On May 25th Solo: A Star Wars Story opened in theaters around the world and the reception was mixed by both fans and critics.
Don’t listen to negative reviews, Solo is a fun film and a much needed addition to the Star Wars universe that might help ease the divide among some fans since the release of The Last Jedi.
It’s hard to imagine that many are calling Solo a failure. As of May 28th, Solo has made $172Million worldwide but according to Hollywood standards, it hasn’t come through with expectations. Although it isn’t hitting box office numbers similar to previous films, it is a miracle that it was even made at all. Thanks to veteran director, Ron Howard, what could have been an unreleased disaster for Disney/Lucasfilm became a welcomed addition to the Star Wars franchise. Thank you, Ron!
I found that Solo didn’t have that “epic story affecting the galaxy” feel like in the main Star Wars films, but instead a smaller and more personal feel as it followed a more narrow story arc around the origins of our favorite “scoundrel” and it completely works! It was exciting for me to see a deeper look at the shady side of the Star Wars galaxy. Much of the worlds in the film had a gritty and unpolished feel that reminded me of Rogue One. To me, this was a refreshing change from the more refined worlds we have seen in previous films.
My favorite parts of Solo and what made the film perfect to me was the story and interactions between Han Solo and Chewbacca. For the first time, it felt like their relationship was based on a loyal friendship and deep bond instead of a partnership. The comedic timing and fun that actors Alden Ehrenreich and Joonas Suotamo displayed in the film strengthened this feel of a more convincing and sincere friendship. I’m on team #HanBacca !
My only problem with the film is that I felt that they didn’t spend enough time developing the relationship between Han and Chewie. It felt like their friendship story was overshadowed by the other characters and stories in the film. Maybe, if a sequel is made, they can expand on this? Let’s hope!
But what about Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo?
Ehrenreich did a fine job as Han Solo. I can hear the groans from some reading this now who think that he wasn’t “Han Solo enough” for the role but, I would rather have a talented actor who portrays Han Solo as close as he can than someone who is hired because they can do a “Harrison Ford impression”. Ehrenreich was good! He may have not been “Harrison Ford” in the role but I feel that he did capture the essence of Han Solo. Not only that, he seemed to capture many of the mannerisms and facial expressions similar to Ford.
Other characters that stood out for me in the movie…
Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian
Donald Glover’s amazing performance as Lando was completely expected. The role was made for Glover’s style of smooth acting and he embraces the role completely. There were times I would close my eyes when Glover was in a scene just to hear how similar he sounded and said his words just like Billie-Dee Williams! Of course, those that know Glover’s work, should not be surprised by how great he was in the film.
Chewbacca has a purposeful role in Solo?
Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca was amazing! In previous films, our favorite Wookiee always seemed to be just a furry beast in the background with very little character depth other than being “Han Solo’s co-pilot”. Solo has changed all this! Chewbacca actually felt like an contributing part of the story. A character with a three dimensional personality, background, feelings and convictions. I know that there has been great improvements in the costume of Chewbacca that has made it easier to play but, Suotamo absolutely nails the role of Chewbacca! How he was able to express emotions in the film was compelling and made me an even bigger fan of the character.
Woody Harrelson as Tobias Beckett?
Harrelson’s portrayal of the scoundrel Tobias Beckett was possibly my favorite character in the film. I have been a fan of Harrelson’s acting style and feel he balances a casual delivery with an ability to create a character with depth and his role as Beckett is no different. Beckett was a fun character to watch. Although some might think of him as a “wild west gunslinger cliche”, Harrelson’s portrayal in the role makes this archetype work in the Star Wars setting.
And… The rest of the cast of Solo all add to the film with intriguing character stories, and strong acting talents. I’ll let you decide on your own.
Solo: A Star Wars Story stays on target as it delivered an action filled movie with interesting characters, exciting concepts and a very fun experience. I highly recommend that you ignore the critics or box office numbers and decide for yourself!
I give Solo: A Star Wars Story 3.5 Wookiees out of 5.