A short time ago, in a country not all that far away, the directors of the upcoming Han Solo spin-off flick felt the force of the boot when the producer kicked them off the movie.

As a Star Wars fan it's hard to know if I should have a bad feeling about this or which side I'm supposed to take.

Were the fired directors, Phill Lord and Chris Miller, a couple of plucky rogues looking to spice up the staid Star Wars universe with some much needed japes and tom foolery or were they troublesome rebels about to destroy all the recent hard won goodwill of the franchise by going full goofy?

Do I cast Kathleen Kennedy, the producer who gave the order to let them go on Wednesday, as the Emperor of an evil Empire striking back against unruly and unchecked creatives or was she more of a Mon Mothma type, leading the rebellion to box office victory with a cool, calm poise?


I dunno. It's a tough call.

Kennedy's track record as a producer is unarguable. Not only did she lead from the front in awakening the force of the Star Wars franchise by producing the last two films but her vast filmography also includes cinematic classics such as E.T, Jurassic Park and The Sixth Sense.

You could call Kennedy a Jedi master at producing blockbusters. If her judgement is that Lord and Miller were in the process of making a disastrous Star Wars film, well you gotta respect the call.

Star Wars: The Force Awakens: L to R: Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford).
Star Wars: The Force Awakens: L to R: Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) and Han Solo (Harrison Ford).

On the other hand Lord and Miller seemed a dream team fit for the flick. Not only were they behind the fun and funny 21 Jump Street films but they also wrote and directed the extremely good family film The Lego Movie.

In lesser hands that movie would have been an exercise in crass commercialism. Instead, what Lord and Miller delivered was an awesome, adventurous romp through Legoland that not only ruminated on the child/parent relationship but also offered a healthy dose of commentary around social and consumerism issues.

Which, when you think about it, is a lot to cram into a movie conceptualised around selling little plastic blocks to kids...

The pair, who were hired specifically for their creative sensibility, appeared to be spot on for the kind of movie a prequel Han Solo film needs to be. With Han's Empire Strikes Back sparring buddy Lando Calrissian also in the film you've got yourself the set-up for a terrifically fun and irreverent buddy adventure. In spaaaaaace.

The Jump Street movies proved that these guys have buddy chemistry humour locked down, while The Lego Movie showed the directors know their way around both, a big action set piece and sneaking in an unexpected emotional punch.

On paper they make sense. Which, presumably, is why Kennedy hired them in the first place. The official line from both parties of why they were fired is the classic, "creative differences".

This is usually a cover-up line, but in an in-depth piece by Variety cites a source who says the chemistry between the parties was never good, describing it as "a culture clash from day one".

Maybe the movie just got away from the directors? Maybe their concept was all wrong? Maybe they pushed it too far? Or not far enough? We don't know. We also don't know the desired tone of the movie, what the directors were shooting for and what the producer was looking for.

Christopher Miller, left, and Phil Lord pose for a photo at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards at TAO Downtown, in New York.
Christopher Miller, left, and Phil Lord pose for a photo at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards at TAO Downtown, in New York.

Han Solo is a fun character so his film should be fun too. He's a bit of a scoundrel, filled with boasts and braggadocio, who talks tough and shoots first (most of the time...). But, ultimately, his heart is in the right place.

I reckon his movie should be a ripping space swashbuckler that doubles down on adventure instead of the being dragged down by the sort of played out dark grittiness that plagues a lot of blockbusters.

Now, I'm not saying I want to see Star Wars: CHiP's Edition , because believe me that is not the film I'm looking for.

But I also have little interest in another "dark" Star Wars movie. I ain't got time for Han Solo: Rogue Two.

I guess what I'm hoping for is something that sits in the space between Star Wars: Guardians of the Galaxy Edition - because, lets' face it, Star Lord is basically Marvel ripping off the roguish Han Solo - and Star Wars: Indiana Jones Edition - because let's face it Indiana Jones is basically Star Wars creator George Lucas ripping off himself.

There's no denying that their firing is a great disturbance to the film. For the past couple of days I searched my feelings and started to wonder if the movie was doomed. But Kennedy, in true Jedi master fashion, has used the power of the force and saved the day by announcing that Ron "Safe Hands" Howard is taking over. It's news that really has filled me with a new hope.