Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Solo: A Star Wars Story
Director: Ron Howard
Writer: Jonathan Kasdan, Lawrence Kasdan
Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Joonas Suotamo, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Paul Bettany, Jon Favreau, Erin Kellyman, Linda Hunt, Warwick Davis
Part of/Sidequel/Prequel to: Star Wars
Seen on: 6.6.2018

Plot:
Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) has found his way off the planet Corellia in an attempt to find a better life, but quickly running out of options, his path has led him to the army. But he doesn’t do very well there, either. So it seems a lucky break that he finds Tobias (Woody Harrelson), Val (Thandie Newton) and Rio (Jon Favreau) – thieves pretending to be fighters. He tries to join them, but they are not interested, using him instead to make their own escape and getting Han arrested. But that arrest leads Han to Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and Chewie buys him a way in with Tobias and the others after all. And pretty soon, Han finds himself in the middle of a heist that throws him right in the path of Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) whom he thought he had lost forever.

Speaking as somebody who is not particularly into Star Wars, Solo was entertaining enough although I felt that it definitely focused on the wrong character.

Film poster for Solo, showing Chewbacca, Qi'Ra, Solo and Lando in front of a colorful background.

Han Solo is a pretty iconic character, so the film always had a tough job cut out for it. Starting with the casting and the question of whether anybody could possibly fill Harrison Ford’s shoes. Ehrenreich was a good choice, generally speaking – he has the necessary charm and a similar kind of energy. But honestly, he just didn’t blow me away. I don’t think that that’s a problem with his performance – it’s much more of a script thing.

The script has a problem with both plot and characters. The plot is, unfortunately, completely unimaginative and therefore pretty predictable. Which would have been okay, if it hadn’t tried to surprise you. But it did. The biggest problem with the characters is that literally every character in the film is more interesting than Han Solo. Particularly Donald Glover’s Lando steals every scene he is in. The other big problem ist that Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) was as unimaginative a villain as the plot was tropey.

Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo and Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca

But at least the Star Wars franchise officially discoverd that black women exist in this universe (and they don’t even need to be CGIed), so that’s pretty cool. Even if they featured them as little as fucking possible. Which is not only unfortunate for representation reasons, but also because they were my absolute favorite characters here and the most interesting ones to boot.

Overall the film is fun and nice, but it’s not especially good or great. I can imagine that you’ll react more strongly to it if you are more invested in the franchise, but for me it was ultimately a very forgettable film.

Donald Glover as Lando

Summarizing: It’s okay.

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