Last year, Solo: A Star Wars Story became the first movie in the Star Wars franchise to bomb at the box office. To be fair to the filmmakers, Disney replaced the directors halfway through and reshot the whole movie, doubling the budget, and then hardly marketed it when it came to theaters. So, it’s pretty obvious who’s to blame for the film’s failure.
A small, but dedicated segment, of the Star Wars fanbase has been campaigning for a sequel in the months since the movie came out. So, here are five reasons We Need Solo 2 and five we don’t.
10 Need it: Solo has unresolved plot threads
In today’s climate of big-budget filmmaking, no one ever plans just the one movie. The plan is always for each movie to lead into a series of movies, so they get filled with sequel setups and Easter eggs to get fans talking. And so goes Solo: A Star Wars Story, a movie that set itself up to answer a bunch of questions and, in doing so, asked a bunch more.
While we found out how Han got the dice that hang in the cockpit the Millennium Falcon, we were left wondering why Qi’ra decided not to mention Han in her report back to Darth Maul.
9 Don’t need it: The original didn’t make enough money
Solo: A Star Wars Story was famous for being the first ever Star Wars movie to bomb at the box office. Disney spent way too much on it (reportedly up to $300 million, making it one of the most expensive movies of all time) and it only grossed $392 million worldwide. If Solo had cost around $100 to $150 million, which is a fair amount to spend on a spin-off based on a 40-year-old character that today’s kids don’t care about, then $392 million wouldn’t have been so bad.
It wouldn’t be a smash hit, but it wouldn’t be a bomb either. As it stands, from a business perspective, Solo simply didn’t make anywhere near enough money to justify a sequel.
8 Need it: It had an interesting supporting cast
Aside from its focus on everyone’s favorite Corellian smuggler, Solo: A Star Wars Story offered up an exciting supporting cast. Of course, there were fellow fan favorites like Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian, who it would be fun to see again in the future, but the supporting cast went beyond that.
A sequel could expand on intriguing characters from the original, like Qi’ra and Darth Maul, and also offer us new one-off characters like Tobias Beckett and L3-37 who made a big impression in the first one. If we don’t get a sequel to Solo, then we’ve likely seen the last of these characters.
7 Don’t need it: The character didn’t really feel like Han Solo
The lead character in Solo: A Star Wars Story that we were told was named Han Solo didn’t really feel all that much like Han Solo. He wasn’t selfish, he didn’t have an ounce of confidence, he hardly ever uttered a quip, and he got tricked by everyone around him at every turn. Even his ambitions were retconned.
The Han presented to us in Solo doesn’t want to get rich quick; he just wants to be a fighter pilot. That’s not the Han we know. The Han we know – at least in this period of his life – doesn’t have any political affiliations and serves no one but himself. It was all wrong.
6 Need it: Alden Ehrenreich’s take on Han Solo was compelling
Although no one would mistake Alden Ehrenreich’s performance as Han Solo for a young Harrison Ford, his portrayal went beyond simple mimicry. He did something very interesting; he nailed Ford’s mannerisms and facial expressions, but then built on that with his own take on the character.
No one’s ever going to play Han better than Ford did, but as successors go, Ehrenreich was pretty compelling. The biggest problem with the portrayal of Han in Solo was with how he was written. His characterization was very different in his spin-off than in the original trilogy. Ehrenreich should be given the chance to play a faithfully written Han Solo.
5 Don’t need it: A New Hope is Solo 2
Solo ended with Han and Chewie heading off for a big score with a gangster on Tatooine. After this job with Jabba the Hutt is when we first met Han in A New Hope. So, unless the sequel could squeeze a suitable storyline and character arc around the limited timeframe between those movies, we already kind of have Solo 2.
We already saw the continuation of this story 42 years ago. Solo didn’t really leave any wiggle room for a sequel that isn’t A New Hope. It would have to be a prequel, like Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, but that doesn’t seem like a good idea – the word “prequel” has a bad reputation in the Star Wars fan community.
4 Need it: It could be a different kind of Star Wars franchise
While the core Star Wars saga is a multi-part story told very deliberately in trilogies, with each installment making up a key part of the story, Solo’s side franchise could be different. It would be a franchise in the style of Indiana Jones or James Bond where each movie is a completely standalone adventure that explores new corners of the Star Wars universe.
This would be in keeping with the Flash Gordon serials that George Lucas grew up with and inspired him to create Star Wars in the first place. It would be a fascinating new avenue to explore with the franchise.
3 Don’t need it: A movie starring Donald Glover as Lando would be better
Rather than make a sequel to Solo and drag out all the things that disappointed fans about the first one, why not make a movie about the best part of the first one and forget the rest? While Alden Ehrenreich’s Han proved to be controversial with fans and Paul Bettany’s villain character was pretty lackluster, everybody loved Donald Glover’s charismatic take on Lando Calrissian.
Instead of making a sequel to Solo, Disney and Lucasfilm should just spin-off from it and give us a Lando movie instead. This could lead into a Boba Fett movie and give us a trilogy of spiritual sequels focusing on different, loosely connected characters.
2 Need it: Any trip to that galaxy far, far away is going to be worth it
By no stretch of the imagination was Solo: A Star Wars Story a masterpiece. The plot was stilted, the origin story of a fan-favorite character was reduced to the origin story of his various clothes and accessories, and the ample reshoots were obvious. Still, it was a fun intergalactic adventure.
The Star Wars movies are supposed to be pure escapism, and on that scale, Solo achieved exactly what it set out to do. At the end of the day, as far as fans of the franchise are concerned, any trip to that galaxy far, far away is going to be worth it.
1 Don’t need it: Han is better as a supporting player
Han Solo was conceived as a supporting character. If he was meant to be a lead protagonist, then George Lucas would’ve made him the lead protagonist. Luke Skywalker is the lead protagonist type. He’s bright-eyed, heroic, and on a very specific journey. Han just represents a vital part of that journey. He was Luke’s first introduction to the world outside his cushy life on Tatooine and, at first, he didn’t believe in the Force or the Rebels’ cause.
Han’s character development went along with Luke’s, which made him a prime example of a well-crafted supporting character and a bad example of a lead protagonist.