This article contains spoilers for Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Regardless of where you stand on this Star Wars anthology film – whether you were excited or trepidatious – Solo: A Star Wars Story has already been a success. After going through such a big director shake-up, it’s refreshing to see the final product come together so well. But enough talk about that, let’s get into the review.
“Buckle up, baby!”
What Solo lacks in creativity – predictably plotting along traditional origin story beats – it completely makes up for in its sense of amusement and character interactions. Yes, we see the first time Han (Alden Ehrenreich) meets Chewbacca, but it’s an extremely entertaining scene. We learn that Han speaks broken Shriiwook and that the two begin their lifelong friendship in a mud-soaked cage.
Of course, there’s a bit of pandering to the Star Wars fans (not as much as, say, Dr. Evazan and Ponda Baba in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story) such as Han and Chewie seeing the Millennium Falcon for the first time, Han getting his trademark blaster, and several shots the dice hanging from the Falcon. While these moments may come off as cheesy and unnecessary to some, they fit well in their respective scenes and do not linger too long.
Taking on a role like Han Solo must be daunting. It’s hard to separate the iconic character of Han from the actor (Harrison Ford). Although Alden Ehrenreich did an adequate job, the only complaint was that he wasn’t consistent in his portrayal of the character. There were moments where you were taken out of the film by his performance – not quite living up to the scruffy-looking nerf herding we know and love – and then there were some times where he would get Han’s mannerisms and speech down and you would get lost in the character.
Woody Harrelson’s character work in the film is amazing, Beckett is this missing piece of the Star Wars universe that you never knew was missing until you see him there among our heroes. He was the perfect character to mentor to Han. And through Beckett, we get a deeper understanding of Han’s complex characteristics (not only in Solo but in the original trilogy as well).
Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) was another stand out character. The first time we hear Glover speak, you’d think it was Billy Dee Williams. He was fantastic in the role and made every moment with Lando and Han a special treat.
Again, some people might feel that this movie is predictable, but it’s really the brilliantly fleshed out characters (new and old) that really make this story a success.
Oh, and one last thing…
The ending of the film also gives you a huge (SPOILER) surprise in revealing that Darth Maul is still part of the Star Wars cinematic universe proper. Maul was the one calling the shots for Crimson Dawn and Qi’ra.
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