"Solo: A Star Wars Story" Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Enjoy the Marketing of Damage Control

The trailer works. I know this is counter-reactive to everything we know about the crazy production of this film, but the trailer is a success. Disney has found a way to do some professional, hit-man-styled damage control with this film. "

Solo: A Star Wars Story,” is only 6 weeks away from official release, and 4 away from its Cannes premiere.  It's been quite the journey, to say the least. Controversies and rumors abounded during production, but that seems to have stalled a bit in recent months and Disney was, more or less, back in cruise control, especially after the success of the Super Bowl teaser and trailer release. Hell, it was even revealed this weekend that fired directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were going to receive executive producer credit on the film. Aw, shucks.

Just like any company in charge of a profitable film about to be released on home video, Lucasfilm is now in a full-fledged promotional mode for “The Last Jedi,” and then afterwards they can then turn their attentions to “Solo: A Star Wars Story” which will be released this coming May.  Director Johnson has, of course, been making the promotional rounds. Speaking with ComicBook at the AARP Movies for Grownup Awards, he was asked about “Solo” and it seems like he’s seen it and has given it his stamp of approval:

” … I think it looks so beautiful. I can’t wait for people to see more of the film – it’s so fun, it’s so funny. The cast is so charismatic, and I think they all just did a great job with it.”

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” has had a tumultuous production, just like its other spin-off counterpart “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.”  The firing of Directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord complicated things, so did the hire of an acting coach for the film’s star Alden Ehrenreich, which resulted in heavy re-shoots by newly hired director Ron Howard.

Of course, we should take whatever Johnson says with a major grain of salt, he is, after all, a heavily invested property over at Disney and Lucasfilm, where they have just hired him to write a whole separate trilogy of ‘Star Wars” films. Nevertheless, it’s great to hear something, anything, positive about “Solo” which has been shunned off by many, who clearly haven’t seen it but have very much heard about the on-set chaos, tension, and figured it surely had to be a non-starter. Disney is no doubt in damage control mode at the moment and trying to turn the tide of conversation back to the positive. The impressive Super Bowl trailer helped, so did the hire of the legendary John Williams to compose the score, oh and that whole Lord/Miller controversy? Thrown out of the back window as the very competent Ron Howard (“Rush,” “Apollo 13,” “Cinderella Man,” Frost/Nixon,” “A Beautiful Mind”) will surely bring his gift for staging clear and concise action but never losing touch of character. Howard seems to have just made his own version of the film and heavily re-shot most of it, which is fine by us as we don’t really want another clash of visions, ala Whedon/Snyder, to ever happen in a major blockbuster again.