So. Solo: A Star Wars Story underperformed pretty substantially at the box office during its opening weekend, to the point where experts are saying the movie might lose money, making the prospect of a second standalone Han Solo movie pretty unlikely. For a sign of how much the movie flopped, experts are projecting that it’s going to make somewhere around $200 million less globally than Justice League, which itself didn’t exactly do great. People have wondered what happened, and if it will change the way Star Wars movies are handled in the future, but one thing’s for sure: This is likely to provoke a lot of reflection at Disney and Lucasfilm about the future of the franchise. While they’re doing that, here’s everything else going on in the galaxy far, far away.
Movies Are Magic, Says Someone Who Almost Got to Direct a Star Wars Movie
The Source: Former Episode IX director Colin Trevorrow
Probability of Accuracy: Given that we’re not entirely sure what he’s actually saying, it’s difficult to make a judgment.
The Real Deal: Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow parted ways with Lucasfilm in September of last year, and now he’s finally broken his silence about leaving Star Wars: Episode IX … kind of. Speaking with Empire magazine, Trevorrow—who is on tap to direct the 2021 follow-up to this summer’s Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, because that’s how things work now—said, “I don’t want to talk too much about it because I don’t want to affect the way that fans get to see these films. … When we were kids, these movies came to us from far away. They were a gift. And the more we talk about how they’re made, the more it reveals that they’re just movies. But they’re not just movies, they’re more than that. Beyond that, I got the opportunity to tell a story that is a celebration of everything I believe in, I got to tell it to George Lucas and I got to tell it to Luke Skywalker, and those are experiences I will cherish for the rest of my life.” Two things stand out here. Firstly, that’s the most long-winded way of avoiding actually commenting imaginable. Secondly… He got to tell it to Luke Skywalker? Does that mean Mark Hamill was in Trevorrow’s version of Episode IX, or simply that Hamill was wandering around and Trevorrow couldn’t help himself from sharing?
That Big Solo Cameo Was a Last-Minute Decision
The Source: Two of the people behind Solo: A Star Wars Story
Probability of Accuracy: If Ron Howard and screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan don’t know how Solo was made, who does?
The Real Deal: Surprised by that cameo at the end of Solo? (Spoilers are ahead, so jump to the next item if you haven’t seen Solo yet.) Turns out, there’s a reason for that—as recently as Ron Howard’s arrival on the set (which was, you may remember, just three weeks before the end of the original shoot), the reveal of Darth Maul as the true boss of the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate hadn’t actually been decided upon. As Howard told /Film, the screenplay he originally received “just sort of said ‘Boss.’ And I thought when I came in, I assumed they knew who it was and they were just keeping it under wraps. And they didn’t.” Still, according to one of the movie’s screenwriters, Jonathan Kasdan, he’d always wanted the boss to be Darth Maul. “It was a sneaky ass process that I was fighting for all along,” he told io9. “He was my favorite character in the prequel trilogy and I was determined that Dryden was not the top of the food chain. We both wanted the criminal underworld to feel way bigger than we could see in this movie. And that Han would be a minnow surrounded by sharks.” Sadly, neither of them teased out who the other candidates had been for the position. Maybe on the Blu-ray…
Whatever Happened to Tag and Bink?
The Source: Jonathan Kasdan again
Probability of Accuracy: Once again, you have to trust the people who made the movie to know what happened when making the movie.
The Real Deal: Speaking of the Solo Blu-ray—and Jonathan Kasdan spilling secrets about the movie—the screenwriter has finally explained what happened to the appearance by fan-favorite Expanded Universe characters Tag and Link that director Ron Howard had himself teased on social media. “One of the things we went back and forth on a lot is that both Larry [Kasdan, co-writer] and I felt that it was important to see Han in the Imperial Academy, in the Navy, because we wanted to see him become this pilot,” the writer told ComicBook.com. “And from the first draft through the last draft, there was a chunk of the movie … that showed him in the Imperial Academy doing some sort of flight things, sort of disobeying a direct order, and getting kicked out. And as he’s getting kicked out, he’s being sort of moved out of the official courtroom by Tag and Bink, played by [me] and Toby Hefferman, our [first assistant director].” The scene ended up getting cut in the final round of edits, Kasdan says. “We were certain that this scene was going to remain because it’s a crucial moment in his life. And it was the last thing to come out. It was heartbreaking.” So now you know both where Tag and Link were, and also why we didn’t get to see any of Han’s Imperial career beyond the very end of it.
Chronicle Books Recognizes the Girl Power in the Galaxy Far, Far Away
The Source: An official announcement
Probability of Accuracy: It doesn’t get more accurate than an official announcement.
The Real Deal: Something sure to piss off those old-school fans who complain about the direction of modern Star Wars stories is the newly-announced Star Wars: Women of the Galaxy, a celebration of female characters from all across the franchise, including Leia, Rey, Jyn Erso, Rose Tico, and plenty of non-movie characters, including Ahsoka Tano, Auura Sing, and Rae Sloane. In total, 75 characters will be spotlighted, each one with a portrait from a group of female and non-binary artists. The entire book will be written by Amy Ratcliffe, and published through Chronicle Books in October. The outcry from men asking when there’s going to be a Men of the Galaxy book will probably start somewhere around … now.
Nien Nunb, Coming Soon to a Disney Park Near You
The Source: Disney Parks, of all places
Probability of Accuracy: These are all officially released facts, so… let’s call them accurate.
The Real Deal: All kinds of new details have started to appear about Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, the theme park incarnation of the franchise, set to open next year at Disney’s California and Florida resorts. Yes, we all knew about the life-size Millennium Falcon, but it turns out there will also be life-size AT-ATs and Resistance Transports at Black Spire Outpost, the newly revealed location for Galaxy’s Edge. It’s on the planet Batuu, and Black Spire even pops up in a line of dialogue in Solo, because synergy is a wonderful thing. In case that’s not enough connection to the movies, how about this: Nien Nunb, Lando’s co-pilot in the Millennium Falcon in Return of the Jedi, will be a character at the location, with dialogue recorded by Kipsang Rotich, who performed the same duties in the 1983 movie. There’s some more information about Black Spire on the official Disney Parks blog, including concept artwork, but no one’s talking about the long-awaited return of Nien just yet. Well, not enough, anyway.