Hyperspace Theories 39: Solo Reaction Show

Last month Solo: A Story Wars Story hit theaters, and the newest episode of Hyperspace Theories features Tricia Barr, B.J. Priester, and Kay sharing our reactions and analysis. Needless to say, the episode is chock full of spoilers for Solo. You have been warned!

We begin by discussing the storytelling elements of Solo. The film includes several longtime fan-favorite characters in Han, Chewie, and Lando. We consider the portrayals of the younger versions of those later-to-be heroes, as well as their interactions with the new characters introduced in Solo, including Qi’ra, L3, Beckett, Val, Dryden Vos, and Enfys Nest. We also break down the plot structure of the movie and how it compares to the classic Hero’s Journey framework familiar to Star Wars fans.

Next, we delve into the world-building that Solo undertakes in the Star Wars galaxy. One running theme is the criminal underworld, from the White Worms and Cloud Riders to the Pyke Syndicate and Crimson Dawn. We evaluate the two major twists at the end of the movie – Enfys Nest’s true objective and the real leader of Crimson Dawn – and how that connects Solo to the franchise’s other tales and broader storylines. Finally, we examine the implications of the wide variety of obscure Star Wars lore weaved throughout the film, from namedrops to Easter Egg props, and what that might suggest about the franchise’s priorities.

We conclude with the segment that ordinarily starts the show: our meta analysis on how to speculate wisely. Having the perspective provided by seeing Solo’s final product, we revisit the influences of Ron Howard, Lawrence Kasdan, and Jon Kasdan in shaping the finished film. This episode was recorded about two weeks after Solo opened in theaters, which enabled us to also discuss the mixed reactions from fans and movie reviewers and the surprisingly low box office yield from Solo’s opening weekends. While a range of factors involved makes drawing any firm conclusions difficult, especially soon after the film’s release, there will certainly be lessons learned for Disney, Lucasfilm, and fans in moving Star Wars forward.

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Tricia Barr took her understanding of brand management and marketing, mixed it with a love of genre storytelling, and added a dash of social media flare to create FANgirl Blog, where she discusses Star Wars, fandom, and the intersection of women within Star Wars fandom. She is co-author of Ultimate Star Wars and Star Wars Visual Encyclopedia from DK Publishing, a featured writer for Star Wars Insider magazine with numerous articles on the Hero's Journey. Her FANgirl opinions can be heard on the podcasts Hyperspace Theories and Fangirls Going Rogue. Tricia Barr's novel, Wynde, won the 2014 Independent Publisher Book Award Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy/Horror Ebook. She was also part of Silence in the Library's successful all-female creator science fiction and fantasy anthology Athena's Daughters, which is available now. For excerpts and tales of her adventures in creating a fictional universe, hop over to TriciaBarr.com.