Solo: A Star Wars Story Review

Solo: A Star Wars Story movie posterSynopsis
After escaping his home planet of Corellia, Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) joins up with Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and his criminal gang to steal hyperfuel, starting his life as one of the mot famous smugglers in the galaxy.

Review
When Lucasfilm announced they were creating a Han Solo stand-alone film, it was met with mixed reactions. On one hand, Han is without a question one of the most popular characters from the Original Trilogy and we could always use more Han. But on the other, did we really need to see Han’s back story? Not knowing is part of the charm of his character. I was in the former camp, albeit with some reservations. I’ve made it no secret that I haven’t been too keen on the latest episodic installments of the Star Wars franchise but I did enjoy Rogue One, the last β€œA Star Wars Story” film. For me any time I can spend in a galaxy far, far away, I’m there. However, it seems that the rushed and troubled production took its toll on Solo: A Star Wars Story.

This movie does have its moments. After 8, almost 9, episodic movies, we’ve spent our fair share of time in the Star Wars Galaxy. At this point, to make the stories seems fresh, they need something to stand out. To look at the superhero genre for an examples, Captain America: The Winter Soldier is a spy thriller that happens to have superheroes, Logan is a western that just happens to have superheroes, and Ant-Man is a heist movie that happens to have superheroes. Solo does something similar were it is a heist/western that happens to take place in the Star Wars Galaxy. I hope to see this trend continue where Star Wars movies just use the galaxy as a setting but exist in a whole other genre. It has shown it can work, like the aforementioned superhero examples, and could make for some pretty enjoyable Star Wars films. If they continue to make these anthology installments, that is.

As I said, Solo is a western infused with a heist. Maybe this is a personal taste of mine, but I wish the movie would have spent more time on the heist portions. Is was cool that there were essentially two heists throughout the film but as a result, not a lot of time was spent with the set-up portion. This is usually my favorite part of a heist film so I was a little bummed it went quick. Not really anything wrong with the film, just a personal preference as I said.

Alden Ehrenreich had the monumental task of portraying a character made popular by Harrison Ford. For the most part he did a good job in the role. He was able to capture some of Ford’s charm that he put into Han to make the character so lovable, but at the same time wasn’t a straight imitation and Ehrenreich put his own mark on the character.

Now, to move onto an actor who was a perfect fit for their character: Donald Glover. Sometimes an actor is just born for a role and that is the case for Glover as Lando Calrissian. He perfectly captures Lando’s attitude and swagger. He’s charming and sophisticated yet intimidating and tough at the same time. Based on this performance alone, I’m convinced Glover’s Lando needs his own spin-off film.

This movie definitely tried to cram as many locations as possible within its run time. It moved at a fairly quick pace, never really letting you settle down in each new environment before it moves onto the next. While it is nice getting your money’s worth for the amount of settings you experience, it still felt somewhat rushed yet too long at the same time. Han has a lot of history before Luke first meets him in the Mos Eisley cantina and Solo tries to cover it all. Despite covering much of Han’s history brought up in the Original Trilogy, it still tries to set up a sequel, which, let’s be honest, probably won’t happen at this point. Knowing that they wanted a possible sequel, the filmmakers could have streamlined the story, making it a little less chaotic.

But in trying to set up a sequel, the film gave either the best or most confusing cameo anyone would have expected. While I was shocked and liked it, others who only watch the movies might have been left scratching their heads. As exciting as it is to see Disney is working hard and making a conscious effort to connect Star War across all its mediums, the character’s appearance came from left field and probably confused more people than it excited.

