The other day the hashtag #MakeSolo2Happen trended on Twitter, the talk tied to a fan campaign to get a sequel to last year’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story” made.
Critics and audiences mostly liked the spin-off film, but its troubled production and budget blowout to near $300 million – combined with the decidedly soft global box-office haul of $393 million – has led to Disney effectively scrapping plans for further anthology films in the “Star Wars” franchise for some time to come.
Fans nonetheless took to social media to express their love for the movie, and it became talked about enough that both director Ron Howard and co-writer Jon Kasdan noticed and responded. Howard offered a smile emoji, while Kasdan said in a more lengthy response:
“Beyond grateful & galvanized by the #MakeSolo2Happen energy on Twitter today. Means so much to everyone involved & ur enthusiasm makes it possible for us to keep advocating for it! ‘Cause, the Maker knows, there’s a WAR story set in a Galaxy Far Far Away that’s yet to be told.”
The film’s stars, including Alden Ehrenreich, signed on for more than one movie though it’s not clear if we’ll ever see him or others like Donald Glover reprising their roles.
The next saga film is “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” opening December 20th, and it looks like outside of television the franchise will go on temporary hold after that point. Earlier this week Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy told Vanity Fair that the hiatus is necessary as the franchise simply won’t work in the way that Marvel and its multi-film releases per year have:
“I think there is a larger expectation that Disney has. On the other hand, though, I think that Disney is very respectful of what this is, and right from the beginning we talked about the fragility of this form of storytelling. Because it’s something that means so much to fans that you can’t turn this into some kind of factory approach. You can’t even do what Marvel does, necessarily, where you pick characters and build new franchises around those characters. This needs to evolve differently.”
The films may be taking a break, but the franchise will continue pumping out material in other ways such as “The Mandalorian” TV series and “Jedi: Fallen Order” game in November along with further series on the way for Disney+ next year.
The next film after ‘Rise’ will be arriving in 2022 and is widely expected to be a trilogy hailing from “Game of Thrones” showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss who, not unsurprisingly, have already been subjected to an online petition demanding their removal from the franchise following divisive reaction to the final season of ‘Thrones’ recently.