Solo: A Star Wars Story

In the weeks leading up to the release of Solo, I was feeling pretty nervous that it would not be able to live up to the rest of the Star Wars movies. It’s a tough task to take a character that everyone knows and loves already and make a backstory movie with a different actor. Couple that with the fact that it didn’t seem like very many people were captivated by the advertising and it just didn’t seem like a recipe for success. As it turns out, the movie itself is a lot better than I anticipated. However, through the first weekend Solo has not been drawing that many people to theaters. Is it worth giving a shot?

(Spoilers Ahead)

The Bad

There are quite a few things in Han’s backstory that are explained in throughout this film. Some of which I like or was fine with, and other I didn’t appreciate so much. The foremost of these was the explanation as to where Han got his last name. Apparently, the last name Solo is just a title given to him by an imperial official just because he doesn’t belong to any family. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but I think that’s just stupid.

The next thing I had a problem with was the role that Qi’ra has in the story. Like, I understand that Emilia Clark is nice to look at but you can’t just through her into the story and leave her with a bunch of unexplained plotholes in her storyline. I get that she is mostly just there to give extra meaning to Han’s dice that we remember seeing in The Last Jedi, but they never give her enough motive for the decisions she was making to explain them adequately. At the end of the movie, she is finally free from Dryden Vos and can go with Han to fulfill their dream together. The film offers us very little motivation for why she decided to take off and never see Han ever again except for the fact that she needs to be out of the picture by the time Han meets Leia.

Another Star Wars film, another droid. This time it’s Lando’s co-pilot and racial activist  L3 droid. She seems like the most advanced artificially intelligent droid that we have seen in the galaxy and The Last Jedi takes place at least 4 decades after the events of Solo. Doesn’t make a lot of sense if you ask me.

The Good

Alden Ehrenreich actually does a pretty good job stepping into Han’s shoes. It took a little to get used to but I was able to accept the idea that he was playing young Han and roll with it. I also enjoyed Woody Harrelson and Paul Bettany’s roles in the film. I guess Woody Harrelson just played the same role he has played in all his movies but it was still enjoyable. Better than all of them, in my opinion, was Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. Trust me, he fits the role perfectly.

One thing I was worried about was that the pacing of this movie was going to be too slow. Honestly, I thought the pacing was pretty good. Just enough action sequences to keep me in full attention through the slower scenes. I really enjoyed the last couple scenes where Han fully displays his cunning ability as he duped both Vos and Lando in successive scenes. Also, I love how the movie portrayed the origin of the Han and Chewy relationship.

Visually, Solo is of extremely high quality. Ron Howard has always been good at giving scenes a certain tone just by the colors and lighting associated with the setting. That is on full display in this movie and it helps build suspense and emotion in the audience. It isn’t as vibrant and dynamic as The Last Jedi but it is great to watch.

Though the music is not by John Williams (except for the Han Solo theme), it is by John Powell. Sure he doesn’t have Williams’ pedigree but he has composed some of everyone’s favorite animated movies such as How to Train Your Dragon, Shrek, and Kung Fu Panda. Anyway, the soundtrack is solid.

The Rating

While not on the level of The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi, Solo was a fun time for me and is definitely the better of the spin-off movies in my opinion. It may not be raking in the dough, but I wouldn’t call in a bomb in the slightest.

7.75/10

 

 

 

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