Solo is a fantastic movie but now may not the right time for a sequel
The #MakeSolo2Happen movement is ever-increasing in popularity and with the success of fan movements to change the look of Sonic the Hedgehog and to #ReleasetheSnyderCut, it is not looking unlikely that there will be a response to it.
But, do we really need Solo 2?
Why Solo 2 might be a good idea
Solo is a fantastic adventure movie. Its combination of smuggling action with a heartwarming tale of self-discovery makes for a great watch and, doubtless, a sequel to this would offer a similarly great viewing experience.
What’s more, Solo perfectly sets up for a sequel. The revelation that Crimson Dawn is working for Maul’s Shadow Collective sets up Maul as the big villain, as well as offering storytelling opportunities to learn more about the criminal underworld and its threat to the greater galaxy.
And the characters are perfectly placed for a sequel too. We only saw the very beginnings of Han and Chewie’s friendship and we are yet to learn how they ended up on Tatooine — Solo teased a job on that planet from a big gangster and this would be the perfect setting for a new adventure.
Qi’ra’s story too is yet to be finished. How do her dealings with Crimson Dawn progress? Does she continue to descend into the criminal underworld, or does she find redemption? Her relationship with Han was a fantastically unexpected one and thus a great dynamic to revisit.
Solo does what A New Hope did in presenting a self-contained adventure with potential for a greater, more galaxy-spanning sequel, and it’s a sequel many fans would love to see. But…
Why Solo 2 is a bad idea
Solo is a fantastic film, but it is not the right time to revisit the story with a sequel. The Skywalker Saga is over and Han’s story was been fulfilled with the redemption of his son. What we need now from Star Wars storytelling is something new. Revisiting Han’s story is just retracing old ground and making Star Wars overly-dependent on familiar characters and nostalgia.
The original movie was not this – it was a new look at the galaxy from the underside and thus a unique way of exploring it – but a Solo sequel simply could not deliver this uniqueness.
The young, naïve Han is no longer new to audiences and the main villain set-up for any ostensible sequel – Maul – is a familiar one to most Star Wars fans. Even the original’s unique take on the criminal underworld is no longer so fresh as it is now being explored in an innovative way through The Mandalorian.
Put simply, Solo 2 can be nothing over than a tired formula of nostalgia which will add nothing new to the Star Wars galaxy.
But why do we need newness in Star Wars? Why not continue to revisit old favorites, as the sequels did so well if it’s a viable way of attracting an audience and keeping the franchise alive?
Because from the moment George Lucas conceptualised a new form of space opera, Star Wars has always been about being innovative, creative, and new.
And Star Wars is at its best when it pioneers the new. We see it in the fantastic subversive nature of the prequels, the excellence of ‘The Mortis Arc’ in The Clone Wars, and the technologically and creatively innovative nature of The Mandalorian.
Even the sequels, which are so often criticised for being overly-dependent on nostalgia, are at their best when they embrace the new: look at the introduction of exciting new Force abilities or the unforgettably unique Holdo Maneuver.
Star Wars storytelling has never, at its core, been about rehashing tried-and-tested formulas, which is why a sequel to Solo – a movie inherently linked to familiar characters and ideas – is a bad idea: it would not embrace the newness which is so inherent to Star Wars and which makes it so good.
So, yes, it would be fun to see Han, Chewie, Qi’Ra, and Maul again on the big screen, but, strange as it seems to say, it just wouldn’t be Star Wars. Give us something new, Disney. Don’t give us Solo 2.
Solo: A Star Wars Story will hit Disney+ on July 10.