Solo, the 2nd and maybe last Star Wars story type film is directed by Ron Howard, charting the infamous smuggler Han Solos origins, meeting Chewbacca and Lando, leading him to become the reluctant hero we see in A New Hope and beyond. The film stars Alden Ehenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Paul Bettany and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
You’ve probably heard everything that can be said about Solo already but I’ll throw in my 2 cents anyway, the lowest grossing Star Wars film full stop, mixed reviews from the critics, it’s a complicated one as I didn’t outright hate the film but it didn’t really do too much for me either. The casting was on point and Alden actually did a pretty good job as Han in my view, capturing young Hans naivety and bravado while not really doing an impression of Harrison Ford, the job was a hard one but he pulled it off, meanwhile the supporting cast were also good. Donald Glover was a delight as Lando and brilliantly cast, as was a visibly younger Chewbacca, while Emilia Clarke was a highlight as Hans’ first love Qi’ra.
I guess the problems with Solo rest with the reasons why the film needed to be made in the first place and you’ll probably get this response when you ask any long time Star Wars fan on their thoughts on the film “It was okay but I don’t know if we needed it” and to be honest I do sort of agree. Solo was met with a lot of apathy and wariness and I get why, showing Hans back story is all well and good but was it all that interesting anyway? Going off of anecdotes referenced in the original trilogy, I at least feel that Han never really needed a film all about him as cool as he is and the same thing goes for other mysterious characters like Boba Fett, who again is cool but do we need a film about him?
It was cool to see new Star Wars nonetheless without a light saber in sight mind you and it showed that you can garner interesting stories outside of the main Skywalker saga though Solo is still unavoidably linked to the main trilogy. There are even some good villains present with Dryden Voss (Paul Bettany) who makes for quite a good bad guy as it turns out. Though unfortunately while the set pieces are decent, they’re albeit devoid of tension for characters that we know are still alive several years later in the series timeline – Han, Chewie and Lando.
That in part is the problem with prequels that no one really clamors for, they remove the mystique of cool characters, always have reduced tension because we know the main characters makes it to later films and they tend to be a overly referential to the original series source material with a lot of ‘Memba this?’ going on. And don’t get me wrong, it’s fun to see how Han met Chewie, the Kessel run and Han/Landos relationship is always great but you do go away from the film feeling a bit underwhelmed unlike the big highs you traditionally get when you come off finishing a mainline Star Wars film.
We also may not get another Star Wars story for a long time if ever, because of how Solo did at the box office and it is what it is, we just need to see that Obi-Wan film with Ewan Mcgregor returning and then you can stop all the SW story films, deal Disney?
. Good performances all around, especially Ehenreich, Clarke and Bettany
. Has some nice visuals, fun set pieces
. Some scenes are devoid of tension as we know characters live on
. Maybe not everything about Han needed an explanation