Solo: A Star Wars Story Non-Spoiler Movie Review

Jay Cochran - May 25, 2018
If Disneyís plan was to lower everyoneís expectations for Solo: A Star Wars story with leaked stories about behind-the-scene drama with directors and movie-making chaos so we walked out of theater pleasantly surprised the film wasnít a total train wreck, I would say they succeeded.

The movie sets out to tell the origin story of Han Solo, now played by young actor Alden Ehrenreich, and I think they generally did a fairly decent job. My hat is off to director Ron Howard who managed to pull this one out of the fire, if all the behind-the-scenes stories were true. The movie doesnít meet the standard of a great Star Wars movie (honestly, I would only rank it just above Episodes I-III), but it definitely has fun moments and some decent action sequences. Ehrenreich had some very big shoes to fill and did a fairly decent job portraying a young and somewhat naive Han Solo. Harrison Ford he wasnít, but I didnít walk out of the theater hating the guy either. My favorite parts with Ehrenreich revolve around his growing relationship with Chewbacca, and I liked that they spent time in this film actually developing Chewie as a character.

Other characters I liked were Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover), Qiíra (Emilia Clarke), and in particular Woody Harrelsonís Beckett. Beckett was the mentor-like character that really helped shape the Han Solo we all know and love, and Harrelson does a really nice job with that. Glover has been getting a lot of positive press for his role as a young Lando which is well deserved, but I think it was Harrelson that really carried this movie.

The biggest reason I donít consider this a great movie is the overall story. It definitely has some pacing issues, but my concern is that the story is not impactful to overall Star Wars lore. One of the things I really liked about Rogue One was that the stand-alone film still managed to play a crucial role in the overall Star Wars mythos. After seeing Rogue One, I immediately wanted to go home and watch Episode IV again (which I did). I canít say the same about Solo. While the film contained some nice Star Wars lore nuggets for fans to sink their teeth into (including one based on the cartoons), I just didnít feel the same impact I did with Rogue One. I canít go into specifics without giving away spoiler plot details, but I think they missed an opportunity on where they could have gone with this story and how they ended it.

To sum up, I think this movie is worth seeing at least one time for any Star Wars fan, new or old. But, I doubt I will find myself watching it multiple times or even really think about it years from now. For a normal movie that wouldnít be a big deal, but for Star Wars - that is a little disappointing.

Grade: C+
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