Four years after it hit theaters, Solo: A Star Wars Story remains an odd entry in the Star Wars canon. Solo did not aggrieve the permanently divided Star Wars fanbase as much as the sequel trilogies but it’s legacy proved to be a mixed bag at best based on fan reception and critical reviews. Donald Glover’s portrayal of a young Lando Calrissian and Qi’ra’s introduction proved to be valuable additions on the whole.
However, no one can mistake Solo for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story or The Mandalorian when it comes to the quality of successful Disney-era Star Wars projects. It is quite telling that its own creatives are advocating that fans clamor for a sequel instead of a more organic movement. Instead of going back to the Solo well, Lucasfilm would be wise to look to a Marvel Comics mini-series for Han Solo’s next cinematic adventure.
Marvel Comics Published The Perfect Blueprint for a Han Solo Movie
Published early on in Marvel’s second crack at the Star Wars license, Han Solo is a five-issue mini-series (by Marjorie Liu, Mark Brooks and Sonia Oback). Following in the footsteps of the mini-series that starred Princess Leia and Chewbacca, Han Solo gave the archetypal dashing rogue his turn in the spotlight, although Leia and Chewbacca do have supporting turns.
The plot isn’t revolutionary as far as Star Wars stories go. Han Solo takes on a job that gives him cover to complete a mission for the Rebel Alliance. Along the way, he runs afoul of the Empire and is drawn into a deeper conspiracy involving a potential traitor to the Rebellion. He is vocally not happy about being drawn into the Rebels’ problems but still steps up to help them anyway. His long-simmering romantic tension with Leia also makes an obligatory but welcome appearance as well.
Marvel Introduced the Ideal Version of Han Solo
As with any long-running property, it’s not necessarily fresh ideas that are going to make a story work but instead the execution. Liu’s script is sharp, capturing all the well-known characters beautifully, capturing Han’s inner struggle with how working with the Rebel Alliance is changing him particularly well. She also introduces a new group of characters that are also worth spending at least five issues with, in the form of the pilots Han competes with in the galaxy-spanning race that provides cover for his mission.
Brooks and Oback’s work is what truly makes Han Solo a spectacle, however. A prolific cover artist, Brooks’s handling of the interior art is a rare occurrence. But the script also gives ample opportunities to depict Han in his element, piloting the Millennium Falcon through perilous situations. His mission for the Rebels keeps the story firmly within the continuity of the original trilogy without being beholden to rehashing the movies.
A Movie Based on Han Solo Should Invoke the Fast & Furious Franchise
What truly allows Brooks to show off is the racing scenes. The Dragon Void Run is more like Twisted Metal than the Indy 500, with most of the competitors being wiped out in the first leg. That pares them down to a manageable group of four rival racers, allowing for some dynamic visual depictions. Star Wars already has a memorable racing sequence in its history thanks to The Phantom Menace and it use of podracing. However, making it a major part of a movie’s plot would be unprecedented.
The Dragon Void Run gives the comic a feel somewhere between early Fast & Furious and a sports movie in space, with Han trying to prove the underdog Millennium Falcon can win. There are understandable reasons why Han Solo wasn’t adapted as a live action movie. Star Wars has never treated spin-offs as a source material for its cinematic outings. The original trilogy setting is also problematic, given Ford’s advanced age and long-standing antipathy for the Han character. It could also be a great animated movie or short. Given Star Wars’ expansion in that field with shows like Tales of The Jedi, that might be the best venue for the adaptation Han Solo deserves.