With all of the negativity surrounding the Star Wars franchise right now, I was hesitant to jump right back in to another Star Wars story.
I’ve heard everything both positive and negative about “Solo: A Star Wars Story” before ever even getting a chance to view it without bias. It’s kind of like trying to be a neutral juror on the case of a countrywide known serial killer. You just can’t escape from hearing everyone’s point of view.
Some celebrity YouTuber’s have even called for a boycott of the movie and others have started selling anti-Solo novelty T-Shirts and Merchandise.
Despite all of the hubbub regarding the directorial change and society’s loss of faith in the lead actor, I grew more excited as all of the movie trailers were released.
The real question I had to ask myself after the movie… Would I have enjoyed this when I was nine years old? The answer is yes.
Alden Ehrenreich is a fantastic Han Solo. I don’t care what rumors we’ve all heard about acting coaches on the set to help him be more like “Han”… he was great. This Han Solo is just a little different from the one we first met in Episode 4. This Han is ten years younger and although he’s still a know-it-all, you can tell he doesn’t have the same confidence as “Episode 4 Han”… yet.
Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) is Han’s girlfriend and from the looks of it, they have struggled in an unfriendly environment together for some time. Not so sure I see the two of them having the best on screen chemistry though.
Woody Harrelson always pulls it off no matter what role he’s playing. He does it again here as Beckett, a scoundrel and mentor to Han.
Donald Glover oozes “Lando Calrissian” from the moment he hits the screen. If you wanted the Billy D. Williams style “Lando”, you’ll get it. Right down to eyeballing Qi’ra up and down the first time they meet and having his own closet full of capes on the Millennium Falcon. Pimp.
I was even impressed with Paul Bettany’s portrayal of Dryden Vos. He played a schmoozer to your face yet he’s the first to stab you in the back and that came across loud and clear.
L3-37 is Lando Calrissian’s side kick, co-pilot, and part time lover? Yeah, it got weird for a second. I had a tough time with L3-37 even though the character actually serves a big purpose. However, a robot on a self-proclaimed mission to lead other robots to freedom probably shouldn’t have been part of this film. Just my two cents.
The Millennium Falcon plays…The Millennium Falcon. I mean really, the ship is a character in itself.
The movie begins with what I thought was a less than climactic introduction. I’ve always wanted those openers to be so big and have so much power behind them, and the opening titles scene just fell flat for me. But hey, this isn’t a regular Star Wars movie by any means.
Han and Qi’ra get separated on their way off the planet and Qi’ra ends up captured by gangsters. Han leaves the planet and meets Becket while they are serving time in…wait for it…the Imperial Army. Soon after, Han befriends Chewbacca and the action kicks into high gear. The train heist scene is actually a lot better than the trailers make it out to look. The background scenery was gorgeous.
Without spoiling too much about the film, it’s difficult to explain how one scene arrives at the next, but eventually Lando Calrissian and the Millennium Falcon are part of the movie and it’s so much fun as a giant Star Wars fan to be in the Millennium Falcon again. In this film, the Falcon is still in new condition… the colors are bright, the inside looks immaculate, and you can see where the ship was very much Lando’s bachelor pad. Watching Han in the Falcon going to light speed for the first time was awesome. You could see he was nonchalantly excited about it, kind of like a kid not wanting to show true excitement. Again, where I think Ehrenreich truly fit the mold.
I’m not going to tell you how things end or where they go. I’m not going to give away the secrets of the film…even though many others have already leaked the plot. I will say that I had read another review and I think they nailed it when they said, “Solo isn’t an “EVENT” movie, Solo is a story in the Star Wars universe”.
The big question everyone is going to ask… “Is this movie better than The Last Jedi?” Quite frankly, they are two different films, but yes, I felt like I enjoyed the story more than “The Last Jedi”. That’s not to say that this movie doesn’t have issues. Hell, what movie is actually perfect these days?
Something that the hard core Star Wars fans should remember is that George Lucas wanted this movie made. He hired Kasden to write the script before Lucasfilm ever even sold to Disney. So for all the people that cried, “I never asked for this movie!!!”…remember that the brainchild of Star Wars wanted this film made.
We hold the Star Wars stories near to our hearts because it’s something we loved so much while growing up. It’s like the house you lived in when you were younger. You always want to remember it the way it was. Over the years, changes have been made and it doesn’t feel exactly the way you remember so it makes you a little uncomfortable. It’s ok to be a little uncomfortable when trying something new. So take the leap and see this movie.
If you’ve ever wondered how Han Solo made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, see “Solo: A Star Wars Story”. In theaters May 25th.