Jon Kasdan, who co-wrote Solo: A Star Wars Story with his father — legendary screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders of the Lost Ark) — has some things he’d like to get off his chest. A grand total of 52 things, actually, which he tossed out early this morning on Twitter. In addition to a hefty dose of self-congratulatory praise, it’s a rare and candid look behind the scenes of perhaps the most controversial Star Wars movie ever.
Among those revelations is that Kasden himself is doubtful that there will ever be a sequel.
“To be honest,” he said, “I think the challenge has much more to do with the foreign box office than the U.S.. Personally, I think there are great Star Wars movies to be made that don’t need to cost quite so much.”
Solo: A Star Wars Story reportedly cost in excess of $250 million, making it the single most expensive Star Wars film ever made.
Kasdan goes on to heap praise on Ron Howard, who swooped in at the eleventh hour to save the troubled film from disaster, and Donald Glover, who shined in the film in the role of Lando Calrissian.
“Donald was born to play Lando,” Kasdan said. “In my opinion [he] NEEDS to don the cape again and the sooner the better. […] Would the movie have made more money if it had just been two hours of Lando dictating his memoirs into his holorecorder? Perhaps. You live and learn.”
Kasdan also agrees with us here on the Quality Control podcast that Westworld star Thandie Newton’s talents were almost entirely wasted.
“In retrospect, Thandie Newton may actually have been too good and too interesting as Val,” Kasdan said. In Solo, Newton played opposite Woody Harrelson’s Beckett. She was unceremoniously fridged early in the film’s second act.
“It was always in the design of the story that beckett would lose his trusted crew members during the Conveyex Job-gone-wrong and be forced to rely on newbies, Han and Chewie, and this would also open the door for Lando, Qi’ra and L3 to join the crew, but Thandie is so compelling to watch that the death of her character feels a little like a cheat. It’s an odd and unexpected problem that comes with working with such amazing, compelling actors in the Star Wars universe. You just want more of them.”
Rounding things out, it was the final scene of the film that was quite a surprise for fans. Kasdan accepts some of the criticism for the reintroduction of Darth Maul, the sith whose severed sections fell out of fashion after Star Wars: The Phantom Menace before being made whole again for the Clone Wars and Rebels cartoon series.
“If you felt like it was just a cheap stunt, I suppose that’s fair,” Kasdan said, “but the truth is Maul was built into the design of Solo in many subtle ways, including the name Crimson Dawn, the artifacts in Dryden’s study, and Qi’ra’s use of Teras Kasi. […] I love that there is at least some continuity between the [cartoons] and the movies. For me, Maul was destined to pass through Solo as the ultimate SW Keyser Söze.”
Solo: A Star Wars Story is available now in digital formats. Physical copies will be widely released later this month.