Samuel Brace on Solo: A Star Wars Story…
Thank the Lord. Solo: A Star Wars Story at last has a teaser (or two) and the fears of the rational mind can be put to rest, at least for now, as the film about which so much has been said, actually looks pretty terrific.
And I say the ‘rational’ mind quite intentionally, as all those that haven’t already chained themselves to the sinking ship of negativity will be able to look upon the only evidence available with perspicuity and therefore form reasonable deductions. However, there is another group that didn’t like what they saw from the footage so far released, a group with exceptions to be sure, but a group that, one can reasonably postulate, was never going to like it in the first place, or rather, was never going to admit to any reaction other than that of contempt.
It seems to me that Solo has its enemies, bitter ones to be sure, and this isn’t some divine insight that only I am able to make, it’s an observation that should appear just as clear to anyone else with their eyes open and tongue not tied. Precious few were championing the decision made by Lucasfilm to base their next Star Wars story around the early life of one Han Solo. This aversion was fuelled by a number of smaller issues, most of which I sympathised, if not agreed with whole heartedly. Were there other more seemingly interesting stories to tell than this? Most certainly. Was the decision mostly made with the hope of capitalising on one of the biggest names in the franchise? The answer must again be yes. But unfortunately, this was where many minds were already made up, that this film was going to falter, no matter any evidence to the contrary.
More minds were led down the path of ossification when news of a troubled and tumultuous production process began to slither its way into the public sphere. You see, directors were changed; things weren’t going according to plan. Disney was messing up a film that should never have existed in the first place. If this group that held such animus towards Solo was at first small and contained, now it had grown into something far more sinister, becoming ever so much rowdier, its hyperbolic voice echoing across the fandom. Couple this with an agonising wait for a trailer, these voices and the minds that operated them had come to a decision. Solo was going to be awful, they were going to say so loud and proud to whomever would hear their cries, and nothing was going to change their minds.
It became apparent very early on that this was going to be the case; that these particular stalls had been set out, the animadversions all but rehearsed. The narrative had been written in stone. However, the release this past week of not one but two teasers for Solo, all but cemented the fears of those still tethered to reason, whose minds were still open to being swayed. Those looking upon the footage with hope that what they saw might turn out to be good (or encouraging if nothing else) were delighted and relieved to see perhaps the most cinematic looking Star Wars film to date, along with vibrant and intriguing characters and locations, all set in that moment in the mythology so loved by many. This other group, however, wasn’t able to see anything but their own vitriol, blinded by antipathy for a film that in their eyes, and at this stage, had to be a disaster. No other outcome would do. The footage was irrelevant. LucasFilm could have clipped out a minute plus of The Empire Strikes Back and it would have been ripped apart by this group with censorious denunciations.
Now, of course, and it should go without saying, but I think I better say it nonetheless, one can reasonably claim that while the film doesn’t look like the car wreck it was hoped by many to be, that they still have no desire to see the movie based on the subject at its core. This is perfectly acceptable, if not outright admirable. I’ve said it once, I’ve said it twice, and I’ll say it a thousand times hereafter, voting with your wallet and feet is the most powerful and virtuous tool you have against films that you rather didn’t exist. However, the absurd and critical opprobrium generated by Solo is unwarranted to say the least, and to have the temerity to lambast a trailer that by any quantifiable metric depicts at least some decent standard of quality, only comes off as the petulant and childlike behaviour that it most certainly is.
You don’t have to like Solo, heck, it might turn out to be awful, we just don’t know at this point. You don’t even have to like the idea of Solo, that’s fine, but if that’s the case, then don’t go and see the film, just refuse to buy the ticket and give Lucasfilm a message in the process. But don’t pretend for one moment that you were ever going to dish out anything but negative condemnations towards a film that you had decided long ago would fail to gain your approval.