‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ hit theaters and divided fans one year ago. Now, director Ron Howard has come forward with some opinions about the film’s reception. Howard came on the project late in the game, replacing directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. And while the box office results were huge for Howard, they fell below the standard for the franchise.
While the film was met with heavy criticism, there has been a recent push for a ‘Solo’ sequel. In a recent interview about the film, Howard was asked what he thinks went right with ‘Solo.’ Howard said:
“I feel very good about the way it turned out. I love the way it played to audiences, which I witnessed and was a part of. So all of that I’m able to feel good about. Sure, I wish it would’ve done [better] and lived up to the box office and so forth, so that’s disappointing. Why? Maybe it’s the release. Maybe it’s the idea that it’s sort of too nostalgic, going back and revisiting an origin story for a beloved character may not be what the fans were looking for. It kind of seemed to me, looking at it, the opening — which was big, not as big as the others, it was probably my biggest opening, personally, it was still disappointing to them — I think those are the hardcore fans. It sort of tells you how many people are tagalongs who need to wait to see what people think and whether it’s essential, if it’s a zeitgeist movie or not, and whether it’s just ‘I love ‘Star Wars’ and I want to see what’s next.’”
Audience scores for ‘Solo’ on sites like Rotten Tomatoes came out lower than other films from the franchise, and social media sites used buzzwords like “underperformed” and “disappointing” to describe ticket sales. Howard believes that this caused casual fans to decide to skip the film altogether.
Furthermore, Howard thinks “trolling” from fans who hadn’t even seen the film could have led to the lower than normal ticket sales. He said:
“So whatever millions [‘Solo’] made worldwide, those were the core fans, but it didn’t hit that zeitgeist point, for whatever reason. Timing, young Han Solo, pushback from the previous movie, which I kept hearing was maybe something. And some trolling, definitely some trolling. Some actual aggressive… It was pretty interesting. Not so much, a little bit the Twitter feed, yes, but it was especially noticeable prior to the release of the movie. Several of the algorithms, whether it was Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes, there was an inordinate push down on the ‘want to see’ and on the fan voting. And when you look at it, it’s like 3, 4, 5 — or whatever the rating is, I forget what the rating is on Rotten Tomatoes, whether it’s a scale of 1-5 or 1-10 — but pretty high, and then a series of 0s or .5s or 1s.”
Howard was informed by some friends that ‘Solo’ was being trolled by fans who were boycotting its all together, in addition to those who did actually watch the movie and just didn’t like it. Howard responded to that, saying:
“Under that circumstance, I didn’t take it personally at all, but I felt badly. And I thought Alden didn’t a really great job, an incredibly talented guy, and dedicated guy, and I had a blast with everybody. And look, a year later, it’s kind of interesting, you wouldn’t think you’d participate in a Star Wars project and have it be a cult movie, but I can already tell those who have affection for it are pretty adamant in their feelings, and that’s nice.”
‘Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker’ will hit theaters on December 20.