Analyzing the Possible Solo Trailer Dates

We’re facing the imminent release of the first teaser trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story, and there is some confusion out there as to when exactly it’ll drop and on what day. There’s also a lot of crazy speculation that isn’t backed up with anything other than emotion, so lets take a look at the most logical days.

As I said on Monday, the trailer is going to drop on a Sunday. That’s because it’s going to be released during football, but just because it’s football that doesn’t immediately mean it’s coming during the big game on February 4th.

There are three Sundays for the NFL left this year:

  • January 21st – AFC/NFC Championship: This coming Sunday has a lot going for it. The NFC Championship between the Vikings and Eagles is going to be the most-watched game of the weekend, and it’s going to be on during prime time viewing. That’s the perfect time to drop a trailer during halftime. It’s also much cheaper for Disney to buy an ad on Fox during the NFC Championship than during the Super Bowl.
  • January 28th – The Pro Bowl: No one cares about this game. No one watches it. Even though it’s going to be on ESPN and Disney owns the network, putting trailer on a game most people will be ignoring isn’t the smartest move.
  • February 4th – Super Bowl LII: Aside from the fact that no Star Wars movie has ever run an ad during the Super Bowl (and every Star Wars movie before 2015 came out the same weekend as Solo), there are people hoping for this. But there are a lot of things going against it. The first is the ad cost, and to buy an ad on NBC during the big game will cost more than $5 million for thirty seconds. The second is word floating around that they want it out before the end of January, which would rule out the big game. And the last thing is some promo-related stuff that’s going on behind the scenes that would point to some kind of big Solo marketing push happening in the weeks before the game. It could always happen during this game, but I wouldn’t be shocked if it’s well before it.

As for when we’ll learn of the trailer, well the Star Wars Show is a possibility but I wouldn’t bank on it. For The Last Jedi trailer that aired during Monday Night Football, they didn’t announce it until the Sunday before the game. So with Solo, I would expect the same and not get hyped up for the Star Wars Show and expect a Saturday announcement. That way if they do use the Star Wars Show to do so, it’d be a nice surprise instead of disappointment and anger…

Disney Confirms the May 25, 2018 Date for Solo: A Star Wars Story

This morning Disney released their official 2018 press kit, which basically is announcing their slate of movies for the coming year…complete with their official release dates. As part of these press kits they include pictures and a plot synopsis for the movies. While they didn’t include any pictures for Solo (likely due to Entertainment Weekly having an exclusive reveal coming up), they did include a synopsis that confirms the movie is not being delayed until December:

Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in Solo: A Star Wars Story, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underwolrd, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.

Solo: A Star Wars Story releases in U.S. theaters on May 25, 2018.

The release of their 2018 press kit also means that the first look at Solo is coming very, very soon…

Sorry Internet, Solo is Not Moving to December

As we wait the imminent release of the first teaser trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story, the Internet is still preaching a bogus hope that the movie will be delayed until December…when all of the evidence points out that it’s far too late for that to happen.

I’ve written before why Disney wants Solo to release in May and while that article is a little old the core of it remains true. Disney has wanted Star Wars in May since they bought Lucasfilm in 2012.

Before JJ Abrams needed more time to remake A New Hope, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was internally scheduled for May 21, 2015. When they delayed the movie, Disney put Brad Bird’s Tomorrowland in the open release date. Likewise Star Wars: The Last Jedi was originally set for May 24, 2017 (one day before the actual 40th anniversary of Star Wars). When Rian Johnson needed more time for a script issue, Disney delayed the movie and moved Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales from its July date to the open May release. And of course Episode IX was also originally set for May 26, 2019 before JJ Abrams came on board.

