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Kathleen Kennedy Gets it Wrong With Solo’s Shortcomings

Earlier this afternoon, Lucasfilm President Kathleen Kennedy reflected on “Solo: A Star Wars Story” and the problems it had.  She addressed the multiple reshoots that were required after two assistant directors suddenly quit.  Ron Howard’s displeasure with the excruciating production process was touched on.

One thing she placed blame on stood apart from everything else she mentioned.  She said that the main problem was that “We can’t recast ‘Star Wars’ favorites”.  She couldn’t be more wrong in saying that.

Kathleen Kennedy blames everything but herself for Solo’s disappointing performance.

 

“Solo” had problems, and it does have the poorest performance out of all eleven “Star Wars” feature films, but Alden Ehrenreich replacing Harrison Ford was not the problem.  

Alden Ehrenreich did a decent job playing a young Han Solo. The movie was just not handled well in the marketing department.

It is clear that Kennedy is grasping at straws trying to find an explanation for failing with a movie that should have been a slam dunk.  Or maybe she is trying to divert attention from herself because most of what went wrong is her fault.

“Solo’s” shortcomings include:

  • Poor marketing.  The T.V. Spots were scarce.  It was hard to figure out exactly what the movie was.  The trailer made it seem more like an entry into the MCU and less like a “Star Wars” movie.  There was no regal feel to it. 
  • No Toys.  For Star Wars fans, one of the most anticipated things, besides the film itself is the merchandise.  T-Shirts, Lego Sets, Scale Models, Toys…  None of this stuff was tied into the film.  Where were the collectibles?  Collectibles and merchandise help hype the fans up.  If you don’t produce any, they will forget about it.
  • A Lack of Confidence.  A Star Wars Movie should always call for a Holiday Season release.  Christmas, Fourth Of July, Memorial Day, etc… Even “Rogue One” got a Christmas release.  “Solo” didn’t even get Mother’s Day Weekend. This shows an uncharacteristic lack of confidence in a film that flew into the box office under the radar.
  • The Title.  This is one of those titles that is too cool for its own good.  The trendy, one word, the audience should be cool enough to know what we are referring to approach doesn’t work in “Star Wars”.  A much better title would have been “Star Wars: The Adventures of Han Solo”.
  • The film itself.  Don’t get me wrong, Solo is not by any means a bad film.  It’s just not put together like a traditional ‘Star Wars” film.  That hurt it in the long run.  Starting from the opening.  There was no opening with “A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away…”  that beautiful, iconic opening crawl was omitted.  Its almost as if the filmmakers deliberately set out to strip this film of its identity in the “Star Wars” Universe. Ron Howard should have known better.

Solo’s cast was actually the strongest thing about the movie.

Recasting an iconic character has already been done, and was successful.  Does Kathleen Kennedy not know who Alec Guinness is?  The cast was not the problem.  As much as the President of Lucasfilm would like to keep shifting blame, she should just show some accountability.  There was a lesson to be learned.  She just didn’t get it. 

The lesson is don’t take your properties for granted, and just assume that everybody is going to show up to the theatre.  There are way too many entertainment choices for consumers out there.  You actually have to work for our dollar now.

If you keep refusing to own up to your mistakes, this is going to keep happening.

What do you think, Star Wars fans?  I would love to hear from you.  Sound off below, in the comment section!

Thank you for reading.  When I am not writing, I enjoy time with my wife Barbara, My two year old daughter Frankie, my hound dog Marbles, and my ferret Ms. Farrah Pawcett.  For  fresh geeky content, and insightful discussion, check out our Youtube channel. You can also follow me on twitch.

 

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