I was predictably in line with my kids for the first showing of SOLO: A Star Wars Story Thursday night. My eternal fandom of the galaxy far, far away mandated I be there regardless of any feelings I had going into it relating to the publicly troubled production or hesitations I had about such a great character being played by anyone other than Harrison Ford.
So how was it? I thoroughly enjoyed the film! I vow to keep my review free of spoilers. There’s sort of a nerd code with that and I’m not about to find myself in violation. No one wants the intergalactic counsel of nerds on their ass for spoiling Star Wars…. Here we go!
SOLO: A Star Wars Story – Spoiler-Free Thoughts
Although this may have been the second Disney driven stand alone film to the franchise, in a lot of ways, it felt like the first. I absolutely adored Rogue One and consider it tied with Empire as my favorite. However, Rogue One was so interconnected to the rest of the saga that it never really felt like it was its own thing. Solo, on the other hand, very much sets its own path while maintaining the appropriate level of connectivity to the established galaxy.
The movie is riddled with fan service that’ll go over the heads of many while making the hardcore fans giddy. If you’re like me and have consumed every Star Wars media possible (Clone Wars, Rebels, the comics, etc) then there are tons of moments in the dialogue alone that will make you happy to see some level of acknowledgement on the big screen. We’re even given the answers to some lingering questions that should settle decade-long geeky debates.
As impossible as it may be for me to understand the viewpoint of someone new to the franchise, I do think that someone in that (personally unthinkable) position could watch this film and get a great deal of enjoyment out of it without feeling hopelessly lost. It is a great fusion of space western, heist film, and adventure picture that give it a carefree ride. The galaxy isn’t at stake and the motives of some players aren’t always that clear, but the chemistry of all those on screen is undeniable. There are bad guys, yes, but no one emerges as the clear ‘big bad’ because the focus is more on how the lifestyle of a smuggler itself can be the cumulative bad guy.
Visually it is very polished giving a magnificent view of areas never explored in previous films. The score is well utilized to tie in the film appropriately with the others as music cues to the other films find their way in. Much like Rogue One, it also illustrates how expansive the Galactic Empire actually is by showing the power struggle in different environments where your normal TK-bucket head Storm Trooper isn’t the suitable soldier. You’re given a sense that the Empire is dealing with growing pains, so to speak, while it asserts its rule over different systems.
Alden Ehrenreich did a fine job as the scoundrel himself. I thought he embodied the spirit of Harrison Ford’s character without resorting to a straight impersonation. He channeled the bravado of Ford while inserting his own likability to the role. Donald Glover is exactly as magnetic as you’d expect playing Lando. Glover’s casting alone in that role is justification enough for the movie to exist. Woody Harrelson is mostly fun as Beckett; I’m curious to see what Marvel does with their upcoming comic series based on the character. There are other short standouts that I’ll let you experience for yourself.
Overall, the film as a worthy entry to Star Wars lore. There wasn’t a pressing need to for them to make it, but I’m glad they did. I wouldn’t be at all opposed to further Solo movies if Disney decides to further capitalize on the success. Although I don’t know that I’ll make it back to the theater for another viewing like I have the other movies, I’ll definitely buy it when it’s released on bluray/digital.
My final review of SOLO: A Star Wars Story is 8 out of 10.
What did you think of SOLO: A Star Wars Story? How do you rank it with the others? Sound off in the comments or hit us up on Instagram.
The Belligerent Barnes