An Honest Review Of 'Solo: A Star Wars Story'

It's basically a heist movie set in a galaxy far, far away!

You might wanna buckle up, baby.

The Long Plot, Sans Spoilers

Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future co-pilot 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.

The Short, Honest Plot

It's basically a heist movie with thievery, cons, bets, and high-speed chaseset in a galaxy far, far away!

The Actors And Where You Last Saw Them

Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo

Lucasfilm is fond of casting relatively unknown actors as leads in the Star Wars movies, and this is no exception. Alden appeared in various movies and shorts over the years, as well as TV shows like CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and Supernatural, but it looks like this is the role that will make him a household name.

Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian

Fans of Community know him best as Troy Barnes, while music aficionados are currently raving over his (well, Childish Gambino's) latest music video, "This Is America."  He's also making waves on his current TV show, Atlanta, which he co-writes with his brother Stephen.

Woody Harrelson as Beckett

Your parents might know him best from '90s movies like White Men Can't Jump and Indecent Proposal, but you probably know him best as Haymitch from the Hunger Games movies.

Emilia Clarke as Qi'Ra

Best known as the Mother of Dragons, Daenerys Targaryen, on Game of Thrones, she was also in the films Me Before You and Terminator Genisys.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge as L3-37

Fans of British TV shows might remember her as Abby Thompson from Broadchurch.

 

Joonas Suotamo as Chewbacca

He made his screen debut as Chewbacca's stunt double in The Force Awakens, and he reprised the role in The Last Jedi.

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Thandie Newton as Val

Her big Hollywood break came when she starred opposite Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible II, and now she's making waves as the cunning Maeve Millay on HBO's Westworld.

 

Paul Bettany as Dryden Vos

From leading roles in movies like Priest and Legion, he went on to play Vision in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, most recently in Avengers: Infinity War.

Did You Know?

  1. Solo is a "Star Wars Story" movie and not an "episode" movie. "Episode" movies like Episode VII: The Force Awakens and Episode VIII: The Last Jedi continue the main storyline of the Prequels and the Original Trilogy. The "Star Wars Story" movies are standalone movies, like Rogue One in 2016.
  2. Many actors wanted to play young Han Solo. Among those who screen-tested for the role were Dave Franco, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Miles Teller, Chandler Riggs, Rami Malek, Ed Westwick, Tom Felton, Logan Lerman, Ansel Elgort, Colton Haynes, Scott Eastwood, Chris Pratt, Taron Egerton, and Blake Jenner.
  3. Everyone knows the Millennium Falcon as Han Solo's ship, but actually, she belonged to Lando Calrissian first! In Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back, Lando greets Han by saying, "What have you done to my ship?" to which Han replies, "YOUR ship? Hey, remember you lost her to me, fair and square."

    Donald Glover, who plays Lando in Solo: A Star Wars Story, gives a tour of the iconic Millennium Falcon in this featurette:

  4. Solo was originally supposed to be directed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, who wrote and directed The Lego Movie in 2014. They left the production shortly before finishing principal photography due to creative differences with producer Kathleen Kennedy and co-writer Lawrence Kasdan. Ron Howard was brought in to replace them, and he reportedly reshot 70 percent of the movie.

    Watch Ron Howard and the cast talking about the young scoundrel in this featurette, Becoming Solo:

  5. The galaxy is full of amazing costumeshello, Padme Amidala's fabulous gowns! In this movie, Emilia Clarke's awesome outfits and many other costumes were designed by David Crossman and Glyn Dillon. Both Crossman and Dillon worked on Rogue One and Episode VII: The Force Awakens. Crossman also worked on Disney's Maleficent and three Harry Potter movies. Dillon was a concept artist for Jupiter Ascending and Kingsman: The Secret Service

What I Think:

The nice thing about the "Star Wars Story" movies is that they provide an interesting context for details that fans have been wondering about for years. Rogue One is the answer to how the Rebel Alliance got the Death Star plans. Solo is Han's origin story, explaining his relationships, his motivations, and even his reputation. 

You could call this movie When Han Met Chewie or When Han Met The Falcon. There are so many moments that tease towards scenes or lines of dialogue from the Original Trilogy, and those had me squealing with delight, applauding, and sometimes nearly jumping out of my seat!

While many people were super excited to see Han and Chewie, I have to admit it was Lando Calrissian I was really waiting for. I was so happy when Donald Glover got the role, and I was absolutely thrilled to see that he did not disappoint.

Beyond the nostalgia and the fan service, there are fun and interesting new characters too, many of them bad-ass females. Ladies, play close attention because you might want to dress up as Qi'Ra or Val for your next costume partythey're just that much fun, and their costumes are pretty fab!

What My Friend Thinks:

"The good: There are lots of Easter eggs for long-time fans, especially those who followed the Expanded Universe (now called the "Legends" line). I had a lot of fun during the "Aha!" moments. The movie also addresses some inconsistencies in the original movies.

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In general, Solo was a fun heist film set in the Star Wars universe. It felt great seeing how Han and Chewie's friendship was formed.

The bad: As a film, it was unnecessary. I don't think it addressed anything that I (as a Star Wars fan) needed to know." Macy, Commanding Officer of the Bagong Pag-Asa Base, Rebel Legion

I'd Recommend It To:

The casual Star Wars fan, or even people who wouldn't call themselves fans. It's definitely more enjoyable if you've seen the rest of the saga and you know all the tiny details of the familiar characters, but if you haven't, it's still plenty of fun. The cast is incredibly charming, the dialogue is pretty hilarious, the action is lots of fun, the chase scenes are breathtaking, and the costumes are gorgeous!

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