YIN/YANG REVIEWS: Solo: A Star Wars Story / Gringo

Updated: Jul 8, 2019

by Derek May

YIN: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Here’s a movie that started behind the 8-ball. Despite his enduring popularity, fans have been continually divided about whether they even wanted a film exploring the early years of nefarious rogue, Han Solo. Yet, it’s because of his popularity that Disney figured it was a slam dunk to include the film in their nascent spin-off franchise. And really I, for one, can’t fault them for that.

To ensure the best result, they brought in acclaimed screenwriter and Star Wars veteran Larry Kasden, along with his son, to pen the screenplay. A fine idea. They then hired hot, young directing duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller, both fresh off commercial and critical success with their Lego Movie. Not bad, right? They even got Donald Glover as Lando, I mean, how much more perfect can you get?

Despite proper preparation and the best intentions, the wheels started coming off the bus fairly quickly. Rumors that Miller and Lord were improvising too much and injecting too much comedy into the film, got execs all in a tizzy. Seriously though, how did they not see THAT coming from these guys? Then more rumors about already-divisive leading man Alden Ehrenreich began to swirl, claiming his acting was not only missing the Harrison mark, but quite simply performing below basic expectations. The film that fans were already unsure about looked to be in BIG trouble.

In a surprising move, with more than half the film already shot, Disney fired Lord and Miller and replaced them with stalwart Ron Howard, saddling him with the near-impossible task of getting up to speed, reshooting a massive portion of the film, and still making the announced release date. Oh, and when you have the time, take to social media to try and allay everyone’s fears and doubts. Thanks, Ron!