With my recent viewing of Solo: A Star Wars Story, I think I’m finally up to date with all the movies in this new universe. (I think…?) As with the previous movies, I had mostly ignored whatever the Internet had to say about Han Solo’s new/old cinematic adventures. In fact, I didn’t even know that the movie had some big names in it, like Woody Harrelson and Emilia Clark. At most, I knew that the movie had received mixed reviews, and that’s about it. Now I suppose I’m ready to offer up my own thoughts to the pantheon of voices, so here goes with the bullets!
- Overall, I had a good time. The movie was fun and engaging, if meandering at times.
- The dude who played Solo was solid, and he expertly doled out some great Solo-esque facial expressions. I’ll readily admit that my brain wanted to turn him into a young Harrison Ford, but after a while, it came to terms with what it was seeing.
- God, could you imagine if the studio had decided to go the route of making the main character a de-aged Harrison Ford? ::shiivers:: I don’t know why I just thought of that. Could be because of Ant-Man and Wasp, which I also just saw, and at one point we see de-aged Michael Douglas and Michelle Pfieffer. Whether done by bad make-up or CGI, the de-aging trend in movies is…unsettling.
- Anyway, back to Solo. It was rather brave of someone to try to break out Han Solo into his own movie, especially one that tried to tell of his life before Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.
- Now, maybe he’s the only character with which this could be done…outside of Lando Calrissian, perhaps. Do we want to see the movie of Luke growing up on Tatooine as a water harvester with his aunt and uncle? Are we dying to sit in on Leia’s political wheelings and dealings on Alderaan? Could we handle the buddy movie about C3PO and R2D2’s pre-Tatooine space capers? I’m going to guess no, please god no, and maybe question mark.
- But with Han Solo, at least he had some backstory. At issue is that I don’t know if he had quite enough backstory (not counting the Han Solo book series, because nothing about any of these movies has anything to do with anything written in a book) for a full feature. I mean, you’ve got him doing the famed Kessel run in less than 12 parsecs and…um…
- … outrunning a…giant…space squid… Yeah, the space squid was pretty corny. Sadly, it had nothing to do with anything outside of showing the Millennium Falcon’s badassery.
- Speaking of the Falcon, Donald Glover’s Lando was spot-on. He stole much of the movie for me, because I probably wanted a Solo-Calrissian operatic space western. Oh, how much fun that would have been!
- And therein lies another issue with Solo versus other Star Wars movies. His story is simply much smaller, much less universe-altering than anything told in previous tales. Not to sound too highfaluting, but one of the great things about Star Wars movies (and I suppose you could include the prequels, if you must) is that they transcend boundaries and individuals. Even the single plotline in Rogue One connected to the larger events of Star Wars generally. Solo didn’t really do that. It was great to see Chewbacca, Lando, and the Falcon, but none of them were made to feel as important as they honestly are to the Star Wars universe. For some reason, the filmmakers really wanted to tell this other story involving, let’s face it, forgettable folks.
- Damn, I completely forgot about Paul Bettany. He was in it, too! See what I mean.
- Even the connections to the Empire were tenuous and uninspired.
- And now it sounds like I didn’t like the movie, but…
- …shit…maybe I really didn’t?
- Wait…no…there were some real bright spots.
- How long do you think it took to clean the mud from Chewbacca’s fur? Based on what I’ve had to deal with my extra-furry cat, I’m going to say days, at least.
- Chewbacca was enjoyable to watch, but then again, he’s simply not unlikeable and was never meant to be. The callback to 3D chess onboard the Falcon was a nice touch.
- The “whole” Falcon, without its signature individual front tines, did look kinda funny at first. I guess the fact damage cause the ship to look that way and Solo never bother to fix it makes sense.
- Lando’s companion droid was also pretty darn great. Upon first hearing her, my husband turned and said “Is that Captain Phasma?” (i.e. Gwendoline Christie, also of Game of Thrones). We had to look it up, but no, it was not her. Still great voice acting, though.
- So yeah. The movie wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t awful either. If it had been more connected to the Star Wars universe through events rather than characters and moments, then maybe it would have gained more traction with fans.
… … …
- Holy shit…I just looked at the movie’s poster and yep…totally forgot about Thandi Newton, too.