tony Gilroy during re-shoots and editing to deliver what was released to theaters. I’d expect that Edwards took to that approach better than Lord and Miller did – thus the firing.

Since Disney took over as parent company they have stated they wanted to put directors on the anthology movies that would give their own take on the universe. They really haven’t – and likely will never – allow for that. The company needs to make a choice here: either hire directors that will do what you ask of them, or let the directors you hire do what you say you want them to. You can’t have both.

All of that said – it does seem like the re-tooling of Rogue One worked (I still want to see the scenes that were in the trailer that were cut from the final), so maybe it’ll work for Han Solo.


What’s your take on all of this?

  • Carey_Mahoney

    Yep, sounds abominable.

  • Since Rogue One was a horrible mess completely devoid of meaningful characters and with action sequences that didn’t make any sense… yes, something thats even worse sounds really terrible.

    I don’t like the way this franchise is going…
    What I find interesting is that the same company (Disney) really has their act together with the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But Star Wars seems to be a mess.

    • Muninwing

      uhhhh… did we see the same movie? the theater was cheering on more than one occasion when i saw it, and that was weeks after release.

      and if you want action sequences that made no sense, just go back to revenge of the sith — i have fallen asleep every time i’ve tried to watch that movie, because the “throw everything at you xtreme!” action scene approach is just bad moviemaking.

      nothing will replace the original trilogy in my sentimentality, but the two recent movies did a lot to bring back that original feel, instead of another pretty movie that focused more on sfx and rambling than any meaningful coherence… like the three prequels.

      i have no idea what this one will turn out to be. but it was always going to be an iffy one.

      • Drpx

        Just needed to be two hours of this

        • dinodoc

          Galaxy’s deadliest relay race.

          • EmperorOfMankind

            It makes the rebel’s attempt to lie to Darth Vader in episode IV look really stupid.

        • vlad78

          Sure, they can’t transmit the plans from one ship to another through wireless transmission, they have to make it by hand and on foot.

          This is totally Anakin skywalker grade of story.

          Vader deserved more.

          • Seen from 2017, the deathstars plan should be put on the holonet using a torrent protocol and any junkie on Coruscant could download them.

            So yes, it does not make any sense now, but it fits with the opening of a new hope …

          • Vladamyr

            So actually there is a decent logical explanation for this, the Empire did not necessarily know what was taken from Skarif. Broadcasting or transmitting the plans again, could alert the Empire to the issue and giving them time to correct so that the Death Star could not be destroyed.

            Not to mention that the ship with the plans was damaged and its possible they had lost capability of transmission.

          • Interesting idea. But they used an imperial giant transmitter. Including imperial protocols and keying material. As they did not negociated a private session with amiral radus they must have broadcasted the data. At least to anyone on the system. You have to suppose that every imperial capable of listenning and saving the message was killed and that the antenna was not broadcasting further…

          • Drpx

            “How do we stop a spy from emailing our secret plans to the whole universe?”

            “Put it on a floppy disk.”

      • vlad78

        We have different tastes, that is all. I liked episode 7 even if it was a reboot of episode 4, yet I found Rogue One totally uninteresting. Good action at the end but silly character development, boring OST, stupid storyline and the reshoots are obvious and killed the movie imho. The best part of Rogue one were the scenes in the first trailer later deleted.

        I’d be eager to see what it was intended to be in the first place.

        Rogue one was eventually mainly fan service but could have been so much more, it could have been the fist SW movie not black and white, with people in between, a movie about how to fight an evil totalitarian empire without become evil too, a movie about choices and sacrifices. Killing the heroes in the end is not enough to make it great.

        But Disney probably thought the SW audience is too dumb to be able to think on its own. Radical rebels? Don’t speak about it. Evil rebel agents? Don’t speak about it. Killing civilians who work with the Empire? Don’t speak about it or make it feel forced.

        Play bloodbowl with a datadisk containing the death star plans? That is what we want to show them. In the SW universe wifi doesn’t work. What a bunch of …

        • euansmith

          I was the other way round. The only things I really liked about Episode 7 were Poe/Finn and Kylo/Bedroom. With Rogue One I liked all of the characters, even the villain.

          I didn’t think that the ridiculous nature of their file transfer issues were any worse than Starkiller Base – “That’s no planet…” All Rogue One needed was for someone to complain about the Empire’s Draconian DRM system that prevents the transmission of the plans.

