I’m pretty down on Solo: A Star Wars Story and I think it’s a wasted opportunity for Star Wars that when they sacked Lord and Miller they abandoned creativity in favor of homogeneity. The result was a bland film which didn’t have much to say, looked rather drab and ultimately lacked soul.
Having said all that, it’s not without its cooler moments. I liked the giant space monster in the middle of the Kessel Run, I liked the opening chase sequence on Corellia, I liked the introduction of Chewbacca and I liked the tiny moment where Lando casually tosses a blaster to Han.
Clearly, I’m not alone in this, and people have been wondering how many takes it took to get this looking so smooth and casual. Twitter user @Michelledeidre went so far as to ask Rob Bredow, VFX supervisor on the film how it was done, and here’s what he said:
After a couple drops with 10 minute resets for the pyro I pitched an option to Ron and he liked it. Donald and Alden each held a gun. Donald dropped his prop right before and mimed the throw. ILM provides the gun in midair. One of my favorite shots too.
— Rob Bredow (@rbredow) October 1, 2018
Somewhere right now Jackie Chan’s frowning a little at Ron Howard faking an eminently achievable physical stunt with CGI. I have to say I’m a little put out that the shot was achieved with CGI trickery, too, though to be fair, Howard’s shoot was operating under pretty intense time pressures due to the film’s May release date being set in stone. I guess it’s nice that the crew’s first attempt was to realize the shot physically and give it a couple of goes before they began running out of time.
It makes you wonder though whether Ron Howard might have been able to turn Solo: A Star Wars Story into a success if he’d campaigned for it to be moved to a Christmas 2018 release date. After all, he had a pretty damn good case for such a delay, with the original directors departing and The Force Awakens and Rogue One both being delayed and turning out to be box office smashes.
Maybe with a little more time in the oven and a bit more room to breathe on set and fiddle with the script, Solo could have been something very special. I guess we’ll never know, though.