Star Wars is undoubtedly one of the biggest franchises in the world and continues to dominate box offices after each release. But the question isn’t how long a franchise can last, but at what point does the quality of films begin to deteriorate? The latest Star Wars film, Solo, revolves around a prequel story to one of the franchises’ biggest characters: Han Solo. And, while every franchise reaches a point where they need to branch out, many are left wondering if this latest installment is “jumping the shark.” This latest film is a huge risk for the reputation of the character and it is a move many fans are questioning. A new Star Wars movie can’t come out every year, so films like Rogue One and Solo are in place to keep fans interested, but could potentially tarnish the legacy of such a franchise. The Star Wars prequel films have attempted created a prequel storyline as well, but fell flat and are widely regarded by fans as huge disappointments. At the end of the day, these spin-offs may not need to succeed, they may make the most money of the year, but they tend to leave a sour taste in the mouth of diehard fans. Disney's other big franchise is the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). A brief 30-second trailer of Avengers: Infinity War premiered during the Super Bowl and got rave reviews. The MCU formula has become a staple in Hollywood today, creating individual movies that take place in the same world and somewhat intersect, just to eventually culminate together. This was seen as genius idea six years ago when individual Marvel characters came together for the first time in the MCU with the Avengers. As time went on, however, audiences have begun to change their mind about the concept of a “film universe”. With the biggest criticisms being that individual character films are compromising their stories for the sake of another big budget “team” film. Yet some of the highest-grossing films of 2017 go to Star Wars, Wonder Woman, and Spider-Man: Homecoming. People still care about going to the movies in a world where streaming is thought to be taking over. Though established franchises run the market, it is clear there is room for originality. It’s an exciting time to be a fan of film with so many quality movies being pushed out. There will always be an audience who seeks to witness it whether it’s for quality or because they like seeing a universe unfold. When a film doesn’t meet expectations however there is no blind support, as shown by the reviews of the Solo teaser. Fans still know quality and will always deserve their money’s worth. Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters May 25th.
This story originally appeared in The kNOw Youth Media, in Fresno.