I thought Solo: A Star Wars Story was OK 😐 As much as I like Han Solo as a character, this film did leave the lingering question of ‘why?’ It was fun to see his history brought to the big screen but part of Han’s charm is not knowing what’s true and what’s exaggerated. While it was enjoyable, I don’t see this having the rewatchability of most of the other Star Wars films.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Ron Howard – Director
Jonathan Kasdan – Writer
Lawrence Kasdan – Writer
John Powell – Composer

Alden Ehrenreich – Han Solo
Joonas Suotamo – Chewbacca
Woody Harrelson – Tobias Beckett
Emilia Clarke – Qi’ra
Donald Glover – Lando Calrissian
Phoebe Waller-Bridge – L3-37
Paul Bettany – Dryden Vos
Erin Kellyman – Enfys Nest
Thandie Newton – Val
Jon Favreau – Rio Durant (voice)
Linda Hunt – Lady Proxima (voice)
Ian Kenny – Rebolt
John Tui – Korso

15 thoughts on “Solo: A Star Wars Story Review

  1. Great review! I enjoyed this movie as a lighter Star Wars adventure, but it is my least favorite of the four Disney era Star Wars films. People love Han Solo as a character, but I don’t think people were as excited to see his backstory, something we didn’t necessarily need to see. My favorite part of the movie was Qi’ra’s character, actually; she’s actually one of my new favorite Star Wars characters, and I hope to see her again, either in a TV show or book, or something like that. Based on Solo’s box office, I don’t think we’ll be getting a sequel film.

    Like

    • Thanks! I wouldn’t mind seeing his backstory they clearly tried to cram every reference made about it in the movies into this film and it made it too much. Plus, I feel the character development to get him from where he starts in the movie to where he is when we meet him in A New Hope takes place after this film so it leaves the question of what was the point?

      I agree, Qi’ra is one of the best things to come out of Solo. She has a lot of depth to her character that can be explored. At this point, the books might be the best bet to get that.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. “For me any time I can spend in a galaxy far, far away, I’m there.”
    Can’t agree with this line more Drew! It’s a shame this got lost in Summer releases, I really think it would have done better at Christmas. I thought it was better than it had any right to be after all the problems they had making it – but it was missing a spark somewhere.
    If only we could get a Lando movie – Donald Glover was AMAZING πŸ˜€

    Like

    • πŸ˜€
      Yea, Disney should have held off on the release, especially given the behind the scenes issues. Hopefully Disney learned that they just can’t slap “Star Wars” on something and expect it to be The Force Awakens level of success.
      A Lando movie with Donald Glover wold be AMAZING! 🀩

      Like

  3. Great review. I had much similar thoughts about the movie. I had hoped for more development of Chewbacca but then again I’m a fan of the walking carpet. I was looking for a bit more development on the reasoning behind the Wookiee’s loyalty and didn’t really get it.

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    • Thanks. I can understand the loyalty and life debt established in this film but I think it was more significant and meaningful in the old Extended Universe. I agree that more development between them should have been done.

      Thanks for commenting. πŸ™‚

      Like

  4. Hey dude, interesting review. I’m glad that you at least didn’t hate it or completely dismiss it because a lot of SW fans think the franchise is over because of The Last Jedi and the mere fact that this film exists.

    I thought the film was fun and way better than I expected. I liked the swift pacing, the cast were solid especially Donald Glover (charisma central!) and the connection between Solo and Chewy was great too, and I also really liked the film score as well. Felt very John Williams-esque. Now I get the complaints against the film in terms of not telling much beyond what we already know, not having enough time to take in the certain story and location details and obviously the cameo that is strange, but I thought was hella fun and thought-provoking. But all in all, this wasn’t nearly the train crash I thought it might be.

    Like

    • Thanks, man! I don’t think I can truly hate a Star Wars film but every film should have a ‘why,’ especially a prequel like this, and I don’t think this film really justified its existence. And I think I’ve talked enough about TLJ. -_-

      Glover was great as Lando! You’re absolutely right that he had the charisma for the part. Overall, the film was enjoyable but I think it tried to tell everything that was referenced about Han Solo’s past in the Original Trilogy and as a result, doesn’t give the character development a lot of us were hoping for.

      Liked by 1 person

      • That’s fair, I think because my expectations were so low that I had a really good time with it especially after The Last Jedi in the sense that this film was just a straight up fun and simple ride with some cool heist and western elements implemented.

        Like

        • I can understand that. I think that’s what happened with many people with The Force Awakens. After they felt disappointed in the prequels, they went into TFA with different expectations, which resulted in a lot of praise.

          Liked by 1 person

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