Solo didn’t stand a chance. It seemed from the very beginning that the fanboys weren’t behind it, there were difficulties with the original directors and zero confidence in our modern Han Solo, Alden Ehrenreich. Plus, it wasn’t marketed during the same time as the other Star Wars movies, during the Christmas season. It was given a negative reputation before audiences even saw it, and I hate it when that happens.
However, despite all that, I felt Solo was a solid movie and doesn’t deserve the negative energy it seems to have been given. As a matter of fact, I would even say it deserved a sequel, to see what happens to our beloved characters. But what (who) would you put in such a movie? What would the audience be looking for? Since Solo—and Solo II— takes place in the relative past, it’s all about filling the potential movie with Easter Eggs, connections and characters we all know.
- Star Wars Connections: All Star Wars movies have had a connection to the ones before it. As a matter of fact, the majority of the movies have been part of the Skywalker saga, but it’s the in-between Star Wars Story movies that really make you see the connections between the movies. Rogue One gave us a better understanding of A New Hope and Solo gave us a better understanding of The Empire Strikes Back. Thanks to Solo, you can’t watch The Empire Strikes Back in the same way ever again. L3 became part of the Falcon at the end of Solo when they needed it the most, finding a way through the Kessel Run Maelstrom using L3’s superior star maps. Similarly in Empire, Han and Leia consult the Falcon’s star charts and the computer (being L3 for about 10 years) points them to Lando’s location at Cloud City on Bespin. There’s also talk of the Falcon’s computer having a very curious dialect. When I realized this sometime after seeing Solo, it kinda blew my mind. Solo II should have a similar connection moment to Return of the Jedi to blow the minds of those viewers too.
- Jabba The Hutt: At the end of Solo, Beckett mentions that there is a “big shot gangster putting together a crew” on Tatooine—that could only mean Jabba the Hutt. Not the bloated worm from Return of the Jedi, but the mobile slug from the Special Edition of A New Hope. We just need better special effects of a CGI Jabba (not sure if a giant puppet Jabba is going to do). We know that Han takes several jobs from Jabba over the years, becoming his smuggler-of-choice, so Jabba would be an ideal villain for Han to either work for or work against in his second outing.
- Boba Fett: I actually thought the Fett would make an appearance in Solo. While browsing Twitter, I thought I got an accidental spoiler when I read some Star Wars fan at the Solo movie premier in Hollywood saw Daniel Logan there. I interpreted this as having the young Boba Fett from Attack of the Clones was in the Solo Young, scarred, and in Mandalorian armor from his deceased father. Daniel Logan would be the right age to be a foil against young Han Solo, the beginning of an adversarial relationship. With The Mandalorian soon to be on the streaming Disney channel, the armored warriors would soon be in the public eye. This is also a good go-around from not having a Boba Fett movie, just have him be a part of an existing movie franchise.
- Maul: The big surprise at the end of Solo. The leader of criminal organization Crimson Dawn is revealed to be Darth Maul. In theory, audiences last saw Maul being sliced in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi during The Phantom Menace. In movie continuity, the invasion of Naboo was about 10 years before the events of Solo. Clone Wars and Rebels fans know that Maul has been bouncing around the Star Wars animated universe for quite a while now, a fact largely unknown by your average SW movie fans. At the end of Solo, Q’ira made her first decision for herself—she didn’t go with Han into space. Instead, she took the Crimson Dawn ring off of Dryden Vos’ dead finger (at her hands by the way) and called her ultimate boss, the aforementioned Maul. Obviously, Q’ira knows who and what her boss’ boss is; he freely uses the Force in front of her and brandishes a lightsaber. Only through repeated viewings did I realize Maul had cyborg legs like he does in the cartoons. This is appropriate, given what happened to Darth Maul at the end of Phantom Menace. Solo II would probably involve Maul being a more visible head of Crimson Dawn, with Q’ira being at his side. However, it is important to note that Han Solo cannot encounter any Force Users or Sith Warriors until he meets Luke and Ben during A New Hope and sees the Force for himself for the first time. So, Solo II can have Ray Park’s patented martial arts mastery (with cyborg legs too) but not using the Force or a double-bladed lightsaber. And Maul can’t die until he confronts Obi-Wan on Tatooine during the events of Rebels. And he didn’t have Crimson Dawn then. Maybe Han and Q’ira are responsible for bring down Crimson Dawn?
- Q’ira: At the end of Solo, Han still isn’t over Q’ira. Presumably, he is over her when he meets Princess Leia and begins their…courting. Q’ira is now the head of a faction of Crimson Dawn with a direct link to their head, Maul. Since she killed Dryden Vos, she’s a full-fledged crime lord with a former Sith Lord as her boss. And she still carries a torch for Han Solo. Does the universe now that Beckett is dead at the hands of Han Solo, his former protégé? Q’ira blamed the death of Vos on Beckett. How will Maul react if he finds out the truth?
- Lando Calrissian: One of the best characters in Solo, Donald Glover played a young Billy Dee Williams perfectly, complete with arched eyebrows and that con man mentality. Obviously, Lando survived the events of Solo and had his beloved Falcon taken away from him. That had to been a blow, since L3, his partner and “friend” died and became a part of the Falcon’s computer. Lando and Han still have plenty of adventures before Empire took place, and these background movies fill in a lot more of that history. One of the biggest things I thought of though was that Return of the Jedi mentioned Lando and Han in The Battle of Tanaab. Solo II could always use a lot of space-battle action!
What do you think? Do we have a sequel ready to go?