Solo: A Star Wars Story was a completely unnecessary origin story for our favorite nerf herder. That being said, it’s an awful lot of fun so you can either get behind one fact or the other. Personally, I’ve always sided with fun.
Spoilers abound. Don’t say I didn’t say so.
This is, predictably, the story of a young Han Solo, how he met Chewbacca and ended up piloting the fastest hunk of junk this side of Bespin. The movie is not surprising, contains but one surprising twist that really doesn’t even spring from the story itself, and is surprisingly low-effort for a Star Wars movie and, if I were to name my major gripes about Solo, those would be them.
That being said, it’s an awful lot of fun.
Y’see, I keep my ears open to the gripes and complaints of the increasingly toxic Star Wars fan base every time a new movie is released and, with The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi, the complaint I’ve heard more and more is, “Why can’t these movies be fun anymore?” Then, Disney releases a genuinely fun Star Wars movie and fans decry that “This is the movie no one wanted!” I’ve said this hundreds of times to the toxic Star Trek fan base and now, Star Wars fans, I’m saying this to you: Perhaps the problem is you. Perhaps the problem is that you actually don’t want to be challenged as you did before The Last Jedi came out and maybe you don’t want fun like you claimed before Solo came out. Maybe you, the minority and most vocal of you, are crying cosplayers who will never be satisfied because you don’t want this thing you’ve loved for decades expanded and opened up to new fans that you honestly see as interlopers.
Personally, you’re the worst kind of fans and I sincerely hope that you do boycott all of the new movies so I don’t have to sit next to you in the theaters.
You’re toxic. Just go away.
Now, if that does not apply to you, congratulations for not being a loathsome pile of guano. Let’s continue.
When Alden Eherenreich was first announced as being cast in this movie I thought, “No way, he looks and sounds nothing like Harrison Ford” and now that I have see this film from beginning to end, I can say with absolute certainty that Alden Eherenreich looks and sounds nothing like Harrison Ford.
And that’s perfectly fine.
Maybe he doesn’t have to look and sound like someone iconic because then, we would be spending the entire movie thinking about how he was doing an impression of someone iconic. It’s fine that he played the character different and his own way because, like Chris Pine and everyone else who took on the audacious task of portraying a legendary character from a legendary actor, he was going to lose either way. Sorry, but it’s true… he was. If he looked and sounded like Harrison Ford, people would have complained. If he did something new, they would have complained. As it is… he’s fine. Perfectly fine. I certainly didn’t envy him and perhaps I’m just being empathetic to his plight, but he was fine. He had charisma, he was likeable, and and he jumped into the role with confidence. Alden, I’m behind you, buddy.
Donald Glover, though… he was Billy Dee Wiliams playing Lando Calrissian. That was awesome.
Solo has a few pacing problems and some characters didn’t exactly win me over. L3, for example, was, to me, simply another retread of the “sassy droid” character that is quickly becoming a cliche. The strange relationship that Lando had with her, him apparently being pansexual and all (Disney, please stop patting yourself on the back for including sexually diverse characters when you don’t actually do it), came off as rushed and bizarre and the subsequent fate of the droid was also rushed and seemed rather heartless… never mentioned again. There was no time to think about it, mush less mourn it.
It was cool to see Maul again, but it was fan service and I’m not one to scream “fan service” any time something fun happens.
So, yes, Solo is merely an okay movie but, considering the troubled production, it’s amazing that it’s okay. This movie isn’t deep, it isn’t that well-written, and it will not take its place next to the greatest films of science fiction, but you know what? It’s okay… because it’s a whole lot of fun.
You know that smirk that appears on Han Solo’s face during a Star Wars movie? THAT is this movie and I had a great time with this low-effort and unnecessary film.