The Han Solo legend is alive and well.
Solo: A Star Wars Story exceeded expectations…and then some. It told a story that was captivating on its own and with added depth because of its place in the Star Wars universe. There was just the right amount of homage to the legend of Han Solo without tilting to the overdone. And it was a story that fit seamlessly into the overarching story of Star Wars. Just as fans hailed Rogue One as ultimately satisfying, they will support this film in the same way. As much as I loved Rogue One, this was better.
Solo is the story of Han Solo and how he developed into the rascal and scoundrel people have come to love. We find out about where he came from, how he got the Falcon, how he met Chewie, and tons of other bits of Star Wars lore fans all over the galaxy have been craving to find out. This is a heist caper of the highest caliber. Han, for reasons made clear in the film, joins up with a group about to pull off a job that will set them up for life. But the job is made more complex when things don’t go off as planned and instead the group has to improvise. There are tons of surprises, tons of “aha” moments, and tons of opportunities to cheer! It’s a film that will bring a smile to both the hardcore fan and the rare person who knows nothing about the Star Wars universe.
The casting is incredible. Alden Ehrenreich was able to capture the essence of Han Solo without doing an imitation of him. Donald Glover did the same in embracing the man of mystery and style – Lando Calrissian. Woody Harrelson’s portrayal of rogue and thief Tobias Beckett is complex and charming. Emilia Clarke is surprising in the depth of her character, Qi’ra. Joonas Suotamo portrayed the much beloved Chewbacca flawlessly, giving him even more to love about the furry friend. Phoebe Waller-Bridge made me cheer for droids everywhere as Lando’s co-pilot (and droid) L3-37. And Paul Bettany was as convincing in this role as he is as the android Vision in Avengers.
Bringing it all together is Ron Howard. I am impressed! Truly a gargantuan task to helm a film that seeks to tell the story of an icon. A bigger task to then take over from a director who was fired. And then to pull it all together into what this film has become is even more so. Yet, Howard did it all. With the help of Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jonathan who took on the challenge of writing the screenplay, they crafted scene after scene that not only adds to Han’s legend, but also ties in neatly into so many different aspects of what we already know.
You simply have to see this movie for yourself. Let me know what you think!