Still, some of the people pushing their desperate conspiracy theory of a Solo delay point to Fox’s New Mutants as an example of a movie that can be delayed very late, but the two situations are completely different. The biggest things Solo has going for it that prove it’s too late to delay are things that Fox didn’t have to worry about with New Mutants:

  • Merchandise: This is one of the biggest reasons for Disney to release a Star Wars movie as the money Consumer Products makes off the toys and tie-in merchandise is phenomenal. The LEGO sets, Hasbro action figures, assorted merchandise, and tie-in books are all coming out in April/May. There are way too many “stakeholders” involved with the release in May to delay it and leave merchandise on shelves for the rest of the year with no movie in theaters.
  • Promotional Tie-Ins: As with the merchandise there are always additional promotional tie-ins with a Star Wars movie, and once again these are all set in motion for May of this year. And just like with the toys and books, there are many companies involved with this and they’ll be burned by moving the movie to December when their promos are set to happen in May.
  • Deadpool 2: The same day Fox delayed New Mutants, they also pushed up Deadpool 2 by two weeks so it’ll release before Solo. The reasoning for this was specifically stated to be that Fox wanted to avoid the second weekend of Star Wars (which December proved to still be strong). Fox knows that Star Wars isn’t moving, so they moved Deadpool to release before it in an attempt to salvage what could’ve been a disaster.
  • Disney’s Release Schedule: One thing some Star Wars fans don’t understand is that Disney doesn’t revolve around Star Wars. It’s just one cog in their larger release schedule and part of a bigger plan for their overall yearly box office. I wrote before how it fits into their summer schedule (yes, even with Avengers), but Disney also doesn’t want the movie anywhere near December of 2018 where they’ll have both Wreck it Ralph 2 and Mary Poppins Returns in theaters. Releasing Star Wars two days before Mary Poppins isn’t in Disney’s best interest where three weeks after Avengers and a month before Incredibles 2 makes them more money. Because despite what people like to think, Star Wars are kids movies and Disney doesn’t want two movies with similar audiences releasing days apart.

And of course, they already have the Solo: A Star Wars Story teaser posters hanging in theaters with the May 25th date. But until that teaser trailer is officially announced (very, very soon), you’re going to continue to see people trying to convince you the movie is being delayed to December. You’ll probably still have people claiming that when they’re sitting in the theater on May 25th and watching the movie…

When You Will See the First ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Trailer

Over the last couple of weeks the Internet has gone into trailer Nostradamus mode trying to predict when the first teaser for Solo: A Star Wars Story will be released. While some thought we’d see it at the release of The Last Jedi, others have come up with completely bogus predictions of during a college football game, one of the NFL Wild Card games, or even Good Morning America. Since you’re not watching the trailer right now, all of those predictions are wrong.

The latest wrong prediction is being spread by British tabloids claiming it’ll be on Good Morning America today. Obviously it wasn’t. So people are now adjusting their predictions to claim it’ll be on GMA this Thursday. Or this Friday. Both of those are wrong, as is the prediction of Lucasfilm using GMA to premiere it like they did Rogue One.

This year Solo is starting its promotion at a time when there are bigger outlets than GMA to release it on. Rogue One’s first trailer was in April, and there was no Star Wars Celebration that year until July. In the first two months of the year, there are much bigger places to premiere the first teaser for Solo. And I’ve been able to confirm this morning that it won’t be showing up on Good Morning America this year.

While I can’t tell you the exact place to watch it just yet, I can tell you what day of the week it’ll be on.

The Solo: A Star Wars trailer is going to debut on a Sunday. You can figure out the rest, most likely…

The Reshoots For ‘The New Mutants’ Aren’t to Add More Horror…

Earlier today Fox delayed the release of The New Mutants from April of 2018 until February of 2019, nearly a year delay for a movie that was nearly released. Trailers are in theaters for the movie already, and it’s basically finished. In fact the movie tested on the Fox lot in LA just last month. The results of that test screening are what likely resulted in this ten month delay…

People familiar with the test screening said it tested well, but not great. And today many of the Hollywood trades are reporting that the upcoming reshoots are to add more horror to the film in the light of successes of movies such as “It”. That’s not entirely true.

Tonight I was able to speak with someone with direct knowledge of the post-production of the movie and the reshoots are not to make it scarier. While audiences responded “okay” to the recent tests, one person involved with the X-Men movie franchise is completely not happy with the movie at all, and the reshoots are meant to lighten the tone of what is said to be a “very very dark (tonally)” movie.

