SOLO A Star Wars Story Han and Chewie

Report: Solo is now the most expensive Star Wars movie ever made

Contributed by
May 23, 2018

It wasn’t any one film in the original trilogy. It wasn’t The Phantom Menace (even with those elaborate costumes), Attack of the Clones, or Revenge of the Sith. Forget The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi. The most expensive Star Wars movie ever made is now Solo: A Star Wars Story.

You heard that right. Reshoots by Ron Howard, who replaced previous directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller because of creative clashes with screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy, added up to 70 percent of the finished film and, according to Variety, made its budget skyrocket into the galaxy of $250 million.

And you thought it was all that Wookiee fur.

“The issues we were having were much more in the bones and practical,” co-screenwriter Jonathan Kasdan told Variety. “Chris and Phil did everything they could to make it work, as did we. The questions only became about how to make the movie most efficiently in the time we had to do it.”

How do other films in the Star Wars universe compare? The Force Awakens comes in just under that, at $245 million. Rogue One took $200 million to produce, and The Last Jedi took $225 million. You might want to argue that you’d have to adjust the original Star Wars for inflation to get a more accurate idea. The $11 million price tag of Episode IV back in 1977 only translates to $45 million today — not even a fifth of what it cost to bring Howard’s vision of Solo to the big screen.

The extensive reshoot effort that extended the principal photography schedule by four months and doubled total production time earned Howard, who was originally expected to reshoot 85 percent, the director credit for the movie. Lord and Miller still do get executive-producing credit.

This isn’t the first Star Wars film under Disney that has run into a proverbial Death Star. The potential Boba Fett spinoff planned for 2015 was abandoned in the sand by then-director Josh Trank, and Tony Gilroy just barely saved Gareth Edwards' Rogue One from destruction a couple years ago. Gilroy came in after the director's cut, restructuring the screenplay to sort out the confusion that plagued the original. Then Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow almost got behind the camera of Episode IX until disagreements over the script threw him into the void of space and brought J.J. Abrams back to a galaxy far, far away. 

While $245 million may be astronomical for Star Wars, other recent sci-fi blockbusters have really seen their budgets take off. Black Panther and Guardians of the Galaxy 2 cost $200 million and $232 million, respectively, about the average cost of the last few films in the Star Wars universe. Avengers: Infinity War easily flew by those numbers with a Hulk-ified $321.2 million production budget, easily 5.4 percent of Disney's Studio Entertainment costs. Prequel Age of Ultron smashes even that — as making everything from Thor's hammer to that awesome Hulkbuster scene a reality reportedly cost $495.2 million.

All we need to know is whether it was worth the price tag. Solo will be landing in theaters May 25.

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