Solo: a Star Wars Story (2018)
Directed by: Ron Howard
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton
Reviewer: Michael D. Griffiths
Have you seen this movie?
I managed to get to my first summer blockbuster. I parked my car in a scrap of shade and rushed through the growing desert heat into the air conditioning. I got into the theater first and sat in the perfect seat.
I was happy this would be a stand-alone tale with a few tips of the hat to our old friend Han. Alden Ehrenreich, who played Han Solo, must have watched the old films well, for he got a lot of the mannerisms right. The writers and Ron Howard also did a great job keeping the Solo dialog consistent, which I appreciated..
The plot revolves around Han Solo falling into the criminal world in order raise enough money to rescue his childhood girlfriend, only to discover she needs no rescuing from anything other than the underworld he himself will soon owe.
Woody Harrelson delivers as usual and is one of the high points in the film. We also discover how Han became friends with Chewbacca and Lando, well with Lando, friend might be stretching it.
Much as in the first released Star Wars film, Han has a choice between money and self-preservation or making a commitment to a higher morale standard. There is also an old Han Solo controversy driven home if you are quick enough to catch it.
This movie was enjoyable and will probably be a crowd-pleaser, but a few downsides snuck in with me. First, I know it’s a story, but really, his girlfriend trapped on a lonely loser world, and with the whole universe to explore, finds herself a high-ranking member of the crime cartel he is dealing with? Yeah, well, I guess unrated events colliding in a universe with multiple planets still has to be about a one in a billion chance, but you can forgive the improbability because he doesn’t have to waste screen time rescuing her, I guess. I also thought how he met Chewbacca was a little uninspired.
Beside these downsides, if you love Star Wars this should give you a few smiles. They also gave a bit of a nod to Lovecraft with one of their beasts. One needs to watch out when exploring the deep reaches of space, you could run into an Old One.
I’m glad Mike enjoyed the movie.
I thought it sucked.
It’s a perfect example of “then this happened” for no other reason that that’s what the story teller NEEDED to happen to advanced the story. I suppose they were somewhat constrained by the history of the character, but the plot felt too contrived, too… artificial. We’re just there to see Han meet Chewbacca, Han winning the Falcon, Han Han doing the Kessel Run.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that is was boring, and that’s about the worst thing a movie can be. There are some unlikely coincidences as well, and other things that just plain didn’t make sense, but I don’t want to give away any spoilers.
See, we already know everything we need to know about Solo from the existing movies: he’s a tough talking rogue with a heart of gold who always ends up doing the right thing.
This movie doesn’t add anything to that. It had a chance to throw something into the works that maybe really gives us an idea of how Han ended up being the person her is. But all it does is take the character we already now he is and tell us another story about him being that same way.