Written by / 6/06/2018 / No comments / , , ,

DON'T BLAME OLD LUKE FOR YOUNG 'SOLO' EPICALLY FAILING

SOLO didn't even "Fly Casual" at the box office: We love THIS Han Solo
THE LAST JEDI backlash is at an all-time peak, five months after its financially successful (until the epic second week drop) yet fan abhorred, controversial release, and it's because SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY is failing, and has failed, and could ultimately lose over fifty-million dollars for Lucasfilm/Disney...

But at this point, the blaming of the JEDI scapegoat is an excuse that's getting old. Hell, even Disney faults Rian Johnson's Episode VIII for their standalone Han Solo prequel tanking. Ironically, they promised Johnson an entire trilogy for making the movie that's supposedly killing this one. With all that going against THE LAST JEDI, how can the mysterious other-galaxy saga remain free from the trash compactor?

Old Luke's fault or Young Han's?
Back to the point: SOLO has been reviewed here already, and it's no use repeating how truly god-awful it is, but we'll take another quick shot for the sake of this particular essay/article...

On a perpetual, meandering, dizzy and complicated,  uninteresting cycle, one scene follows the next with zero substance or flow along the way. It feels like starting from the proverbial ceiling and dropping to the floor, again and again: New rooms, new ceilings, new floors... But no doors: An adventure needs to move across, horizontal, sideways, and throughout its foundation. SOLO is a tortuous, unending pogo stick. A hangover without drinking.

He Just Didn't Sell
How Alden Ehrenreich was cast in the first place is unbelievable. Reportedly, it was from a big critical splash (that no average moviegoer even knew about) as a result of the Coen Brothers' HAIL, CAESAR where he played a bad actor trying to fit into what's supposed to be a great film: A limited performer in way over-his-head. Talk about Life Imitating Art. But the poor kid didn't have a chance, nor would even a great actor who actually resembled Harrison Ford and/or channeled him correctly. The SOLO screenplay is almost entirely to blame...

As the story grew it mattered
Lawrence Kasdan, who scripted George Lucas's stories for EMPIRE, RETURN and RAIDERS, and his son, Jonathan, had no idea what type of fantasy they were creating. Part Space Pirate, part Buddy Picture, part Action/Adventure, part Comedy, Part Western, Part Chase: all enveloped into a preachy melodrama involving the slave labor of children, black teenage girls, and even robots (Set Your Blenders Free!)...

The Kasdans had no vision. Instead, they only seemed to "Have a dream." But that kind of force-fed melodrama is, at this point, tiresome, cliché. In SOLO, the message kicks the viewer in the face and doesn't let up.

As for the box office, SOLO bombed on the opening weekend, which means audiences didn't care. And it continued (and still continues) to plummet: most likely due to people hearing bad news about what they already figured, feared, or expected. And this is terrible for Disney. Their planned Boba Fett and Obi Wan prequels are now under a looming shadow: plus the fact George Lucas already covered those particular backstories in his rightfully maligned prequels...

Turns out, Harrison Ford both played and IS Han Solo
And in this case, hardcore fans, and even mainstream audiences, didn't need a reason for Han Solo to be anything but the character he was in the Original Trilogy where Harrison Ford's performance felt both effortless and driven, leaving no time to reflect upon a life that led to a position of needing to move forward beyond what he was hired for i.e. what he does is who he is...

And while the significance of Han, Chewbacca and the Millennium Falcon obviously stretches beyond giving the young hero a ride to rescue a princess, they still exist to fill-in the "now" while Mark Hamill's often-thankless Luke Skywalker (along with Obi Wan and Leia) are left to suffer through the how's and where's, and especially the why's. What Harrison Ford brought to the character was a pointed, focused, glib and mischievous persona that is still involving, addictive, and timeless. Basically, SOLO: A STAR WAR STORY attempts (badly) to provide answers that the legendary Rebel's Rebel didn't need, or ask for. Bottom line: Han Solo never looked back... So why should we? 
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