For the first time in over a decade, a Star Wars film will crash the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in France. On Friday, Deadline reported that Solo: A Star Wars Story will be screened at the festival on May 15, nearly two weeks ahead of its wide-release date on May 25. But why?
It may seem strange for a Star Wars blockbuster to be part of a more artistic (read: snobby) film festival. But it’s not really all that weird. Two of the Star Wars prequels — Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith — were also screened at Cannes in 2002 and 2005 respectively. And just like those two films, Solo is being presented “out of competition,” which means no one will be voting on it as their favorite film of the festival. Still, that doesn’t the answer the question as to why the film is being screened at Cannes in the first place. The easy answer is this: timing.
The past three new Star Wars films — The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi — have all been released in December, meaning none of them were completed in time for Cannes, which always happens in May. Because Solo is the first Star Wars film since the prequels to come out in the summer, it was uniquely suited to be ready in time for Cannes.
The other reason is a little more speculative. Like George Lucas, the director of Solo, Ron Howard, could be considered an “auteur,” insofar as they’re both directors who tend to do things their own way.
Either way, the most important thing about this development is fairly huge. With Solo, there’s a way bigger chance for spoilers to emerge than there was with any of the other new Star Wars movies. Cannes is not a press screening, meaning the attendees might not be bound by the same policies. All of which could spell trouble for the small band of smugglers, struggling to keep the secrets of the galactic empire known as Lucasfilm. - Solo: A Star Wars Story is out on May 25, 2018.