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The last few years have been a great time for Star Wars fans, as new and exciting content hit theaters to expand the galaxy far, far away. One of the ways Disney expanded Lucasfilm's scope was through standalone films like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Ron Howard stepped in to complete Solo after the original directors' departure, but the blockbuster ended up being the franchise's first box office disappointment. But one top Disney exec thinks the project gets a bad wrap.
Alan Horn is Disney's Film Chief, and works on bringing the massive Star Wars franchise to theaters for the generations of fans. And while Solo: A Star Wars Story failed to be a critical or box office breakaway hit, he doesn't think it deserves all of the bad press it's gotten since arriving in theaters in May of 2018. He recently spoke to that, saying:
It’s always a challenge because — and I say this with love and respect for media — the thing about these big movies is they get a lot of attention, whether positive or negative. So when they don’t work, like Solo, the media says it’s a failure. I think it was a pretty good movie. It didn’t resonate as much as we’d hoped it would, but the press writes it up in a more negative way than I would. These are very high-profile movies. If Aladdin, which I happen to think is a terrific film, doesn’t work somehow, that’s big news and much bigger news than if a movie somewhere else, like The Kid Who Would Be King [at Fox,] doesn’t work.
That's certainly one way of thinking. Because Solo was apart of the behemoth Star Wars franchise, the expectations for the standalone movie were sky high. Additionally, Solo had the added pressure of expanding a fan favorite's backstory, while passing the baton to Alden Ehrenreich from OG hero Harrison Ford. Audiences didn't ultimately respond to those efforts, and it's unclear if a sequel will come to fruition.
Alan Horn's comments to THR reflect the complicated world of filmmaking, especially when it comes to beloved franchises like Star Wars. Disney has the process largely down to a science, juggling both the Marvel Cinematic Universe and George Lucas' beloved space opera. Lucasfilm has also been shown to take risks with Star Wars, as Rian Johnson's The Last Jedi purposefully subverted fan expectations. J.J. Abrams is next back behind the director's chair for The Last Jedi, completing both the current trilogy and overall Skywalker Saga in one foul swoop.
Star Wars Episode IX will arrive in theaters on December 20th. In the meantime, check out our 2019 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.