I’m a huge Star Wars fan and have been since the age of five. In fact, I have seen every Star Wars film and all animated/live action spin-offs. The Star Wars Universe is fundamentally a part of who I am, which is why it pains me to think the last couple of Star Wars sequels have been pretty underwhelming.
I wasn’t a huge fan of The Force Awakens, Rogue One, or The Last Jedi. When it was announced that Han Solo was getting his own solo movie (pun definitely intended), I was very skeptical. No one really asked for this movie.
It took me a couple months after its release to watch the film for the first time. I’m not going to lie though, I was genuinely and pleasantly surprised after watching it for the first time. With that being said, I’d like to explain why I personally believe that the critics of this film are wrong.
Have you noticed that in every Star Wars film there are multiple plot lines going on all at the same time? Sometimes it works, and sometimes it doesn’t. Some Star Wars films like The Last Jedi, Attack Of The Clones, and Rogue One struggled with this.
In Solo, there’s only a single plotline in this entire film that permits the story to focus on a single objective–who are these people?
The characters, for the most part, are well-written and wonderfully portrayed. We are able to care for them, learn about them, and grow with them. When a film gets you to become invested in the characters, it succeeded. In Solo, our heroes and villains are an enormous step-up from Rogue One. The antagonist and protagonist in Solo are characters that we, as the audience, enjoy watching.
Specifically, Alden Ehrenreich did a better job with the character of Han Solo than many expected. From all the trailers and advertising leading up to this film, it seemed he wasn’t the right fit for Han Solo.
However, Ehrenreich delivered in spades in the role.
He was confident, charismatic, and funny. From the first minute we spend with Han, my mind was completely changed and I found myself convinced that he was a great choice for this role.
Another one of the real standouts from this film has to be Lando Calrissian portrayed by the Uber-talented, Donald Glover. He brings a real sense of arrogance and swagger to Lando and honestly, he steals every single scene that he’s in. A complete con-man, Lando can–and will–talk his way out of anything.
Lastly, there is Chewbacca. The character actually communicated and feels like an conscious, self-aware being in this film. He has motives that actually drive him, unlike in previous Star Wars films where he doesn’t really do anything. He’s kind of just…there. In this film, he actually has personality, interactions, and even conversations.
The relationship between Han and Chewbacca was done perfectly and was absolutely some of the best scenes in the film. The side characters are also very enjoyable to watch except for L3, which I will get to later. Establishing the characters is a key point in telling a story and Solo: A Star Wars Story does a very fine job of doing that.
The action in this movie is very engaging. The start of the film immediately grabs hold of the viewer in a dynamic action-chase sequence. From there, the action only escalates and intensifies.
There isn’t the typical lightsaber battles prominent in the Star Wars universe but rather the majority of the action is chase sequences, whether it be in hovering cars, flying motorcycles, and yes, the Millennium Falcon herself! Despite there being no lightsabers in this film, all of the action creates the Star Wars feel to it fans adore so much.
The Little Things
There’s a lot of little things in this movie that add up to make it a good film. This movie has some gorgeous cinematography and the visuals are on par, the music & score are on point, and the acting is well above average.
One of my favorite things about this movie are the gambling scenes, which includes some fantastic interactions between Han and Lando. It’s during one of these scenes we get to witness the first interactions between the two, as Han attempts to hustle Lando out of his ship. These two had fantastic chemistry that elevated every scene they were in together.
I like this movie, but like most films, there are things the movie where I had issues.
Ok, this droid was just too much. L3 is like the social justice droid and it just doesn’t work. Whenever L3 in on screen, the movie feels bogged down and slower. At times, L3 just feels like a plot device for forced political commentary.
I understand why L3 was there; it strengthens the character of Lando and further humanizes him because he truly does care about this droid. However, the script does a bad job with the handling of this character. She just comes off As annoying and every time she says something about “robot rights,” you could hear the audience let out a collective groan.
Dryden Vos plainly, needed more screen time. Paul Bettany did a phenomenal job in this film. You can call him the “villain” but to be honest, he’s barely in the movie. The way they wrote this character was fantastic though, as he came off as friendly initially but as the film progressed we saw his true colors.
Dryden Vos was a very unpredictable character, he wasn’t your typical villain. He wasn’t the top dog for Crimson Dawn; he answered to someone (that someone is Darth Maul) and so when the people he hired to do a job fail, Dryden essentially failed as well. He’s fighting for his own survival as well. His character deserved to be explored more than it was. He wasn’t on screen enough to be truly be considered the villain of the film.