Solo: A Star Wars Story is awesome, or you aren't a real fan

May 16, 2018

Ok guys, this is a review of Solo: A Star Wars Story by my uber nerd hubs.  

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Solo is the origin story of the scruffy-looking nerf-herder with a blaster. It takes place between Revenge of the Sith and Rogue One, with plenty of references and origins of characters, planets, and technology seen throughout the Star Wars franchise. Long story short: Solo is excellent. Thoroughly entertaining. Exciting. Interesting. Funny. A worthy addition to the Star Wars franchise.

A warning: this is not a space opera. 




The movie feels more “normal” than the other movies with no major cataclysm to be avoided. The people (Wookiee, droids, and other) need to save themselves. This is the story most divorced from the main branch of Star Wars despite having a main character from four of the movies. The plot connects to the progress of Empire and Rebellion. This hints that Disney is ready to explore the universe further, and that a movie completely divorced should come sooner rather than later. 


Han Solo: Still from the movie and review


Who steals the show? 1. Chewbacca. The Wookiee always wins. 2. L3 the co-pilot droid has R2D2 level of attitude with C3PO level of verbosity. 3. Donald Glover, nails the debonair scoundrel Lando Calrissian from the first moment on screen. 4. The villain Dryden Voss played by Paul Bettany. The right amount of sophisticated sociopath. Alden Ehrenreich as Han, does a fine job of capturing a young Harrison Ford without being too constrained. Emilia Clarke, playing Qi'ra, is quite good. 


Star Wars movie, a review
Mother of Dragons?  Wrong 


Back to the warning. The acting is much more “normal” and less “epic” than a Star Wars movie. The story between Han and Qi'ra is wanting. Trying to keep this spoiler-free, let’s just say the characters never miss a beat, but they probably should. Woody Harrelson and Thandie Newton as Val somehow manage to be key to the movie without killing Star Wars by being “them”. 

 Of course, the real star is the universe itself. The world captured in Solo depicts a bleak galaxy where one is either a soldier, slave, gangster, or master reflecting the brutality of the totalitarian Empire. Every shot had the right amount of new, interesting creatures, tech, and languages. I found myself wondering what was beneath the masks of minor characters. Disney is adding the right amount of universe to the one George Lucas started so long ago and far away. 


The PG-13???? 


Rating is earned through violence of war and intensity. Gore is kept to a minimum. The strongest language is a stray “damn” and insinuating a four letter curse. Intense battle scenes may be too much for young children. I would let my 6 and 8 year old watch it, but it may not be fast-paced enough for the younger audience. For reference, my 6 and 8 year old had zero interest in Rogue One, but were captivated by Episodes VII and VIII. 


Solo is packed with origin stories of many characters. 


Star Wars: Solo story review
Donald Glover as Lando

I wish I had rewatched pretty much all the movies before starting this one. The shout outs, references and beginnings come fast and furious throughout the movie, but I could not catch all of them. It will bear rewatching.  I loved it. I laughed. I sat on the edge of my seat. The movie is full of surprises.  Like most kids growing up in the 1980’s, I dreamt of the day when Star Wars would be back in the theater. Return of the Jedi was my only theater experience until they re-rolled the Special Editions through theaters in the 1990’s. We now have seven movies past the original trilogy, and some are worried that we are entering the world of saturation. 


If Han is an indication, the House of Mouse has Star Wars on the right path to keep the Star Wars universe fresh, interesting, exciting, and special.  


The Alden Ehrenreich/Han, had a solid performance with the rogue coming through at all the right times. Whether or not he is the “good guy” is never really in question. Those who argue whether he shot first likely will not be satisfied. Emilia Clarke gives a solid performance. If anything, it was too “real” and not enough “space opera.” More of her back story could have helped. Everything about … Glover’s performance as Lando is spot on. References to the original trilogy abound.  I think the question is when, not if you will see it.  I'm curious about your reactions.

Spoiler free review of Solo: A Star Wars Story
Pinnable image of Solo!



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