Okay, as with earlier instalments, it’s been interesting to catch up with some of the differing viewpoints on SOLO and other recent SW entries here and on other sites. While some fans of the franchise firmly prefer to leave certain scenes wholly intact, others desperately wish to chop or alter them - so it merely comes down to what everyone prefers for themselves when it comes to these things, I guess - so with that being said, I thought some of you might be interested in a couple of things I’ve recently settled on for my own preference, concerning SOLO. I haven’t got time to go into my full cutlist intentions, but I’ll describe the BIGGEST one which would end up making it a better watch for myself -
I ended up seeing SOLO 3 times on the big screen with various family members, and while I found it a fun backstory with a feel-good vibe overall, there were certainly things I’d wish to alter for myself for any ‘Star Wars Viewing Marathon’ I may have in future - (spread out over several nights I might add, not one after the other! 😃 )
Firstly, due to the way I’ve chosen to amend the opening scenes for myself (which I’ll describe in detail below), I’ve decided to totally discard the ‘SOLO A Star Wars Story’ main title from this movie - and in addition to this, since I’m not particularly keen on the look of ROGUE ONE’s main title with it’s particular font and ‘moving’ starfield, I’ll be discarding it from my own cutlist for that movie too…so that both these ‘standalone’ movies kick off in the exact same way WITHOUT any kind of main title included - (and this would also remove the slight niggle for me that only one of these ‘standalones’ currently includes the ‘A Star Wars Story’ tagline in it’s title, while the other DOESN’T)
But despite my intention to do away with the main titles of these ‘standalone’ stories now, I don’t feel the need to including any full-blown new ‘scroll openings’ to replace them either. As long as there’s enough of a satisfying ‘Star Warsy’ opening vibe to these particular adventures, I’ll be content - so I’ve decided to revert to seeing and hearing the previously familiar 20th Century Fox logo and ‘fanfare’ music just before the classic blue wording silently appears…just as this clip shows - (best example I could find quickly, but it will do) - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rcF67oBklIo
(and now that it looks like Disney has Fox under it’s control, I’m even more content to include this particular intro. And since these are merely personal re-edits at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter HOW I choose to start these ‘Disney’ movies off for myself - although I’m still considering whether I’d prefer to use the ‘rainbow’ Lucasfilm logo, or the ‘silver’ one for these)
Okay, this then leads to the BIGGEST change I’d like to make to SOLO to make it a better watch for myself eventually, even though it involves some compromise -
I’m intending to totally discard the WHOLE original opening 25 mins. or so…to instead begin with an opening where HAN and CHEWIE are ALREADY buddies together! - with no specific ‘how they met’ scenario required, and where they already communicate WITHOUT any audience subtitles whatsoever! 😃
And while I really liked aspects of the discarded footage - such as the ‘speeder chase on Corellia’, and some of the initial interaction between HAN and BECKETT - there was also a heap of goofy moments during this opening 25 mins. which bothered me enough to make the compromise to lose them…so that ALL of the early issues I had a problem with, are eliminated.
So after that initial Fox fanfare and blue intro. wording I showed above…my NEW opening scene would instead begin with the ‘planetary sunrise’ shot to kick things off / followed by a ship flying through clouds over snowy mountains / followed by the first new introduction of HAN (a close-up of him silently looking out) **/ followed by a shot of passing through clouds / followed by the first new introduction of CHEWIE as he climbs down the ship’s gantry to join HAN in a short conversation where HAN’s first words are now “Thanks for helping me get outta there”…as he then tells him “No, they only took you 'cos of me”, before then saying “Hey, I got us a real sweet deal here, we do this one job with them, we make some real money, and then we’re free…when was the last time you could say that?” (luckily, the next bit where HAN asks what CHEWIE’s name is, and about wanting to give him a ‘nickname’, can easily be removed to make this all work properly at this point - and this particular sequence happens to have some effectively understated music that I like too, to ease us into these new opening proceedings) - we then get the first new introduction of BECKETT and his cohorts soon after this - firstly ‘scouting out’ the heist, and then around the campfire, before getting onto the actual ‘monorail heist’ action itself - personally, I reckon this is one of the best action sequences out of any Star Wars movie yet, and I’m more than happy to get to it much sooner, for a more exciting opening to the movie overall, for myself. And again, some of the excellent music heard during this sequence would end up giving this whole new opening a more atmospheric tone overall.
And of course, after HAN has already mentioned to the others (during the earlier campfire scene) that he’s hoping to ‘go back’ for a certain girl someday, we’d eventually get to have the first new introduction of QI’RA when he encounters her aboard DRYDEN VOS’s black ship later on - and this is a nicely mysterious first onscreen meeting with her which I prefer too, as it very soon becomes apparent that there’s a lot that HAN doesn’t know about her since they last saw each other - and the removal of their early scenes together also helps to keep their ‘romantic inclinations’ for each other much more of a low-key slow-burn throughout the rest of the movie for me now…so that the first time they truly embrace will be just after QI’RA has dispatched DRYDEN VOS to save HAN nearer the end of the movie.
So yes, that means I’m intending to DISCARD their whole ‘kiss-a-rama’ scene inside Lando’s ‘cape closet’ too! 😃
(And although I’m sure that others will absolutely love that whole scene, I’m aiming for a less ‘jokey’ tone overall for this adventure in general. I reckon there’s already plenty of fun moments to do with Lando’s portrayal to go around, without the need to see his extensive ‘collection of cape-hangers’ and ‘vanity mirror’ (which veered things into ‘parody’ territory for me) - and removing this scene helps my objective for a much more restrained dynamic between HAN and QI’RA throughout this for myself)
So finally, we get to the ‘MAUL’ appearance…but as I want to include my own heavily-edited versions of the prequel trilogy as a ‘flashback storyline’ placed in-between the original and sequel trilogies, his ‘robo-legs’ cameo in SOLO unfortunately jars with that! - especially since I didn’t watch the spin-off Clone Wars animated show, and consider his live-action torso-chopped demise in TPM as being FATAL. So I’m content to be one of those who intends to re-structure things so that QI’RA ends up DELIBERATELY choosing to fly off on her own path without HAN, albeit she looks ‘wistfully’ down at what ‘might’ have been between them now…
And thankfully, the shots of QI’RA ‘looking over at the jewels’ / ‘slowly contemplating DRYDEN VOS’s ring as she removes it’ / and her ‘wistful last look’ are all really helpful in selling this alternative scenario reasonably well - in fact, if I don’t want to think of her as just choosing to ‘take charge’ of the entire Crimson Dawn organisation herself, I can alternatively just ‘imagine’ that she is STILL answerable to ‘someone she fears’ instead, who we DON’T get to see! - either way, I can live with this alteration as an alternative bittersweet resolution for her character for my version, as a way of discarding ‘MAUL’ in this.
(but on the other hand…if Disney/Lucasfilm end up including him again in a potential SOLO sequel or other ‘standalone’ movie in future, then I’ll just have to accept his ‘miraculous survival’ after all, and would include his appearance at this point too)