Debuting with a lackluster box office its opening weekend, it’s clear that Disney is not happy with Solo: A Star Wars Story, which is a shame as it’s a genuinely thrilling and funny movie. The biggest problem with making a movie about the early days of Han Solo is that Han Solo really isn’t a character that is compelling enough to warrant one. It turns out turning the clock back to see that a wisecracking cocky space pirate was always that way isn’t that amazing of a story. Plus, as is the case with any prequel, it’s pretty obvious that any life or death situation they are faced with will most certainly end with life.
Oh, there’s some great things to see in Solo, for sure. The scene with Han meeting Chewbacca for the first time is glorious, as is the bond they quickly form. Donald Glover is a perfect young Lando Calrissian, and his relationship with his droid partner L3-37 is touching and hilarious. But it’s the type of low-stakes fun that may have worked just as well as a Netflix series instead of a single film. Solo isn’t burdened with the epic legacy around its neck like The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, or even Rogue One had, but it’s almost so easygoing that it doesn’t feel necessary to watch.
There’s been news of Boba Fett and Obi Wan Kenobi films in the works, but a movie about a bounty hunter that barely talks or YET ANOTHER FUCKING JEDI might not be the pickup Disney is looking for to keep the franchise profitable. Here are some ideas I have that may help turn things around.
We don’t know anything about this dude’s past at all. You could even make it a comedy. Who were his people? How did he become a Jedi? Why is he the last one left of his kind? And more importantly, he’s gotta sing that “Seagulls” song made famous on YouTube.
Dianoga, Trash Compactor Monster
It was amazing in the very first Star Wars movie, and there’s so many unanswered questions about how it got there.
Why not make a mockumentary about these wonderful hooded salvagers of the desert? You could even have it be narrated by David Attenborough. Throw in banthas, Tusken Raiders, droids, moisture farmers, with the scum and villainy of Mos Eisley, and it could be pretty great.
Muppet Star Wars
Disney owns both of these franchises. Why not combine both of them into a fun parody? Plus you could get a long-awaited meeting of Yoda, Miss Piggy, Bert and Grover, all voiced by Frank Oz!
The 500 Deaths of Jar Jar Binks
The maligned star of the prequels is brought back and stuck in a time loop where he’s just murdered in creative ways repeatedly for two straight hours.
90-Minute Title Crawl
The famous Star Wars title crawl opening simply goes on for the entirety of the film.
Star Wars: The Special Porn Edition
Finally, an X-Rated version of the saga featuring cleverly named characters like Lando Caljizzian, Screwbacca and Grand Muff Tarkin!
Lady Bird Strikes Back
The title character of Greta Gerwig’s critically acclaimed film just hangs out in front of East Sacramento landmarks and battles Kylo Ren to see who can scowl better.
**This piece first appeared in print on page 12 of issue #267 (June 4 – 18, 2018)**