‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Film Review

Grade: B-

Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, Donald Glover, Alden Ehrenreich, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Emilia Clarke, and Joonas Suotamo in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

The ‘Star Wars’ train keeps running with ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’. Taking place between the events of ‘Revenge of the Sith’ and ‘Rogue One’, ‘Solo’ feels like a long time coming. If you know that George Lucas scrapped Han Solo’s origin story in ‘Revenge of the Sith’, you would probably feel it fair that the beloved smuggler get a story of his own. Who knew that there would be production problems in the process? From reports of Alden Ehrenreich’s dismal acting to the firing of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller to the hiring of Ron Howard as eventual director, it seemed that fans and I were skeptical about how it could play out. A 70 percent on Rotten Tomatoes revealed that there was some hope, but I had to see for myself to see how it fared.

While ‘Solo’ starts off as a slow ride, it eventually turns out fun and entertaining as the film goes on. In fact, many have said that it is the most light-hearted ‘Star Wars’ movie in recent memory. You never expect an anthology entry to be quite as entertaining as it should be, but with an exploration of Han Solo’s past, it turned out to be a given. First of all, Ehrenreich is quite charming as Solo. Most people think it is not the same without Harrison Ford (who made the role iconic), but Ehrenreich’s presence was fine by me.

Chewbacca (Portrayed by Joonas Suotamo) is still the same old wookie we have come to know and love, yet angrier and more of the straight man. We get to see how they ended up meeting, which is really unexpected, but in a cliché sort-of way. Also, Solo has a love interest named Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) whose purpose is just as complex and convoluted as the film’s structure. ‘Solo’ ends up taking too many detours and journeys to where you are not sure what the story is.

All I know is that Han and company – including the likes of Woody Harrelson’s Beckett, and Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian (which he does a good job of imitating Billy Dee Williams) – are sent on a mission by Paul Bettany’s Dryden Vos, to retrieve something of importance. What follows is a thrill ride filled with amazing visuals, action set-pieces and deserted islands. 

Based on its ending (and box-office returns), I do not know what the future holds for ‘Solo’, or more ‘Star Wars’ anthology stories (besides an upcoming Boba Fett movie written and directed by James Mangold), but I ultimately had some fun joining a young Han Solo and company on their journey across the galaxy.

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4 thoughts on “‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Film Review

  1. I keep hearing somewhat mediocre things about this movie. I’m worried what I’ll think of it as I read all of the extended universe fiction when I was younger and I know that backstory of Han Solo, but they probably didn’t follow that storyline.

    Liked by 2 people

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