Tuesday, June 5, 2018
THE INTERESTING FAILURE OF SOLO
Let’s get one thing straight, Solo is a fairly decent film, it’s not great, but it’s well made and doesn’t do anything horrendous in it’s entire runtime... Yet it is noted as a massive failure. To be clear, the failure is more from the financial side of things, but given this is a new movie in a massive franchise, everyone (unfortunately) has to act like the movie is some kind of insult. I'm not gonna act like no one can hate on this film, I perfectly get why it isn't being held like some tragic masterpiece, I just think what's lost in the millions of "Star Wars failed!" pieces online is why Solo is even a failure to begin with. No, it isn't The Last Jedi, nor is it that the nerds have spoken, I think it's much simpler than that, no one cared from the announcement to now.
THE QUALITY OF SOLO
Let's get to the movie first, relax I'm not doing spoilers, unless you count Chewie coming out alive a spoiler, but okay then. Solo has pretty much garnered two reactions, fun for a spin-off, or just boring, I fall into the first camp, but understand the second if I'm honest. There really isn't anything special about this movie, but it is fun at times and features some interesting ideas. I loved the train robbery, seeing more of the mafia side of the universe, seeing the Empire from the perspective of someone indifferent about what they do, I even liked the idea of droids rebelling; that last one could probably work best as it's own movie though. My point is this movie does feel fresh at times, enough to see why the studio must've thought it had potential, despite the fact that on the other side of the coin, Solo is nothing special, no one needed Han's backstory, no one needed to see how he got his name, or gun, none of that. It's in the scenes where the film must stop to let the viewers know how Han became Han that this all drags, I doubt the word of mouth from these moments had the biggest impact, but I can't deny it must've lost some audience members the second people started saying how filled the movie is with winks to where Han is going in life. Despite the annoyance of "so that's why the Millennium Falcon looks like that" moments, I still think the main factor just came down to people not caring, why would they? This was likely always a one-off, who really cares what happens to Han before he's found in a cantina?
WHY DIDN'T ANYONE CARE?
I've already answered this haven't I? Literally the last paragraph answered this, or did it? I mean Rogue One is a one-off too but it still brought in boatloads of cash, what was different there? I'd have to say timing, no not that it was on December, or a year after the previous film, but because it was after the first new "episode" after a decade. Think about it, the geeks obviously knew Rogue One was not a continuation of The Force Awakens, but the average viewer likely assumed it would be, even if the cast was different, or the lack of an episode number, Star Wars is Star Wars, why would there be spin-offs? It's not like Disney would try to turn this into a superhero thing. In fact I do remember hearing some people thinking it was Episode VIII, which was likely how it got the push, maybe if more people knew right away that it wasn't a continuation it wouldn't have been a big hit. I will say this much on behalf of Rogue One though, it's a better movie than Solo, I know it has legitimate issues, but I do think it works overall, I say this because I know I'm not alone on this, so it's lasting success was in word of mouth, over the quality, diversity and overall new cast of characters that made it feel fresh, Solo doesn't have that overall. Solo also isn't a war film which while not bad, made it feel small scale, so of course no one thought it was big enough to warrant an interest. In fact the only reason anyone cares that it didn't make all the money in the world, is that it costed all the money in the world, remember there were a ton of re-shoots once the original directors (Phil Lord and Chris Miller) were booted off the project. Now in fairness, Lord and Miller probably would've made a better film, but I don't think their departure lost a lot of people, the average viewer doesn't even know who they are, their departure however did matter to the studio because it meant the money would balloon to accommodate the vision of someone who could keep the film proceeding exactly the way the head of Lucasfilm (Kathleen Kennedy) wanted it to (who thought the first cut was too silly for a film connected to the universe). The public, it just didn't care, it was another Star Wars movie, one with smaller stakes, that was a prequel to an established hero and wasn't gonna do much if you choose to skip it in a crowded season, the only people who care are the accountants at Disney and the people obssessed with box-office numbers, especially if this failing makes it look like Star Wars needs a change.
DOES IT EVEN MATTER THAT IT FAILED?
NO, absolutely not. That's what makes this failure so interesting, everyone is acting like the sky has fallen, Disney must change it's plans, Kathleen Kennedy must get fired, Star Wars will have to reboot, or erase The Last Jedi, but I guarantee you, DISNEY DOESN'T CARE. This isn't like Batman v. Superman, or Justice League, or even The Amazing Spider-Man 2 where the entire plan hinged on this movie, this was always meant to be a one-off, with the possibility of sequels if it were a hit, but I don't think Lucasfilm really ever cared to make a Solo 2, or Lando film (which could still happen due to the positive feedback for Glover). This failing means nothing, at most Disney might consider moving back the films to December, or taking more precautions to avoid making spin-offs that cost half a billion, but they will not change the course they have for Episode IX when it hits theaters. Yes dorks, you don't make enough money for this franchise to call the shots, if you did The Force Awakens would've lost more than 4 million. Even if Solo did make a big enough loss for Lucasfilm to completely change it's future films, I guarantee you it would not be to add more men and less "diversity politics" to the films, remember The Last Jedi was a hit, they would only judge the failure of this, which means women leads are in, men are out and the cast needs to include more people, after all the last three films succeeded while featuring that. Disney won't do that though, because no Hollywood studio wants to stop casting young white men, if Hollywood lost it's minds that Black Panther was killing all white competition, yet still green lights movies about some white dude named Jim, what makes you think the failure of some spin-off like Solo is gonna change a thing?
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Written by Octaviano Macias