A new Star Wars story begins...just in time for the holiday weekend! Earlier this week we were invited to an advanced screening of SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. Now while we wouldn't consider ourselves die hard fans, we do love the Star Wars franchise having grown up with the original movies. We have also been enjoying the latest chapters released in the last few years. We were intrigued to get a little more back story on the famous smuggler and scroundel Han Solo (and Chewy of course, because who doesn't love his furry sidekick?).
Official film synopsis:
Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo befriends his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and meets the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.
The film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Paul Bethany and is directed by Ron Howard.
This film begins when young Han is in his later teen years. You are quickly brought up to speed on his childhood and Han's ambitions for life. It was interesting to see such an iconic character played by a new actor. Alden Ehrenreich did an amazing job of mimicing familiar traits of Harrison Ford while still giving young Han an optimistic spin. You get to see how he initially meets some favorite characters like Chewy and Lando and how he comes across the fastest ship in the galaxy: the Millennium Falcon. Along with familiar faces, SOLO also introduces characters that live just in this story such as fellow smuggler Tobias Beckett and crew, villain Dryden Vos and love interest Qi'ra. You even get some insight into the meaning of his name and how he tends to end up straddling the line between the criminal world and deep down being a good guy.
I have to say this movie is an absolute blast! The action is jam packed with some battle scenes, crazy spaceship maneuvering, and fast moving heists. The casting was superb and I loved all the characters. The scenes and effects were galactic, I always love seeing how they create new locations and beings in the Star Wars universe. I have really been enjoying seeming so many strong female characters in the latest films too (to include a Droid named L3 fighting for equal rights!) I think what is great about this movie is that Star Wars fans will love some of the nuances of story tie in but new fans could watch this as a stand alone flick. While Solo doesn't flow and follow the standard way of other Star Wars films I think this one was ok to do so. Having some humorous lines and jam packed action scenes seemed to work for Han and his story. I loved it and recommend adding to your summer movie lineup.
The journey to a galaxy far, far away was completely worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of this movie. SOLO begins quickly and keeps that pace up pretty much for the entire movie. The theme and story line combined with the types of actions scenes made it feel like a mix between a science fiction movie and a western.
While SOLO is in the Star Wars universe, it has its own feel that is completely different from the rest of the movies in the franchise. There is little to no reference to the force except for the very end and it lacks some of the long, drawn out conversation type scenes that tend to be a staple in most Star Wars movies. There is also the absence of the usual light side vs. dark side struggle which is a little refreshing. It is good to see a world where the Jedi, and to some extent, the Empire, aren't the main theme of the movie. The Empire plays a small role but it is minor one that is really a stopover for Han on his way to becoming the character we know.
The cast was outstanding, especially Alden Ehrenreich (Han Solo) and Donald Glover (Lando Calrissian). Those two nailed the parts, including matching the mannerisms of those two characters from the previous Star Wars movies. As a Game of Thrones fan, it was odd to see Emilia Clarke in a different role but I thought she did an exceptional job.
As far as the timeline of his movie compared to the others, I was a bit confused by one of the scenes towards the end of the film. However, after doing some research on a few fanboy sites, it appears all is explained. I won't spoil it for you but if you see the movie, you will probably know exactly what I am talking about.
When comparing this to the other more recent Star Wars Movies, I think it easily holds its own against The Force Awakens and the Last Jedi, along with Rouge One. I highly recommend this movie to Star Wars fans and non fans alike.
This movie is best for: old and new Star Wars fans alike (or honestly anyone who loves an action packed sci-fi film) Go see it!
View the official movie website.