Han Solo is first introduced as a smuggler whose only interests are money and
himself in 1977’s Star Wars: A New Hope. From then on, he grows more caring and
charismatic in the following films. A bit of his backstory is revealed. Solo is not the
main protagonist in those films so a ton of exposition on who he is isn’t necessary.
The audience has all they need from him and who would ever think to make a movie
about him when there’s several other strong characters in the Star Wars universe to
choose from? However, if ever it was possible to make a movie with Solo as the focal
point interesting, Disney has done just that with Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The film kicks off with the bandit doing what he does best on his home planet of
Corellia. Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) appears 10 years younger than the Harrison Ford
version in the originals. He struggles to survive in a crime-ridden environment and
dreams of escaping and pursuing a career as a pilot. He joins the Imperial Navy, but
things don’t work out as planned and much like Ford’s portrayal, he finds himself in
a self-induced mess due to his rebelliousness and lack of dependability.
Solo meets Tobias Beckett. (Woody Harrelson) The two have much in common.
Harrelson, at first is a strange choice for a part in a Star Wars film. His typical accent,
tone, and mannerisms, which he does employ in his role as Beckett, seem out of
place in this type of flick. It’s much easier to imagine him in a Western. Despite these
reservations, he adapts to his surroundings and pulls off a swell performance.
Emilia Clarke lands the leading female role of Qi’ra, Solo’s troubled love interest.
Together with Beckett, they set out to clear debts.
Much is revealed in the course of two hours and fifteen minutes. The audience
learns why Solo initially chooses to steal. They witness the first encounters with
Chewbacca and Lando Calrissian. Solo’s first spin with the Millennium Falcon is on
display. Even the origin of Solo’s name is revealed.
Fans of the Jedi and swordplay will be completely disappointed this time around
just as they likely were with Rogue One. Lightsabers are absent from the scenery
except for a brief wielding of the weapon near the end. Only diehard fans will
concern themselves with such a matter. What’s troubling is that only diehard fans
are likely to see Solo. Those not desperately pining for a fix from the galaxy far, far
away will largely disregard it. Which is sad because the movie is worth the time and
money yet it could turn out to be a wasted investment on the part of Disney who
seem to put a lot of effort into it.
Whatever the case, Solo: A Star Wars Story is an unexpectedly fun film.