Kasdans Talk Necessity of a Solo Origin Story and More - Star Wars News Net | Star Wars News Net
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Kasdans Talk Necessity of a Solo Origin Story and More

There is no denying that Solo: A Star Wars Story’s pre-release buzz has had a slightly different feel than the other Star Wars releases in the Disney era. Some point to the general lesser interest around non-saga films. Others point out that the director shake-up halfway through production doesn’t bode well for the film’s coherence. But, one of the most often cited complaints about the upcoming film by fans is that “we didn’t need a Han Solo origin story”.

 

Of course, the complaints seem to be coming from a pretty small minority as box office tracking seems very good for Solo. Whether you agree with the idea that Disney could have had more impact and told a more compelling story if they had gone elsewhere with the second standalone film, the movie is complete, about to hit theaters, and getting a mostly positive critical reception so far. While doing the press circuit, Inside the Magic got a chance to sit down with writers Lawrence and Jonathan Kasdan to ask them about their take on the film’s necessity.

 

So, what are the writers’ thoughts on whether we actually needed this movie?

 

Lawrence Kasdan: I’m mystified by that one question. I feel I can answer almost any other question. But, ‘Why do we need…?’ I feel that you can say that about any movie that was ever made.

Jonathan: I think we need it almost exactly as much as we needed ‘Iron Man 2’… or 3. For that matter, ‘Batman Begins.’ I mean, I am a huge fan of the [Christopher] Nolan Batman cycle, but let’s be honest, there had been five Batman movies. And never in any of the Batman movies, even as they continue, has there been any danger that he was going to die. So the handicaps on this movie that I think have caused people to ask that question are a little baffling, simply because it’s such a hallmark of the culture now to revisit characters we adore.

Jonathan: And then there’s the further element of it, which is that we never thought of this as a movie that was going to answer questions. Because we weren’t really asking questions either. We weren’t saying, ‘You’ve got to see the scene where he wins the Falcon.’ We were saying, ‘How can we make a really fun heist/crime movie with a character we absolutely adore, and pepper it with moments that are delightful and fun, and they give you a little kick?’

 

All of what they say here is true in a vacuum. There is no inherent negative in the existence of this movie. Star Wars movies don’t really need to be about plot, so it doesn’t matter if we already know that half the characters make it out alive. If their story within the film is compelling, and the character interactions, portrayals, and growth are fun and interesting, any movie can have great value based on those aspects alone.

 

On the flip side, fans are always left to wonder what other options for standalone movies might have been left behind to get this instead. And of course, we may never know, which makes worrying about it fruitless. (But if I ever find out Solo took the place of a Max Rebo Band tour mockumentary, I’ll never forgive the smug smuggler)

 

 

One other point of concern among parts of fandom has been how they would treat Han Solo’s backstory from the old EU. The writers went into some detail on how they approached that.

 

Lawrence: I’m lucky because I know nothing about the Expanded Universe. I had never read one of those novels, so for me it was always starting from scratch. And Jon, who’s much more converse in that stuff, would sometimes say to me, ‘But here’s what happened.’ But we never felt limited by it.

Jonathan: What we took as a golden rule was that if it was mentioned in any of the seven at that point existing movies, it was officially a hard and fast rule. But even after the decision to make certain things canon and other things not, there’s still so much material between ‘Rebels’ and ‘Clone Wars’ and the books and comics they do consider canon, that it’s almost impossible to think of every reference within that world as law. It’s just too big.

I understand the desire in fans to feel that anything they read in that world, ‘Okay, well this is really what happened.’ But the truth is it’s such an expansive galaxy. And there’s a great guy at the center of this: Pablo Hidalgo, who’s job it is to sort of master all this stuff, and he helped us a lot with things that he thought were hot button. What’s great about Pablo is he’s not the guy who says ‘No, no, no. You can’t do that.’ He’s the guy who says, ‘This could be tricky, and here’s what I would do that might help.’

Lawrence: And he lets you do that.

 

 

 

That’s a nice bit of insight into the true approach of the creative teams and the story group. It’s an often misunderstood dynamic that can sometimes portray the story group as all powerful overlords directing every second of every plot. But from all comments from those who have actually created the movies, it seems the opposite is more the case. Creators create. The story group just helps them make it fit.

 

Head over to ITM for the rest of the interview which has some great insights on the approach to the younger Lando and Han dynamic, getting inspiration from Ron Howard’s Willow, and trying to get some other classic characters in the movie.

 

 

 

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