Over the past few years, there’s been an uptick of reboots, prequels and the release of sequels for which audiences have waited decades. Some of the reboots have seen moderate success. "Fuller House" has been renewed for a fourth season and the 2017 version of was met with positive reviews. Other installments have been less fortunate, as seen in the short lived "Girl Meets World" and the recent cancellation of "Roseanne"
Disney is also gung-ho for this trend, whether it involves turning an animated princess classic into a live action film or waiting over a decade to release sequels to "Finding Nemo" and "The Incredibles". The Star Wars universe, which is now owned by Disney, has also been subject to this, as seen in "Rogue One" and the newly released "Solo: A Star Wars Story." I enjoyed both of these additions to the Star Wars universe, although I’m not quite sure that I see the point.
"Solo" is a good story. I was initially hesitant to see someone other than Harrison Ford step in as Han, but I felt that Alden Ehrenreich did the character justice. I had two main issues with the film. In general, I don’t think it makes much sense to make a prequel for a franchise that’s based off of action, fight scenes and suspense, because prequels don’t really allow for much suspense. Not once did I think to myself in the theater “Is Han going to make it?” Of course he is; we’ve already lived through 1977. My second complaint it that even elements of the film that weren’t predestined by George Lucas forty years ago were pretty predictable (but I’ll leave this article spoiler free).
If Ron Howard was going for a fun little adventure about one of the best characters that Star Wars has to offer, then he was successful. I see films like "Solo" and "Rogue One" as nice supplementary material, not something that I’m dying to go see. I was honestly not even planning on seeing "Solo" in theaters until one of my friends invited me. I will admit, however, that "Solo" left a lot of unanswered questions, and I’d be very interested in seeing a sequel.
In general, I’m pretty okay with the prequel/sequel craze that’s going on. It’s feels a bit lazy and unoriginal for franchises that seemed to have all of its ends tied up, (did we really need THREE "Cars" films?) but most of the recent stuff that’s coming out has been quality. On the same note, I’m not a fan of Disney translating animated films into live action. The live action versions of "Cinderella" and "The Jungle Book" didn’t have anything glaringly horrible in them; they’ve just already been done before. They’re nice stories, but why would I pay money for a film that I’ve already seen, just in a different medium?
Filmmakers and scriptwriters are storytellers, and so it’s up to them to bring new and exciting stories to our screens. Prequels and sequels are enjoyable because it allows us to see our favorite characters in new situations, whether the films permit suspense or not. My response to reboots, however is simply “been there, seen that.”