It almost sounds as if this person is a little gun shy of a hard “horror” X-Men movie, which is a huge departure from the core franchise, and is afraid they would have another Fantastic Four (2005) on their hands if audiences reject the dark tone, but that’s just speculation on my part.

That’s not to say the trades are completely wrong. The “It” comparison is actually a very good one in this case. If you look at that movie, it was scary but the overall done wasn’t depressingly dark. People didn’t leave the movie wanting to slit their wrists, instead they wanted to see Part 2. “It”‘s tone was very similar to that of Stranger Things, which itself is inspired by the Stephen King story, and that is probably a good place to look to see where lightening the tone of New Mutants will take the film. It has scares, but isn’t depressingly dark. It sounds like that’s the goal with these reshoots. So those Justice League comparisons absolutely do not apply here.

RIP ‘DCEU’, Long Live ‘DCU’

Last September it was revealed that the commonly used “DCEU” abbreviation for the DC movies wasn’t even official. It was actually just invented by a writer in an Entertainment Weekly piece.

Today on Twitter DC’s Geoff Johns congratulated his new partner in leading the DC films to the big screen, and used “DCU” to describe the cinematic universe:

Him using “DCU” instead of “DCEU” may signify that DC has settled in on an official abbreviation for their movie universe.

Justice League’s Digital Release is January 23rd

Lots of sites are reporting today that iTunes revealed the Justice League digital release as January 30th. It looks like that date is actually wrong and the movie will be out a week earlier.

The movie has appeared in the iTunes store’s pre-order section and it shows January 23rd as the date:

That means it’s just over two months from the theatrical release to the digital release.

That Leaked Solo Art is Real and Official

Earlier today some artwork from Solo: A Star Wars story leaked online. I won’t host it here because I don’t want to deal with a takedown like JediNews got, but you can still see it hosted on Reddit’s leaks sub here (a different image looks to have been removed already). You can also find the original PDF on this Russia licensing site along with a whole bunch of other Disney art I’m sure is also fake.

Not long after that leak, Disney’s PR went into overdrive during their holiday break telling film bloggers that it was a fake image, leading to these Tweets that definitely won’t age well:

The problem is, the image was real. And it is official. It’s using actual assets from the movie. That’s what Han, Lando, Chewie, Kura, and the Falcon look like in May’s movie. You’ll see the same character artwork being used on those cheap posters you can buy at Target, toys, TOPPS cards, $7 T-Shirts at Walmart, and calendars.

Oh, speaking of calendars Disney’s claim that the artwork isn’t official or in other words “fake” has been exposed as a flat-out lie. The image is being used on the official company calendar for the Walt Disney Company CIS LLC in Russia. That is the official international subsidiary of Disney headquartered in Moscow.

So basically all the bloggers who were parroting the PR spiel that it wasn’t official or fake just ended up with egg on their face.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Review

As a Star Wars fan, it’s difficult to “review” a new Star Wars movie. Firstly, it’s Star Wars and there really isn’t a bad one if you’re a big Star Wars fan. And then there’s the euphoria that falls over people immediately after seeing a new Star Wars movie, which is what causes all of the “Best since Empire!” reactions. But I can safely say, after a night of reflecting on it, that The Last Jedi is one of the best Star Wars movies. To me, Revenge of the Sith was my favorite since Empire, so I’m not going to say that The Last Jedi is the “Best since Empire!” like others are, but it is definitely the best since 2005. It’s my new favorite Star Wars film.

My problem with The Force Awakens was that it felt like Abrams was going down a nostalgia checklist, filling in the boxes to make sure people saw recognizable “Star Wars” things at the expense of cool new ships and ideas. I remember when Empire and Jedi came out, and my favorite thing about those new Star Wars movies is how each one introduced new ships and vehicles, and of course that meant cool new toys. The Last Jedi really feels like a New Star Wars movie, and not one that relies on nostalgia just to win people over. This is the Return of the Jedi sequel I wanted The Force Awakens to be.

I really don’t want to spoil anything in this review, it’s important to go into the movie as clean as possible to really enjoy it, and believe me it’s a ride you will enjoy. But I will say that you do get to see Luke do amazing things, how great Carrie is as Leia will break your heart because she won’t be back in IX, and the movie seriously opens up some fantastic new avenues for Star Wars to go. It also shatters almost every fan theory over the last to years and leaves them in a pile of rubble.

