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‘Star Wars’ News Roundup: ‘Solo’ Could Be in Trouble, Mark Hamill Apologizes, and #CarrieOnForever

Like the NBA, ‘Star Wars’ season never ends. Here is another breathless batch of stories related to the franchise from the past week.

'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' - Photocall Photo by Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images
Spoiler alert

Though the premiere of The Last Jedi is a couple of weeks in the bag (and it’s a little more acceptable to talk about spoilers in public), news from a galaxy far, far away is still coming in faster than a Star Destroyer at light speed. From backtracking on Last Jedi criticisms to Carrie Fisher tributes and juicy rumors surrounding Ron Howard’s Han Solo spinoff, here’s the Star Wars news that mattered the most over the past week.

Is Solo: A Star Wars Story in Trouble?

While any Star Wars–related rumors should be taken with the heaviest heap of salt from the planet Crait, it’s not a great sign that the chatter surrounding Solo: A Star Wars Story, the Han Solo prequel, is that Disney’s preparing for it to tank. ScreenGeek has reported that the young Solo, Alden Ehrenreich, has struggled on set and that the script is “unworkable.” (Just to get an idea of how fickle rumors can be, Slashfilm had a report saying it’s “by far the best Star Wars script” back in 2016.)

While the rumors are dubious at best, there’s no denying that the production for Solo: A Star Wars Story has been quite the mess. The original directors, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, were dropped at the last minute and replaced by Ron Howard, which resulted in some lengthy reshoots. Ehrenreich’s issues were bad enough that an acting coach was reportedly brought in to help. Also, and maybe this is just me: A Han Solo movie is a tad unnecessary, no matter how dope Donald Glover as a young Lando Calrissian should be.

We’ll know soon enough: The film’s debut is less than six months away, and a first-look trailer should be coming any day. Hopefully it’s nothing like this leaked poster—which Disney denies is its doing—that looks more like a parody of Star Wars than Star Wars itself.

AMC Issues Warning Over Last Jedi Being Too Awesome, Quickly Retracts

While the mechanics of the maneuver could irreversibly affect the franchise, Vice Admiral Holdo (Laura Dern, having a moment) and her honorable sacrifice—jumping to hyperspace through against Supreme Leader Snoke’s destroyer to save the remaining Resistance fighters—was one of writer-director Rian Johnson’s most memorable sequences. For about 10 seconds after Holdo’s ship makes impact, the movie goes silent: a very cool Star Wars first, and a neat moviegoing experience when you’ll hear half the theater gasp in awe.

However, Johnson’s decision apparently ruffled enough feathers that two AMC theaters issued warnings about the scene, noting that it wasn’t a problem with the theater; rather, something “intentionally done by the director for a creative effect.” I know some fans are upset with Johnson’s bold new direction for the franchise, but this is absurd.

Thanks @kevin_church for finding this

Posted by Paul Scheer on Thursday, December 21, 2017

Thankfully, AMC sent Entertainment Weekly a statement saying the signs were removed—emphasizing they were up at only two locations anyway—turning the drama into a nonissue. The only thing fans should protest is Chewbacca roasting a porg (porgs are good; this is bad) and then deciding not to eat it.

Mark Hamill Apologizes for Last Jedi Criticisms

Is it unbecoming for a Jedi to repeatedly throw shade in interviews? I only ask because Hamill, a.k.a. Luke Skywalker, has spent months criticizing Johnson’s direction for his character in The Last Jedi, reaching its peak when he said Last Jedi Luke is “not my Luke Skywalker” during a press junket earlier this month. For the small but vocal minority of fans looking to legitimize their online backlash against the film, having Luke Skywalker himself complain was the icing on the cake.

On Boxing Day, Hamill took to Twitter to apologize, expressing regret for “voicing my doubts & insecurities in public” and calling The Last Jedi an “all-time GREAT” Star Wars movie.

It’s good that Hamill cleared the air a bit, though I think he had the right to specifically complain about his character milking alien cows for sustenance—that’s not my Luke Skywalker.

Star Wars Fans #CarrieOnForever

Led by Hamill and by Fisher’s daughter, Billie Lourd, posting tributes on December 27, the anniversary of her death, Star Wars fans—using the hashtag #CarrieOnForever—honored Carrie Fisher on social media. Yes, it’s OK to cry.

RIP, Alfie Curtis

Alfie Curtis might not be a household name, but the actor, whose death on November 30 was reported this week, is responsible for one of A New Hope’s best scenes. Remember Luke Skywalker’s bar skirmish at Mos Eisley Cantina, where Obi-Wan Kenobi brandishes a lightsaber to casually cut an alien’s arm off? Curtis’s character, Dr. Cornelius Evazan (seriously, that’s the name), is the guy who threatened Luke by saying he has a “death sentence on 12 systems.”

Hamill, whose Twitter account might as well have a news cycle of its own, paid tribute to Curtis, crediting the actor for making the Cantina scene “MORE memorable” and being an all-around great dude off-camera.

Curtis’s character made a brief cameo in Rogue One, played by a different actor, confirming that Dr. Evazan is not very doctor-like and wants to pick a fight with literally anyone.