WARNING: Before I jump into hyperspace and talk about Star Wars’ latest movie, Solo: A Star Wars Story, there will be plot details and spoilers throughout this post.
What I’m trying to saying is that…this is a SPOILER review. So, if you haven’t seen the movie then stop reading, buy the DVD (see features below) then, come back and read this review. Please.
RUN-DOWN: Before Han Solo was helping Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi, he was a part of a band of smugglers that included a certain 196-year-old Wookie known by many in the Star Wars fandom and the movies themselves as Chewbacca.
As well as meeting Chewbacca for the first time, Solo meets Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) and the iconic Millenium Falcon whilst on a mission to pick up (actually, steal) Coaxium for Dryden Voss.
Solo: A Star Wars Story‘s Blu-Ray features include:
REVIEW: I went into this movie thinking this would be one of the worst Star Wars movies to date, given all the behind-the-scenes drama and the fact there was a change in director. Now that I’ve seen the movie, to quote Han Solo: “I thought we were in trouble for a second, but it’s fine. We’re fine.”
That quote sums up my thoughts on Solo.
The opening scene does a really good job of what you would expect from an opening scene to a movie. From the character introductions to setting the story up. The first 10 to 15 minutes didn’t really make me think this movie would blow me away.
The part where I did first see some differentiation is the chemistry between the characters. (Jon Snow, watch out!) As well as the character chemistry appeared, the story’s engagement did not, at first. Something that can keep me focused on the movie was the separation between Han Solo (Alden Ahrenreich) and Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke).
Another stand-out for me in this movie was the character introductions. With this being somewhat of an origin tale about Han Solo, I think this was one of the most important factors making this movie into a good one.
Firstly, the introduction to Chewbacca and how their ‘bromance’ (Chewbacca is a male wookie, right?) starts came as a surprise to me but … it was a good surprise!
I liked how their friendship starts with them fighting each other. You could tell they cared about each other, like siblings do. Throughout the course of the movie, you see their relationship grow to become, in my opinion, the heart of the movie.
When Han makes the noise Chewbacca makes, I thought was great and funny. As a whole, from them trying to kill each other to them being one of the most iconic friendships in a movie is something this movie needed at its core. I liked that part of this movie quite a bit.
I knew about this cameo from Darth Maul going into this movie. At the time, I was surprised to see Maul appear in another Star Wars movie, let alone Solo. As a person who has not seen the Clone Wars, I’m still baffled to see Maul in the movie.
(Note: I didn’t see Maul’s robotic legs, which would’ve been a giveaway)
With this moment in Solo: A Star Wars Story, I have a mixed opinion with this surprise cameo! I thought it was really cool to see Maul return to a galaxy far, far away because he was one of my favourite characters in this franchise. This cameo moves the upcoming Solo movies (apparently, there are sequels to the Space Western) in an exciting direction.
However, one of the things I did not like was that he ignited his lightsabre for no apparent reason! It was pointless. To me, it felt like pandering to the fans. He should’ve just stopped when he used the force to get his double-bladed lightsabre.
And, it wouldn’t be a Solo: A Star Wars Story review without talking about the titled character: Han Solo.
I actually liked Alden Ehrenreich’s portrayal of Han Solo more than I thought I would because when I found out he was going to be the “best pilot in the galaxy,” I had doubts about whether he could live up to Harrison Ford’s archetype.
As much as I liked Ehrenreich’s Han Solo, I’m not completely sold on it.
Strangely, what elevated his performance is whenever Lando appeared on-screen and the dialogue (at times) helped. You could see the chemistry between the two characters, which brought out Han’s charisma we often saw in the movies from the Original Trilogy.
What really deflated me from the opening scene, and from the character as a whole, was how he got his name. He said “alone” then the officer then said “Solo”. It was slightly dumb and I think it would’ve been good if we already knew his name and we didn’t get a minor origin as to how he got the name ‘Solo’. It was a good performance, though.
REFLECTION: I liked Solo: A Star Wars Story. It was a movie that benefited from low expectations. The story keeps you engaged, and the character introductions and interactions were the highlight of the movie. Solo: A Star Wars Story was a good movie and it was one of the most surprising movies of the year, prior to anything you may have heard elsewhere. Now, go buy the DVD and just enjoy it. This is Star Wars, after all.