Even though its not the best entry in the new Disney Star Wars series of films in the saga, Solo: A Star Wars Story is certainly an improvement to 2016’s Rogue One: A Star Wars Story.
The two paragraphs that follow below outline a detailed plot synopsis. The details given in these paragraphs occur within the film’s first ten to fifteen minutes, so there is no spoilers given.
A young and determined man named Han (Alden Ehrenreich) lives on a planet named Corellia with his girlfriend Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke). The two of them both despise the planet for numerous reasons, including its harsh living conditions, and also because of its villanious ruler Lady Proxima (Linda Hunt).
One day, Han and Qi’ra make a daring attempt at fleeing the premises in hopes to live on a planet full of hope and wonder – somewhere they can live together in peace and as a couple. The two ultimately fail however, which results in Qi’ra being stuck on Corellia but with Han making it out of the planet, but ends up far away from the planet of Corellia. Now, Han is determined to become the best and most talented in the whole galaxy in an effort to fly back to Corellia and rescue Qi’ra.
Alden Ehrenreich is actually an extremely likeable and charming Han Solo, although not even close to the sheer charm and likeability that legendary actor Harrison Ford has brought to the character for decades. Many people, before Solo: A Star Wars Story was even released, were bashing Ehrenreich, claiming he would be a horrible Han Solo. I found him to be extremely funny and you always feel sympathy for him. At the end of the day, Han is just a man determined to reunite with his true love, so, who couldn’t feel sympathetic for a man with that mindset?
The action set pieces are incredible as well, which seems to be the case thus far for each and every single one of the Disney Star Wars films. While it never once reaches the high emotion-driven action scenes delivered in 2015’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens or its 2017 sequel Star Wars: The Last Jedi, this film does deliver a number of memorable scenes like these. It is just that the two aforementioned films do it in a much more emotional level than Solo ever does.
Donald Glover portrays fan favorite Star Wars character Lando Calrissian who was not been seen since the final installment of the original Star Wars trilogy, Return of the Jedi, who in that trilogy, was portrayed by Billy Dee Williams. Similarly speaking with Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Glover does an amazing job at portraying Lando, though he is unfortunately not as good as Williams was in the original trilogy of films.
The film does unfortunately have a hard time with pacing. The first twenty to thirty minutes of Solo felt extremely rushed, and it would have certainly been nice to have some time to breathe, as many scenes go by in an extraordinarily quick manner. Having these scenes with breathing room would have improved the overall quality of the film drastically.
Characters are also introduced in this film a bit too late. For the majority of the film, you are familiarised with the characters that you have followed since the beginning of the film, so when certain characters are introduced towards and even in the third act, it can be a bit surprising and messy since now the audience has to be familiarised with the characters just introduced.
Although not a perfect entry, Solo: A Star Wars Story is a welcomed addition to the ever expanding Star Wars film saga.
For more thoughts on Solo: A Star Wars Story, please click this link to watch my video review: https://youtu.be/QdGTm_IdbKE
Overall Grade: B+
MPAA Rating: PG-13 for sequences of sci-fi action/violence
Cast: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover
Directed by: Ron Howard
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Running Time: 135 minutes