Passionate. Intense. Cranky. These are just a few words to describe Star Wars fans, who are known to be both protective and critical of the long-running franchise.
With the latest spinoff movie set to explore the life of younger Han Solo and Chewbacca, fan response has been just as divisive as the reception to Star Wars: The Last Jedi, and the film isn't even out yet.
The writers of Solo: A Star Wars Story understand this. Lawrence Kasdan, who co-wrote the script with his son Jonathan, has been involved with the Star Wars franchise since The Empire Strikes Back, told CinemaBlend he understands the fan reactions are part and parcel with the franchise.
"I understand it, but I don't take it that seriously. I've seen both sides," Lawrence said. "Every one of these movies, it was never like this back in Empire. In the last years, you see all of this prognosticating, but no one's seen anything. I always think, 'Well, if the movie works, the movie works.' Three minutes in, no one remembers any of that if the movie's working. If the movie's not working, then everyone's sitting there like 'see? I thought this would suck.'"
The original Star Wars changed the game quite literally, a fact that Jonathan Kasdan understands as well. He grew up as an obsessed kid who would dissect every story, collect every toy, benefitting from his father's connection to Lucasfilm.
Jonathan spoke about how much the franchise has changed over the years, referencing how the fans' expectations have evolved as well.
"You know, it's funny. It's really a new reality from the one that these movies are born out of. I was thinking about this last night, as I was trying and failing to go to sleep," Jonathan said. "The original Star Wars is like a B summer matinee movie. There was no expectation on it to be anything but terrible, and it was great and cool, and it began a tradition. These movies are historically relegated to pulp and popcorn... So now they sit in the culture where they're the most divisive bit of moviemaking that can be. It's a really funny irony at the core of it."
There's a common misconception that Solo: A Star Wars Story is a cash-grab attempt by Disney, but the truth is that the film was in the works at Lucasfilm well before George Lucas sold the company. Lucas realized the franchise would continue, and sought out his long-time collaborator Lawrence Kasdan to help chart a new direction.
Fans will get to see that new direction and judge it for themselves this week, when Solo: A Star Wars Story premieres in theaters on Friday, May 25th.