Solo: A Star Wars story created its own dramatic saga over the last year, just not one Disney and Lucasfilm would prefer the masses know about. With a production that saw the removal of its directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, with the movie weeks from wrapping, scuttlebutt surrounded the film and had many fans asking if Han Solo’s origin story was effectively dead in the water.
The next chapter saw Ron Howard swoop in and save Solo as it were, re-shooting over 70 percent of the movie and coming down to the wire in meeting its scheduled release date (also making it the most expensive Star Wars ever). But what of the vision of its erstwhile directors? The rumors surrounding their ouster pointed to a vision that didn’t align with Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy, but what exactly did that mean?
Some thought Lord and Miller, with news of rampant improvisation on the set, were making a comedy. Especially considering their work on the Lego Movie and 22 Jump Street. But a Variety cover story which got details from castmembers and some anonymous crewmembers says it’s quite the opposite: Lord and Miller’s Solo was going to be gritty and reflective of the world Han Solo hails from.
Lord and Miller had conjured a gritty, grimy palette reflective of the seedy underbelly of conniving crooks, battle-weary war deserters and ruthless criminal syndicates on display.
Emilia Clarke told Variety that Kennedy lost patience with the directing duo for their experimenting with the script, which would last for days. “Lord and Miller drew Kennedy’s ire for stretching days out with experimentation. We were all still very much in a collaborative place of ‘Where does this want to go?,’” she said.
Another anonymous source painted a picture of a Lord and Miller that simply were going left when Lucasfilm and Disney wanted them to go right:
“In their minds, Phil and Chris were hired to make a movie that was unexpected and would take a risk, not something that would just service the fans. They wanted it to be fresh, new, emotional, surprising and unique. These guys looked at Han as a maverick, so they wanted to make a movie about a maverick. But at every turn, when they went to take a risk, it was met with a no.”
This information adds an interesting layer to fan speculation about the movie. Especially after The Last Jedi subverted fan expectations of what a Star Wars movie could be, and how one could treat its characters. If anything, this makes the “Lost Solo” movie all the more interesting. This wasn’t some dumb, goofy comedy that got scrapped — it seems like something very different. Something that maybe Star Wars will need with yearly movies scheduled.