By Edward Baillargeon
It’s kind of surprising that now that we have another Star Wars film out in theaters when it feels like yesterday when the last film, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, came out back in December. And of all the Star Wars film in the Disney era, this one has made the most headline news before its release and has became unavoidable for critics to talk about in their reviews, but I’m going to try to keep it brief. First was the fact that the original directors, Phil Lord & Christopher Miller, got fired for “creative differences” and being replaced by Ron Howard for several weeks of reshoots. Next came the fact that this came out only 5 months after the last Star Wars movie and being released during a crowded summer where the Avengers and Deadpool are continuing to rank in the dough and the returns of the Incredibles, giant dinosaurs, and Tom Cruise will be high performers in the next coming months. And speaking of The Last Jedi, not only has it been so soon, but also anticipation could’ve been severely damaged after that movie massively divided the fanbase. But, back on to this movie, following in the new tradition started by Rogue One: A Star Wars Story in 2016, Lucasfilm now gives us another spin-off film with Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.
Now with all the I have said in the intro of this, it’s obvious Solo has had a lot to live up to and it met my expectations. Solo: A Star Wars Story is another solid addition to the Star Wars franchise. The way that the story looks into Han Solo’s character before the events of Episode IV is very interesting with less cheesy dialogue than some of the other Star Wars films and a great cast of characters. All of the actors’ performances are strong in this movie. Alden Ehrenreich gives a good performance as Han Solo, even though he is no Harrison Ford, showing that he wants to be seen as a “scoundrel” and doesn’t want to be seen as “the good guy”, but always has to take actions in a situation that would make him the good guy. All of the actors who play the people in the gang that Han and Chewie join also are great including Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton, and Jon Favreau, as well as other supporting players including Atlanta’s Donald Glover giving a show-stealing performance as Lando Calrissian with his equal rights protesting droid L3-37, Emilia Clarke, of Game of Thrones fame, as Han’s former lover Qi’ra, and Paul Bettany as Dryden Vos, a crime lord who has a history with Woody Harrelson’s character. It’s also kind of weird that Paul Bettany was in two big films from companies owned by Disney in the span of a month as both Vision in Avengers: Infinity War and Dryden Vos in Solo, like how Josh Brolin was both Thanos in Avengers and Cable in Deadpool in the same time span. The action scenes are also really good with the supply train heist scene being one of the highlights of the movie. If I do have to give some criticism to the film it would have to be that some of the cinematography is pretty bad with it sometimes being impossible to tell what is happening in a scene with a lot of fog or snow with no contrast, and that some of the pacing is a bit off with a few scenes that do drag a bit, but it isn’t boring.
Overall, Solo: A Star Wars Story is another strong addition to the Star Wars universe where despite its flaws in its cinematography and pacing, it does make up for it with a solid cast, an interesting story, and some great action. If you are a fan of Star Wars, go check it out but keep your expectations in check. And this is also a decent film that stands on its own so newcomers can enjoy it as well. I’m going to give Solo: A Star Wars Story an 8/10.