Solo: A Star Wars Story

  • Starring: Adam Driver, Golshifteh Farahani
  • Director(s): Ron Howard
  • Producer(s): Simon Emanuel, Kathleen Kennedy, Allison Shearmur
  • Screenwriter(s): Jonthan Kasdan, Lawrence Kasdan, George Lucas
  • Distributor: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
  • Animal Coordinator: Theatrical Animals
  • Release Date: Friday, May 25, 2018
  • Rating: Outstanding

Featured Animal Action

In the scene where the soldiers chase the two actors through the station with two beasts on leashes, the beasts were actually dogs in make-up and costumes. The trainers of the dogs were actually in costume dressed like the soldiers. Special effects assisted with the body pieces of the costumes. The head pieces were placed on the dogs at the last moment. The dogs leashes were held by actors. On action, the dogs and actors come out of the door and one by one walk down a ramp. Another trainer was in their eye-line and cues them to look in her direction by making noises with her mouth. On the second sequence, when the dogs run after the actors, the trainers blew a whistle to get the dogs to run towards them. The dogs with actors run along opposite sides of a long corridor. After calling cut, the head pieces were removed and the other trainers walk the dogs back to the start position.

The dogs’ costumes were elaborate full body suit made specially for the dogs. The body part consisted of 3 pieces. There was a large padded piece along the dogs back that was over a foot high. The harness part of the costume had a strap going down to the first part of the suit. This leads to a functional harness. The head piece consists of a snug fitting muzzle- like harness and a large soft outer piece. The dog can open its mouth freely and can eat while wearing the head piece. There are eye openings covered with mesh to allow the dog to see. The trainers worked with the costume for six months prior to filming. The dog preformed well in the costume. The CFX team worked with the animal handlers to fit and put on the costumes, which involved the dogs stepping into the legs of a latex body suit, the legs were zipped up, then the body of the costume was pulled up over the side of the dogs and a zipped up via a netted vest which was zipped up over the back of the dogs and a layer of muscles made of foam was added, held in place by a nylon and leather halter. A back hump was added again with a spacer made from foam. The latex outer was zipped over the entire back. All places where the costume touched the dog were protected with soft padding. The costume had ventilation panels, eye panels and movement gussets. Visual effects reference stickers were applied to these areas. The final film these will not be seen and the skin will be added in post production.

All the smoke and sparks you see in the dog chase sequence was located at a safe distance from the dogs. In the scene where we see the soldiers outside the building with the dogs on leashes and the car zooms past them, the dogs were a safe distance and located behind a parked car when the car drove past them.