So, I’ve finally seen Solo: A Star Wars Story and here are some of my immediate and spoiler free thoughts on the film.
First off, I think I’ll just come out and say that I really enjoyed this movie. It probably lands lower on my all time Star Wars ranking, but it’ll take a few more viewings before I really know where it lands. Although, I’m fairly sure that Solo is my least favorite of the films since the Disney purchase, but that’s not really saying a lot since I’ve really enjoyed all of them.
Its great to see that Ron Howard was able to come on board and assemble a really entertaining movie. It just felt like a great Star Wars adventure. Most of the action sequences were really great to watch and there are some fun references for people who like to follow the canon really closely. He and the Kasdans just stick with what Star Wars fans know.
The strongest element of this movie were the characters and the performances behind those characters. After a pretty dense marketing campaign I had already accepted Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo and I was glad to see that he was able to pull the character off quite naturally. Of all the cast I think Alden is really the star of the show. He’s cool, he’s funny and he works well with all the other members of the main cast. If they wanted to bring him back for either another movie or the new TV show I’d be 100% happy with it. Chewbacca probably gets more to do than he’s ever gotten to do in any Star Wars film to this point. The interactions between him and Han work quite nicely and they develop a nice friendship through the whole movie.
I was expecting to come out of Solo and say “Donald Glover steals the show” and I’m surprised to say that its not really the case. Glover’s great in the movie, but he didn’t really have the role that I was expecting him to have. I really hope that this isn’t the last time we get to see him play this character either because there just wasn’t enough of him. After all is said and done it seems like Lando and Han are more rivals than they are friends. One of the characters that I was a little mixed on was Lando’s droid co-pilot L3-37. She did a lot of spouting off about droid rights and I’m not really sure if she’s intended to be funny or not. I wouldn’t say that I hated her, but I’m sure I wouldn’t have missed her if they cut her role back a bit.
Of the new characters my favorite would have to be Beckett, played by Woody Harrelson who I already love. I felt that his relationship with Han was the most unique. The Kasdans said that Beckett was the character who influences Han the most and I’d have to agree with that. He serves as a great mentor and is able to teach Han a lot about living a life of crime. Emilia Clarke is her usual cute self. It seemed like some of the liberals were complaining about her character, but I really liked her too. I’ve heard a lot of people comment on her acting in other projects, but I thought she was 100% suitable here. She is meant to have a bit of a history with Han and I bought into that. A little Paul Bettany ended up going a long way too. He doesn’t get much screen time, but I wouldn’t mind seeing more from that character in the future. Thandie Newton’s Val and the little alien Jon Favreau voices are pretty fun too, but the marketing didn’t show much of them and that’s because they don’t get a lot of attention.
Everybody knows that there are 3-4 moments that are 100% guaranteed to be in the movie, but they don’t always happen in the way that you’d expect them too. I saw this movie with a bit of an awkward audience. I found the movie to be really funny and every time I laughed I’d look around and the 20 other watching the movie weren’t laughing. I almost felt like I needed to contain my laughter.
My biggest issue with Solo was the last few minutes. I felt like they were kind of trying to stuff a lot into the last few minutes. In most of the Star Wars films the story comes to an end shortly after a huge battle, but obviously this movie takes place on a smaller scale than the saga movies do and I just felt like the more exciting scenes happened before the ending. Then they try and jam some important moments in right before it ends and the ending is a little cold after it all. I’ve read some critics complain about predictability, but I didn’t find that to be the case.
So, If any of you were on the fence about seeing this movie and my opinion really means anything to you I recommend seeing the movie. Its a middle of the pack Star Wars film, but its a fun time and that’s pretty much all that matters. If they chose to greenlight a sequel I’d be fine with that. Now, We’ve got a long year and a half wait for Episode IX.
Have you seen Solo yet? What did you think? I’m sure I’ll be going deeper into spoilers in a few days time I just didn’t want to jump off the deep end until some people got a chance to see it.