I was finally able to watch Solo: A Star Wars Story Saturday evening after real life kept forcing me to postpone. It was well worth the wait and, while not particularly deep or introspective, it was one of the most fun films I’ve seen in theaters. (Spoilers)
I will admit, I was not one of the people particularly interested in a Solo film when it was announced. All I was hoping for was for an entertaining movie and for it to expand the setting. The film far exceeded those expectations and I hope they continue the storylines introduced in spite of the poor box office. The beginning was a bit choppy, but from Kessel on I was grinning like a schoolboy for most of the movie. Further, it made me interested in a side of the galaxy I hadn’t been before – the underworld.
My complaints largely focus on the first third of the movie and seem to be the common ones. The starting scenes were too dark which made it difficult to see what was going on at times. The lighting problems were largely restricted to Corellia and it seemed to even out afterwards. One thing that didn’t bother me and actually liked was how Han got his last name. It’s a name with a humble origin to match his simple background. Further, it recalls earlier times when young men left their homelands and frequently their family names behind to seek a better life in a new country.
Once Solo leaves Corellia my other complaint surfaces – the first half of the film changes settings way too often. By the time you get oriented in one location and start drinking in the details you have to do it all over again. Mimban, in particular, felt like it could have focused a little more on the war Han had been fighting in before moving on. Particularly since the following segment, Vandor, goes on for a bit longer than was probably necessary, thrilling as it was.
From there we meet Lando and my last real complaint – L3 felt tonally inconsistent with the movie. After hearing her over-the-top personality and obnoxiousness was a holdover from Lord and Miller, let me say I’m glad Howard took over.
The other characters were very well done and Alden as Han was a real surprise. It took a little getting used to, but I had no problem accepting him as Han Solo after the beginning of the movie. Glover performed magnificently as a young Lando and Woody turned in a solid performance as Beckett. I also had no real complaints with Emelia as Qi’ra.
Once Lando joined the group, the movie went full throttle and never looked back. Getting to see Kessel and the Kessel Run on the big screen after 41 years was a real treat. The Kessel Run itself was thrilling and managed to be tense even though I knew they’d make it. Enfys Nest and the Cloudriders were a pleasant surprise and I’m very interested to see where her story goes. The same goes for the surprise reveal of Maul and Qi’ra’s decision to replace Dryden as his right hand.
All in all, a great trip out to a GFFA and one I would love to see more of. Hopefully the poor box office returns don’t dissuade further development of the storylines setup by this film.
Up next: I’ll dive into what the movie and stories introduced by the movie might mean for Canon going forward.