Solo: A Star Wars Story Review

The scruffy looking nerf herder is “back” and he’s looking a lot less scruffy than usual. Solo tells the story of our favorite bad guy who is actually a good guy. Han Solo is an amazing character that fans have loved for decades which is why this film was always bound to happen when Disney bought the Star Wars franchise. The question is whether the studio did the character justice or not. I will be the first to admit that question is loaded. Nostalgia plays a big part in making a film of this nature enjoyable and the actors that are taking on younger versions of beloved characters have their work cut out for them.

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As far as Star Wars films go, Solo was average. It doesn’t stand out as a winner nor is it an obvious dud like the first two prequel films. It was a lot of fun and I look forward to watching it again. Alden Ehrenreich did a passable job as Solo but it’s hard when comparing him to the legend of Harrison Ford. Even Donald Glover, who delivered an amazing Lando, wasn’t able to capture the same magic of Billy Dee Williams. Ehrenreich was a different Han and there were times that he did a good job and others where it seemed like a different character altogether. I wouldn’t say his acting was “bad” but he didn’t feel like Han Solo a lot of the time.

Donald Glover on the other hand was the embodiment of Lando. I don’t see a world where an actor could have done a better job but it still wasn’t Billy Dee Williams. Luckily Lando wasn’t as well developed as Han in the original films which gave Glover some extra breathing room with the character. It was clear that he drew heavy inspiration from the original trilogy but he made some choices that were unique and adapted the character masterfully. Giving credit where credit is due, he and Ehrenreich had good chemistry and I sincerely want to see more of this relationship.

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Before release there were rumors of a potential sequel to Solo and I can now say that I would be on board to see that for several reasons, one of which is the relationship between Han and Lando as well as some more development between Chewie and Han. Solo did a lot of what most fans would expect but the way in which these events unfolded was fun to see. The new characters Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and Qi’ra (Emilia Clark) held the film up in many ways. These new characters weren’t held back by preexisting notions and the actors did a stellar job. I admit that it was a little strange to see Han with someone other than Leia but it made sense and the story offers some explanation as to why Han is the way he is when he first meets the characters in A New Hope.

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Qi’ra and Beckett were both fantastic new characters but the droid L3 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) was one of the more annoying Star Wars characters to date. Not Jar Jar bad but I’d lump her in with Rose but slightly more amusing. I’ll admit that the character brought a few laughs but K-2SO from Rogue One was the far superior droid if we are being real here.

The character  of Han is familiar in many ways but it is clear that this version is younger, less experienced and not as gruff as what we see in the other films. The character goes through a lot and this film gives us a glimpse into why Han is the way he is. I absolutely love to see character development and I got a lot of that in this latest Star Wars installment. The friendship between Han and Chewie is given a fair amount of screen time and I admit that a massive smile came to my face when Chewie took the copilot seat next to Han.

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The Star Wars is a franchise that brings fans of all types meaning this film is bound to be divisive. In the end, we get an out of this world experience in a Galaxy Far Far Away and it’s great fun. The action and set pieces are up to par and the journey the viewers go on is very much Star Wars and fits the titular character like a glove. We even get a cameo from another Star Wars character that merges a lot of Star Wars lore into one. If you want to see more of the Star Wars universe including MANY familiar and new aliens, Solo is the film to see. I could be wrong here but it felt like there were more aliens than any previous Star Wars film.

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Disney has given us a new film each year since 2015 and it’s fair to say they are delighting and upsetting the world with each one. Personally, I have loved to see each new entry and look forward to more. While it wasn’t a great Star Wars films and probably the worst since Disney took over, Solo is a thrilling adventure with a beloved group of characters as well as some great new additions and an annoying droid. Visually, it is stunning and full of great action and entertainment. If you want an Empire Strikes Back caliber film, you are in for massive disappointment. If you want to be entertained and can look past the fact that no one is as good as Harrison Ford, you should enjoy this middle of the road film set in our favorite galaxy far far away.

3 out 5 Couch Cushions!!!

3 out of 5 small

4 comments

  1. It’s nice to hear from someone about this movie without the fires of righteous indignation breathing in my face. Filling Harrison Ford’s shoes is an impossible task at best and overall I am just glad that someone was brave enough to try. I have not seen the movie yet but Ii’m planning on watching the film with an open mind, and now thanks to you with a bit more optimism. I cant wait to enjoy another piece of my favorite film universe. Thank you for the review Max!

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  2. This is an excellent review that greatly encapsulates the problematic aspects of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Plus, I like your rating system, cushions are novel.

    I think that Solo: A Star Wars Story is a fascinating inversion of the burgeoning adolescence theme of the saga. Unfortunately, in execution, the theme has no emotional resonance due to a deficient central performance.

    You can find out more by reading my review below.

    https://sgsonfilm.net/2018/05/25/review-solo-a-star-wars-story-2018/

    If you find the piece to your liking, then please comment and follow.

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  3. Dude you said basically everything I was thinking. I really enjoyed the film, but I kind of went into it thinking of it as an origin story and not part of the main saga. It was more about getting to know some of the characters and events that made Han (and Chewy) how they came to be the characters that we know. I agree, if you are looking for something as epic as the originals, you would be disappointed. Take it for what it is and enjoy it! I agree that L3 was pretty annoying, and only slightly funny a couple of times. Also, you were spot on with Beckett and Qi’ra totally stealing the show. I had a great time watching it and can’t wait to see it again.

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