If your fear from the under-performance of Solo: A Star Wars Story was that any possibility of a Lando Calrissian film would be based solely on Solo‘s success, you could sadly say your fear has been proven right.
According to SlashFilm (via Collider), Lucasfilm is reportedly putting all Star Wars spinoffs on hold thanks to Solo‘s failure at the box office. Of course, a Lando film has always been a theoretical situation, but the move does effect spinoffs that have been announced, like the Obi-Wan Kenobi film that was slated to be directed by The Hours‘ Stephen Daldry and the Boba Fett film for which director James Mangold was in early talks. According to the report, Daldry and the team who were developing the Obi-Wan film are “no longer involved,” and the deal to hire Mangold is also done.
So what does this mean? Maybe it merely means Lucasfilm is retooling how they go about their spinoff films since the spinoff idea is not necessarily terrible. Rogue One, for instance, did rather well at the box office and with critics. Hopefully, they realize what our Ira Hobbs wrote about in his Solo post-mortem, which is that Solo‘s failure doesn’t lie with the characters; it lies with the fact that the film does everything in its power to dull the ensemble for the sake of Solo’s story, something that makes the entire film fall to pieces as a result. And as I’ve pointed out in my Solo article about Thandie Newton’s character, Val, it’s also hurtful that a film that had the potential to be a history-maker by including the franchise’s first prominently featured black woman character decided to give the character and her potential the short shrift.
Hopefully, however, Lucasfilm’s move to go back to the drawing board doesn’t end with them scrapping the idea of spinoffs altogether. With the amount of fan excitement over Donald Glover’s Lando just from the trailers, they should know there’s a market waiting to be served. If they decide not to pursue the idea of creating a Lando film, or any other movie starring black characters, it will look as if they don’t understand the untapped potential of their product.