Director – Ron Howard
Writer – Lawrence Kasden, Jonathan Kasden
Starring –Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Donlad Glover, Emilia Clarke
Rating – PG-13
Genre – Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
Metascore – 63/100
Rotten Tomatoes – 69%
When The Force Awakens debuted, I said to myself: “I don’t care if these new movies live up to the original trilogy, more Star Wars will always be a good thing.” Despite the controversy, turmoil, and director changes surrounding Solo: A Star Wars Story, this film turned out to be a fine addition to the Star Wars universe.
Solo gives us a well rounded backstory to one of the franchise’s most alluring and entertaining characters. Leaving the film, I finally understand Han’s jaded and distant personality, and his reluctance to commit to a cause. I thought the overall story and pacing of this movie was great except for a couple of scenes. This film found its own identity within the Star Wars franchise, much like Rogue One, but this film had a weaker devotion to its own tone. Rogue One was dark, gritty and rough and the tone of Solo felt like it should have been seedier. In a movie filled with scoundrels and smugglers, it felt too clean and righteous. Rogue One fits the tone of a darker espionage and suicide mission film, while Solo didn’t hit the mark as a grimy heist movie which detracted from the success of its own identity in the franchise.
Most of the qualms I had with this film were character centric. Han and Chewbacca were the most three dimensional characters of the cast, and I enjoyed most of their interactions. We finally learn how the two meet and see the beginning of a legendary partnership. Han is rough around the edges, but that is excusable because he is a young kid in this film. His character can afford to be a little less charismatic and quippy than his later self because he hasn’t matured and been scarred to the point that we see in the originals. Beckett doesn’t grow or change through the whole film, which is a shame because he was a mysterious bandit that I wanted to know more about. Qi’ra plays an important role in grounding Han’s character, but she lacks depth, making her decisions late in the movie unsatisfying. The charming and charismatic Lando fails to go any deeper, and I felt like those were the only qualities that he had; the story could have existed without him.
The narrative of this film was fun and action-packed. The ever-present nods to other Star Wars films were not overbearing this go around, and the comedy was adequate. The worlds were beautiful and the set-pieces were interesting and engaging. The supporting cast was shallower than I would have liked, but Han and Chewie provided the depth in characters to save the cast from being otherwise underwhelming.
Author: Alex Greenwood