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The Least Popular 'New' Star Wars Movie Might Surprise You

For the first time since 2015, this year saw the Star Wars franchise offering up a sum total of zero new theatrical releases. There were plenty of reasons — franchise fatigue, an arguably overzealous studio approach to expanding the universe, the fact that the series has finally run out of new configurations for lightsaber blades — but it seems undeniable that the lukewarm reception that the newer movies received likely factored in. For the last few years, Star Wars has been to its fans what someone who peaked in high school is to their parents: unquestionably beloved, but the target of a lot of disappointed sighs around the holidays.

The Force Awakens was considered "too samey." The Last Jedi? "Not samey enough." The Rise of Skywalker was described by the internet via a chorus of guttural, stygian screams. But which of the newest Star Warses (Stars War? Like "attorneys general?") was the least beloved by fans?

For answers, Looper put out a poll, and roughly 375 thousand fans from around the world responded. In these divisive times, it takes a lot to get large groups of people to agree on anything, but a decisive winner — loser? — came through. With 51% of the vote, one entry in the saga had the majority of fans wondering how the Star Wars franchise could have possibly sunk.. so low.

Someone should have told Solo the odds

With around 191 thousand votes, Solo takes the disappointment cake, cementing its place in the annals of history as fans' least favorite of the new Star Wars stories.

The creation of Solo was notoriously difficult, and the film essentially became the Theseus' Ship of major motion pictures across its five year production. Original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were let go several months into principal photography, replaced by Ron Howard. The movie's antagonist was also recast relatively late in the day, with The Wire's Michael K. Williams subbing in for by Paul Bettany due to scheduling conflicts during reshoots. No detail, it seems, was too small to overthink — Darth Maul, who makes a cameo during Solo's third act, was originally voiced by The Phantom Menace's Peter Serafinowicz, but had his lined re-dubbed by The Clone Wars cartoon's Sam Witwer late in the game.

By contrast, the reviews were not so bad. Solo: A Star Wars Story holds a 69% reviewer rating on Rotten Tomatoes, putting it directly between Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith in terms of critical reception. While the performances were largely lauded, criticism was pointed at the very idea of recasting a Harrison Ford character, which Forbes described as "a cardinal sin." In the end, a disappointing box office return on top of an exorbitantly high budget wound up killing the odds of audiences seeing another Star Wars anthology project in the near future.