‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Review

SoloSolo: A Star Wars Story is a space Western film directed by Ron Howard from a screenplay by Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan. It is the second Star Wars anthology film, following Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and tenth film in the Star Wars franchise. The film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, Jon Favreau, and Paul Bettany. The story is set in between the events of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith and Star Wars: A New Hope and follows the adventures of a younger Han Solo including how he became a smuggler, his first interaction with Chewbacca, and how he won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian. Ron Howard does a decent job directing this film having taken over after Lord and Miller were released from the project. He stays in line with traditional Star Wars lore without taking too many liberties. It’s hard to tell which scenes Howard directed and which were done by Lord and Miller, leaving the final product a fun and balanced film. The story is basic with many nods to the original and prequel trilogies in addition to a few surprises and character revelations for the fans. Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan do a great job with the dialogue and tone of the film, keeping things more grounded and convincing for the audience. The casting for this film is great with the new actors embodying certain aspects of familiar characters while at the same time bringing something new to the table. Alden Ehrenreich is believable as a younger more hopeful Han Solo. He’s very much a good guy and less the scoundrel viewers met in Star Wars: A New Hope. Ehrenreich provides a new take on Han and it feels refreshing since his actions are unpredictable. Woody Harrelson does well as Tobias Beckett. Beckett is a smuggler and behaves similarly to the way Harrison Ford played Han Solo as he is untrustworthy yet charismatic. This makes sense as Beckett acts as a mentor to Han in the film. Speaking of great casting, Donald Glover is perfect as Lando Calrissian. He’s very much the suave playboy you meet in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, although a little more pompous. He behaves as if Captain Kirk from Star Trek existed in the Star Wars universe, which is interesting, to say the least. His interactions with Han and the rest of the crew are fairly hilarious and fun to watch, especially those with his droid, L3-37, who is voiced wonderfully by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. The main issue with the film is that it doesn’t feel special. While the characters are well cast they don’t stand out as memorable, with the exception of L3-37. The film feels very much like a paint-by-numbers Star Wars film and brings nothing new to the franchise. Also, the ending of the film makes it obvious the studio means to set up a series of Han Solo films rather than leaving it as a stand-alone installment. I give Solo: A Star Wars Story a Normal 6.9/10. It’s an entertaining and enjoyable film, but it doesn’t leave me craving more Han Solo.

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