The story basically alternates between what’s happening with the Resistance fleeing The First Order and Luke and Rey on Ahch-to. Eventually Finn and Rose go on a secret mission to the casino city of Canto Bight to help the Resistance’s chances, and then everything comes together in the end as you’d expect in a Star Wars movie. What you don’t expect is some of the character choices they made, especially with Luke, but Rian Johnson makes it work spectacularly. Reading one-sentence spoilers on the internet does not adequately explain how great all the decisions are, which some hyperbolic fans are claiming “destroys Star Wars forever”. Just about every spoiler plot point people are melting down over on the internet are actually some of the best parts of the movie.

As a Star Wars fan who was alive for the Original Trilogy, lived through the “Dark Times”, the Prequels, and now; this movie is a rollercoaster of emotions. You go from having a lump in your throat and tears in your eyes to John Williams soaring you through the sky with hope and optimism of where Star Wars is going. If this is how Rian Johnson’s trilogy is going to be, Star Wars fans are going to be in for an amazing decade of movies coming up. Like no one except for maybe a young George Lucas, Rian Johnson gets it. He is absolutely worthy of carrying the torch for the next generation of Star Wars fans.

And that’s something very important that the movie speaks to. The Last Jedi is a Star Wars film, and while George always intended Star Wars to be for kids there’s a very big element to the story of this film about growing up. Even though I don’t know if it was intentional by Rian Johnson, it speaks to Star Wars fandom. For a long time there’s been an aging group of Star Wars fans who are so afraid of new people coming into Star Wars that they’ve been gatekeeping and trying to shoo new fans away for one reason or another. The Last Jedi shows that even when you get old, there will be people to carry the flame and it’s OK to let go and embrace that. Detailing it any further would be major spoilers, but it’s definitely there.

I do have to mention John Williams’ score as there has been a surprising lack of talk about it. He brings back all of the great themes from The Force Awakens, including a reprise of Jedi Steps, but also weaves in Original Trilogy themes and there’s even a very slight hint at the Prequels in a scene where the past Jedi are discussed (including a Prequel character name-drop by someone fans won’t expect to hear saying the name). And Rose’s theme is fantastic. It’s the biggest new theme in the soundtrack, and it’s obviously played during Rose’s scenes with Finn. It’s very strong on Canto Bight and then later in a scene between the two of them.

When driving home from our screening my friend asked if there was anything that disappointed me in it, and I can honestly say there wasn’t. It would’ve been nice to have more Artoo, but the one scene he’s in is one of the highlights of the movie and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s the longest Star Wars movie, but that gives all of the key storylines time to play out to an immensely satisfying ending. Looking back at the whole thing, I can’t say I was upset about anything done. Perhaps that’s because I didn’t get invested in any head canon theories over the past two years. I had theories, but it wasn’t the end of the world to me if they weren’t correct.

Rian Johnson has raised the bar to a level JJ Abrams may never be able to reach. The Last Jedi is a Star Wars film that I will watch over and over, for decades to come. It may be a very long time before one tops this.

The Solo Teaser Poster is Arriving in Theaters (Trailer Soon?)

What is always a herald of a new trailer has arrived in theaters for Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Posted on the Star Wars Leaks subreddit, the teaser poster is what you’d expect based on the previous three teaser posters from this era of Lucasfilm:

And right there on the poster it lists May 25th as the release date, cementing that Solo is not being delayed.

While some people don’t want to believe that Lucasfilm would promote a new Star Wars movie with The Last Jedi, Solo’s May release date throws a wrench into their previous marketing pattern. As the poster is arriving in theaters right now, it’s very likely we’ll see a trailer release next week.

With Marvel releasing Infinity War this week, and Jurassic World expected next Thursday during football, I wouldn’t be shocked if we got the Solo teaser by Friday the 8th.

That’s the day of the big premiere in Los Angeles, so it would make a lot of sense for GMA to reveal the teaser that morning before the big party in Hollywood. Then the teaser will be attached to The Last Jedi in theaters the following week.