          I would have liked to have seen the “original” version of the film from before the reshoots, but I enjoyed what I got in the end.

      • EmperorOfMankind
      • Brettila

        No kidding. I felt Rogue One was better than any movie that wasn’t Empire.

    • kobalt60

      It was devoid of meaningful characters the same way the dirty dozen was devoid of meaningful characters. They weren’t necessary. We didn’t need to know the childhood angst that motivated Donald duck, we just needed to know he was at the crossroads with a machine gun. Sometimes an action movie is just an action movie

      • vlad78

        Except ther weren’t a dozen. They were few enough to make them a little more characterful. Did you care for any of them? I didn’t.
        I just regret We didn’t have a fight Monk vs Vader.
        In fact I would have liked Vader to kill all of them.

        • Manuel Bateman

          i liked the movie
          vader killing everybody or at least half of them before leaving the exploding planet would have been far superior though

        • euansmith

          I think that the characters were equally as well rounded as any in A New Hope 😉

  • benn grimm

    There’s a really simple straightforward reason why this will be rubbish and nobody should’ve wasted time or money on it; Han Solo is Harrison Ford, Harrison Ford is Han Solo…and he’s dead now…

    • Drpx

      Han Solo’s body lies a-molder’n in the grave.
      Han Solo’s body lies a-molder’n in the grave.
      Han Solo’s body lies a-molder’n in the grave.
      But his franchise marches on!

      • benn grimm


    • Manuel Bateman

      harrison ford is dead! long live harrison ford

    • euansmith

      I rather enjoyed the Young Indiana Jones TV series.

      • benn grimm

        I’d say young Indiana jones was slightly less problematic because of its closeness to the original trilogy release (particularly Last Crusade)and the appearance of a younger actor in the role of Indie in the Last Crusade. Kinda sets a slightly different precedent, for me anyway.

        • euansmith

          Blimey Return of the Jedi came out 34 years ago. I do feel old sometimes; but then I just bath in Nerd Blood, and I’m revitalised again.

          • benn grimm

            Wow, was it that long ago? Time flies when you’re having fun though eh? 😉

          • euansmith

            Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana.

          • benn grimm

            Lol, I’ll have to remember that one 🙂

          • euansmith

            I came across it in a book called “Wallace Tripp’s Wurst Seller” and it has stuck with me. The book is full of daft puns and lovely drawings.

          • benn grimm

            Thanks for the recommendation, I’ll have to check it out, do love a good pun 🙂

  • af

    Han Solo is like The Man With No Name: he doesn’t need an origin story or more exposition. We don’t need to know what he did before he showed up at Mos Eisley, met Luke and Obi Wan, and turned from scoundrel into reluctant hero.

    He shot first. He drove a fast ship. He couldn’t tell parsecs from hours. Leia liked him. That’s all we need to know.

    • Muninwing

      i’ll admit that i’m curious… though they need to make him the villain. he’s a scoundrel. he’s a cad. he’s a slick ladies man who is only still alive because he’s a good enough pilot to get away.

      anything less and it won’t work. that’s a tall order.

    • No Body

      It worked out pretty well for Star Trek I think.

      • af

        Which character in Star Trek is a scoundrel like Han Solo? Han draws from Western archetypes, where a detailed backstory is not only unnecessary but actively harmful.

        • euansmith

          “Coming soon to a multiplex near you, Shane: The Early Years!”

    • vlad78

      loved him.

      Leia loved him.

  • kobalt60

    I was under the impression Edwards delivered a ‘happier’ Disney ending, and when he found out he could have killed everyone, he went back and reshot to get the ending he wanted in the first place. I suspect this new movie is suffering because exactly nobody wanted a Han solo origin tale. Much like the adventures of young Indiana Jones. Nobody cared.

  • euansmith

    Are they in trouble because they didn’t spend enough time on planning it out in pre-production; after all Han always shoots first?

    Ron Howard is the porridge of Hollywood; he is dependable, nutritious and healthy, but he ain’t no Chocolate Frosted Sugar Bombs.

  • abaddonsmummy

    There is a disturbance in the force.

  • “either hire directors that will do what you ask of them, or let the directors you hire do what you say you want them to” – isn’t that both the same?

  • Emprah

    If they made a CGI Han, I may watch it. But Harrison Ford IS Han Solo and Indiana Jones. Nobody else can replace him.