Of the five Star Wars films released theatrically by Disney, Solo: A Star Wars Story is the only one to be considered a “box office flop.”
The film was released in May 2018, after a huge campaign of reshoots and new scenes shot by Ron Howard after the firing of the original directors, Chris Miller and Phil Lord.
At the time, the usual excuse of “creative differences” was used between the duo of filmmakers, the president of Lucasfilm, Kathleen Kennedy, and the director of the film , Lawrence Kasdan.
Han Solo: A Star Wars Story was met with division among fans. Additionally, part of the fandom boycotted the film, partly as revenge for Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, which was released just five months earlier, polarizing the fandom.
Speaking to The Playlist about his time directing the Han Solo movie, Chris Miller and Phil Lord have hinted at the reasons why they ended up breaking ties with Lucasfilm.
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The filmmakers explained that the studio wanted to make a traditional adventure film, combining humor and action and with many references to Star Wars, pure and simple fanservice.
Lord and Miller believed that they should not bow to what the fandom wanted, convinced that Han Solo: A Star Wars Story should “risk more” and not serve the commercial interests of a company.
The result was his departure from the project and Howard’s arrival to take over. On the one hand, Lord and Miller’s stance is understandable, especially after seeing how they’ve approached fanservice in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
“Just because” fanservice as in Star Wars Episode IX: The rise of Skywalker has proven not to be as effective in the fandom when there is no balance with news and surprises that viewers did not expect, as happened in The Mandalorian (which also has a lot of fanservice, but with a different balance).
What do you think is the ideal balance for fanservice? Were Chris Miller and Phil Lord right in not giving in Han Solo: A Star Wars Story to Lucasfilm’s demands (even if it cost them their jobs)?