Star Wars: Once such a solid franchise appears to be on the ropes a little these days. The opinions from the fan base fluctuate drastically from one movie to the next. The Force Awakens, Rogue One and The Last Jedi have all received pretty mixed reviews. Sadly, the recent release of Solo: A Star Wars Story is no exception. The movie itself raises a number of questions regarding the future of the franchise. One of the main ones being whether or not Disney has a Solo sequel in the works. So today I’m going to take a look at some of the pros and cons of a potential sequel. I’ll also explore some potential directions the franchise could go in from here.
Is it Worthy of a Sequel in the First Place?
Without discussing box office sales, we need to consider the story-telling capabilities of Solo. Does the movie succeed enough on its own to warrant a sequel? Personally, I would say it probably does. When we consider some of the horrific sequels that have been made in the past, particularly for pretty poor films, Solo can offer much more. Was it a mind-blowing movie? No…but it did manage to tell a fun story with interesting characters and bring in new ideas to the Star Wars universe. I think the main problem we have stems not from the success (or lack thereof) of the movie but rather the loose ends that it has left us. The last thing the Star Wars franchise needs is a sequel for the sake of a sequel, especially with how many movies Disney already has planned!
I do think that there is the potential for a sequel. However, has Solo left enough story threads to lure us in for another journey on the Millennium Falcon? I’d have to say no. We need to consider what elements have to be in place prior to the events of Episode IV: A New Hope. Are Han and Chewie together? Yes. Do they have the Millennium Falcon? Yes. Has the Millennium Falcon completed the Kessel run in 12 Parsecs? Apparently so. Are Han and Chewie working for Jabba the Hutt? Well, they are certainly on their way to. So what could a Solo sequel explore?
Potential Focus of a Solo Sequel
As far as I can tell there is only one clear direction that a Solo sequel could take. It isn’t with Jabba the Hutt (although that could play a role in it) and it isn’t anything to do with Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke). I don’t even think that exploring Enfys Nest (Erin Kellyman) or her mysterious parentage need to play any sort of role in a potential Solo sequel. Moving past all of that, there is only one character whose relationship with Han needs to be explored in more depth: Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover).
Solo explores many Han (Alden Ehrenreich) stories and relationships. Many of these are already established in later films while some were completely new to cinema audiences. Yet only two of Hans’ friendships exist in both Solo and the original trilogy: Chewie and Lando. When we are first introduced to Lando in The Empire Strikes Back, there is a clear rivalry between the two…but also admiration, respect and friendship. These just aren’t traits that we see by the end of Solo. They know each other, sure but are they friends? Hell no. Especially when we consider that Lando lost not only his ship but also L3-37, a dear friend and companion.
If Han and Lando never meet again between the events of Solo and the Empire Strikes Back, then their interaction would make very little sense. Lando wouldn’t view the Falcon as being precious to Han but rather to himself and so comments he makes in Return of the Jedi would also seem somewhat out-of-place. Plus, unless the pair are using a Star War’s version of Skype to keep in touch, how would Han know Lando is at Cloud City? I think this is realistically the only route a sequel could explore.
Other Loose Ends
I know, I know, there are other loose ends from Solo that could arguably lead to a sequel. I mean Qi’ra is still alive and is involved in some sort of crime syndicate with none other than Darth Maul. The last time we saw Maul in the cinematic universe, his body had just been sliced in two by Obi-Wan in The Phantom Menace. Darth Maul could arguably be the focus of a potential Solo sequel. However, I personally can’t see such a story working. Having Han face off in any capacity against Maul would be entirely unbelievable for many reasons. Remember the Han vs Vader scene in The Empire Strikes Back?
I think we can all agree that whether intentional or not, Maul’s appearance would be the perfect set up for another character’s movie. After all, if someone is going to face off against Maul, wouldn’t Obi-Wan be the logical choice? Considering Han tells Luke “…I’ve never seen anything to make me believe that there’s one all-powerful Force controlling everything. ‘Cause no mystical energy field controls my destiny. It’s all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.” It wouldn’t make a great deal of sense if he’d encountered Maul beforehand. Since he presumably still has force abilities despite being cut in half.
Besides, fans are practically foaming at the mouth for an Obi-Wan movie and the Maul angle would give the story a little background. There’s also no reason that Qi’ra’s story couldn’t reach its conclusion in this movie as well. With Disney announcing the release of another Anthology movie in 2020, could this mark the return of Ewan McGregor to a much-loved role? I guess we’ll have to just wait and see!
I’ve Got a Bad Feeling About this…
Of course, Disney doesn’t exactly fill us with confidence in terms of their ability to forward think. I mean we’re only two-thirds of the way through a trilogy that had no real plan for the 1st, 2nd or 3rd installment. If they can’t plan a trilogy then how well are they going to plan this next Anthology movie? There are many directions Disney could take which would ultimately destroy the franchise even further and would ultimately leave fans wishing that a Han spin-off movie had never existed.
Keep in mind that an origin story, such as what we got with Solo, can usually get a pass with fans. A Solo sequel, on the other hand, would be harder to pull off. For starters, you have to balance the number of cameos you include: too many and it seems too contrived, too few and fans feel they’ve been ignored. Similarly, with such a big universe you have to consider consistency. Which characters could in theory interact with one another? It wouldn’t surprise me to see Maz Katana making an appearance in either a Han or Obi-Wan movie. Speaking of which, could Obi-Wan appear in the Solo sequel? The characters didn’t appear to know each other in A New Hope but that’s not to say that Obi-Wan and Chewie didn’t know each other.
After all, there has been a long-standing theory that Chewie was working for the rebellion all along. With his connection to Yoda and Yoda’s connection to Obi-Wan, could we perhaps see the two interacting? Ultimately, any Solo sequel would need a real story. Not some clichéd Hollywood movie with Star Wars characters, it would have to be something unique and original to Han.
I think that ultimately, Disney needs to think long and hard before rushing out a Solo sequel. Personally, the release of such a movie wouldn’t excite me. Not unless they had come up with some truly entertaining way to bring Han back to the big screen. Granted, I didn’t rush to see Solo either but it is still an enjoyable enough movie. I think it makes much more sense for them to focus their time, money and resources on an Obi-Wan film. After all, Obi-Wan may be a fan favorite but he still needs a good movie. If they release a poor Obi-Wan film then that would likely be the final straw for many fans.
Right now, all we can do is sit back and hope that someone, somewhere is advising the higher-ups of Star Wars production that there is absolutely no need to rush into a sequel. That’s not to say that they shouldn’t do one, but they need patience. Sadly patience and Disney don’t really belong in the same sentence. It’s true that the Solo story line may have left a couple of questions unanswered. However, these could easily be explained in an Obi-Wan film or simply abandoned altogether. I mean, does anyone really care about what happened to Qi’ra?
Thank you for reading! Would you like to see a Solo sequel? If so, what direction would it take and would you rather see another Solo movie or the return of Obi-wan? Comment down below!
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