Disney has been catering to people’s emotions by milking the Star Wars brand for a long time. Their focus on the franchise is so particular that apart from the original sequel-prequel canon, they have also made spin-offs and different anthologies for the big screen. Continuing this tradition in the last year, came a solo outing for the famous Star Wars smuggler turned rebel, Han Solo.
The movie ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ sheds light on the life of Hans Solo before the events of ‘New Hope’ (Chapter VI) in 1977. The movie serves as a prequel to Solo’s adventures in the ‘New Hope’ and it delivers a lot of fleshed-out experiences and prior journeys of Solo. Considering the monumental success each Star Wars movie carries, ‘Solo’ was also expected to gross somewhere around a billion dollars in the box office. The cast was also pretty strong with Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover leading and Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo lighting up the screen. The expectations were particularly high because of the immense popularity of Hans Solo to longtime fans. A character that was brought to life in the original trilogy by Harrison Ford. And maybe something that also spelled bad omen for the movie.
Is Solo 2 Happening?
‘Solo’ was the first actual failure for Disney in the Star Wars saga. Filling up the shoes of Harrison Ford was never an easy task. Despite Ehrenreich’s strong efforts, his only fault was that he was no Ford. Fans couldn’t open up to the possibility of changing perspectives to their favorite character.
Releasing in the cramped window of Memorial Day weekend in 2018 which was already being ruled by ‘Avengers: Infinity War’ and ‘Deadpool 2’ meant that the audience had too much to choose from. Also maybe the fatigue of too many sci-fi action movies and particularly too many Star Wars movies in a short span didn’t evoke the anticipation ‘Solo’ deserved. Not only that. The movie ran into director issues in the production phase and fans felt that the character portrayals were unfaithful and the plot had too many loopholes rendering it ultimately, unrelatable.
The failure of ‘Solo’ was not because of only one reason, maybe it’s the culmination of all of the above and then some more. In hindsight, judging by a pure cinematic lens, ‘Solo’ was not as bad as its performance translates. But from a Star Wars movie, you expect nothing but excellence. And the fact is, the first spinoff movie on Han Solo was disappointing.
Solo’s disappointing outing also meant that it put a brake on the intended sequel. Makers were not sure how to approach the spinoff series after the initial debacle but again, the same fans came to the rescue. In May this year, after one year of the theatrical release of ‘Solo’, fans took to Twitter to voice their love and appreciation for ‘Solo’. Thus, #MakeSolo2Happen started trending.
As it turned out, ‘Solo’ had a much better run in-home viewing than in theatres. People appreciated the fun space-Western adventure of Solo and Chewbacca. The campaign turned prominent with ‘Solo’ director Ron Howard and Chewbacca actor Joonas Suotamo voicing their support as well. And out of nowhere, we have a ray of hope, albeit slightly, for a sequel. Considering the role fans on Twitter played for ‘Lucifer’ and ‘Brooklyn Nine-Nine’, ‘Solo 2’ can be credited to the fans, if, it sees the light of the day.
So let’s discuss the sequel to ‘Solo’. But for that, we have to look at what happened in the first movie.
Solo: A Star Wars Story Recap
‘Solo’ opens on the planet of Corellia which is pretty grim if you are a child and not particularly good at stealing. We meet young Hans and his partner Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) escaping from local goons in order to board the outgoing vehicle by bribing the officer with stolen coaxium. However, Qi’ra is left out on the planet and Han vows to come back for her. On the ship, Han is given the title Solo because of his unknown parentage and lack of friends. The movie then primarily follows the journey of Han Solo as he traverses along with the galaxy.
A few years later, he meets Tobias Becket (Woody Harrelson), who leaves Solo to a ravaged Wookiee named, you guessed it right, Chewbacca. Fun fact: Chewbacca doesn’t actually kill Hans. But can you tell? Together, Solo and Chewbacca undergo adventures as they meet Enfys Nest led Cloud Riders. This is the first time Solo is brought to light about the struggles of the Rebel Alliance. With a few turns of events, Solo, Chewbacca, and Becket reach Crimson Dawn. Qi’ra meanwhile wasn’t just waiting for Hans helplessly.
She’s now Dryden Vos’ top confidante. Betrayals and double-crossing follow as Qi’ra kills Vos, Becket runs away with the Coaxium with Chewbacca as his hostage. Han follows and kills him in a breathtakingly tense moment. On the other hand, Qi’ra contacts Vos’ superior, none other than Darth Maul. Causal fans must remember that Maul’s doing pretty well for himself, especially if you follow the animated series. Anyway, Solo acquires Millennium Falcon from Lando with a sleight of hand and along with Chewbacca heads for what appears to be Jabba the Hutt who is cooking up a storm in Tatooine.
The strong points of ‘Solo’ are also its weaknesses. The movie is a fun Western set in a galaxy far, far away that dares to take bold steps regarding its characters. Unfortunately, the same things brought its downfall. Fans felt the tempo to be quite off in comparison to the regular Star Wars movie. The bold decisions were not taken so warmly. And obviously, you just can’t replace Harrison Ford without raising some eyebrows. All in all ‘Solo’ faced the same trajectory as ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ (2017) and maybe a bit of negativity spilled over here as well.
Solo 2 Plot: What Can it be About?
The ending of ‘Solo’ was deliberately open-ended. It left a lot of room for sequel(s) to arrive. It makes sense since Alden Ehrenreich has signed a three-film contract meaning that ‘Solo’ should not be his solo outing. But the box office debacle left everything in a murkier place. Should they decide to go on with the sequel, a few things can happen.
Firstly, the characters of Solo, Lando and Qi’ra are now established and the sequel can explore deeper implications. The sequel should definitely follow Jabba to Tatooine and Boba Fett as well. The return of Darth Maul certainly makes things extremely interesting but considering the possibility of his appearance in the upcoming Obi-Wan Kenobi series, we doubt a prolonged appearance. On the other hand, Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra will have an interesting journey. As the top commander of Crimson Dawn now, her role will be something to look forward to. Hans and Chewbacca should and will go on with their adventures and Donald Glover’s Lando will also have a bigger role to play, especially after losing Millennium Falcon to Solo.
Instead of a theatrical release, Disney can just make a ‘Solo 2’ for its upcoming streaming platform Disney+. The demand for a sequel is strong but is it enough for a billion-dollar haul? I don’t think so. In this case, Disney will do well to come to the middle and release it in Disney+, which also will help in reducing its budget.
Solo 2 Cast: Who Can be in it?
Well, if ‘Solo 2’ happens, Alden Ehrenreich will happen to play Solo again. We can expect Emilia Clarke to come back to play Qi’ra again. Donald Glover has also shown interest in coming back to play Lando. Darth Maul must appear, so Ray Park will be there as well. And Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca will also be there. Beyond this, the cast details are still up in the air
Solo 2 Release Date: When Can it Premiere?
Star Wars movies are expected to go on hiatus after the release of ‘The Rise of Skywalker’ this year. The planned projects are not canceled, they are just paused. Actually, we all can use some breather now. But this also means that the Solo 2, if at all comes out, will not release very soon. For that, a 2020-21 production time and 2022 release date target Looks more believable.
Solo 2 Trailer
Obviously there is no trailer yet. Till that is released, enjoy this trailer of Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Read More: Solo: A Star Wars Story, Explained