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Hops and Box Office Flops: ‘SOLO – The Falcon’s Hyperdrive Stalls Out’


Upon its release, I examined the underlying issues behind Solo: A Star Wars Story becoming box office bantha fodder. I will not rehash that all here. Suffice to say, though, it was a financial failure and not just a small one.

Solo, for all the power and hype of the Disney machine, couldn’t even break $400 million worldwide. For a film not tethered to a storied franchise like Star Wars, that wouldn’t be too bad. But Solo is, and somehow, it grossed less than any of the original trilogy. Those films, for perspective, came out in 1977, 1980, and 1983. A lot has changed in the dynamics of the box office since then, not to mention the inflation of the dollar, so these numbers are more than just troubling.

Not only was Solo meant to launch a series of films, chronicling the adventures of a young Han, it was meant to demonstrate the power of the brand. It did neither

Poster from Solo: A Star Wars Story

Its grand aspirations were nothing more than delusions; it fell flat. Yet it shouldn’t have. It’s a fun, smaller scale Star Wars adventure. Sure it may answer some questions we probably never needed answers to, but it also introduces us to Han outside of the main narrative. We get to see he and Lando (played by Donald Glover, who steals the show) match wits; we come to understand why he shot first (and, yes, he did shoot first, Harrison); and we even get a mind blowing reintroduction to a beloved character from the series’ lore.

Certainly it did not reinvent the wheel, but it did do the character justice. Alden Ehrenreich, who was also fantastic, and the rest of the actors deserved better. Even if you may not have wanted his backstory, or even cared to see it, there was enough good in it to warrant its existence.

And, hey, it’s free to stream now, so sit back, deal a hand of Sabaac, and sip on a Han Shot First Double IPA from Evil Genius Beer Company. I, the Thunderous Wizard (@WriterTLK), Capt Cash, and Chumpzilla are plowing headfirst into the Maelstrom, navigating our way through the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs!

This Week’s Segments:

  • Introduction – We recap Han’s journey to the seedier side of galaxy life, debating the good and bad that it encompasses.  (00:00)
  • The Drama, the Interesting Facts, and the “She’s Fast Enough for You, Old Man” Han Solo Trivia Challenge – We discuss Lord and Miller’s unceremonious departure, as well as Ehrenreich’s struggles to channel ford; uncover the Easter eggs hidden within the film; and then, I put Capt. Cash and Chumpzilla’s knowledge of the character to the test with a quiz covering his entire history. (50:08)
  • Oscar Predictions – In our heart of hearts, we share who we are pulling for on Oscar Sunday. (1:11:46)

And, as always, hit us up on Twitter or Facebook to check out all the interesting factoids—the director shake up, the casting what ifs, and more—from this week’s episode!

You can find this episode of Hops and Box Office Flops on Apple PodcastsGoogle PlayStitcherPodbean, and Spotify!


Thomas L. Kelly

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