For decades the star wars movies catered to the fans seeking geeky philosophical structured entertainment. Unlike its predecessors, Solo A Star Wars Story focused more on the younger generations of future fans. Between the breathtaking landscapes, CG effects, western and spy motifs all wrapped in a blanket of nostalgia Director Ron Howard delivers the most kid-friendly Star Wars movie yet.
The SOLO plot in a nutshell
The movie is set in a lawless time about a decade before the original 1977 movies are set. We first meet Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) a young adult that had a rough childhood on his home planet of the planet of Corellia, The place looks like a modern version of Charles Dickens’ London complete with charred faces, dark alleys, and child labor. Its tyrannical leader Proxima look like a strange cross between a caterpillar and Ursula in the Little Mermaid.
Eager to escape a life of misery Han and girlfriend Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke)hatch a brazen plan to board an outbound ship and trade a stolen vial of a rare mineral (coaxium) in exchange for their freedom.
Unfortunately, the plan goes terribly wrong as it often does for Solo. He manages to leave but without Q’ira.
The real action starts from this point on. Han’s intentions of coming back for his love interest keep failing. After a short stint in the Imperial Navy, he joins forces with a group of scoundrels headed by Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and partner Val (Thandie Newton). He realizes only too late he is in over his head. Beckett works with none other than the murderous oligarch Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany), head of the Crimson Dawn crime syndicate.
Without revealing any additional spoilers I will mention that along with his adventures he gets to meet Chewbacca, Lando and take possession of the Millenium Falcon.
It isn’t the typical Star Wars movie
Until now the plots have involved saving the galaxy in one form or another. This one focuses on Han and his personal life. All Han really wants is to become a pilot and ride with Q’ira into the sunset.
The movie is much less about galactic fighting and much more about adventure, friendship, and romance. In fact, at the movie’s press conference screenwriters, Lawrence and Jonathan Kasdan described the movie’s genre as western and crime rather than sci-fi. So, even viewers that aren’t the classic fans of fantasy and science fiction movie will enjoy this movie and might get hooked on the franchise
This movie also shows a much softer and optimistic side of Han. The Solo we see here is different from the character we know. Gone is the hardened outlaw who is chased by Jabba the Hut and has a good time with Chewbacca in the sleazy bars. The writers present us with a much more innocent and trusting Han who keeps saying ‘I have a really good feeling about this’. In the later movies, Han becomes a cynical dark enigmatic figure who begins to understand the world differently. His saying changes to ‘I have a bad feeling about this ‘( A New Hope, Return of the Jedi, The Force Awakens).
Romance and Bromance
For the hard-core fans seeing any other actor apart from Harrison Ford in the role was a tough pill to swallow. But surprisingly though Alden Ehrenreich doesn’t really resemble Ford, he still manages to capture the essence of the character. With the half smirk and mischievous glint in his eyes, I for one was smitten after watching him for the first ten minutes. It will be fascinating to see how he continues to morph further into the character in the following films.
One of the things the film does well is depicting the romance and bromance in Solo’s early life. Emilia Clarke and Alden Ehrenreich have quite a bit of on-screen chemistry together. As viewers, the story helps us understand Han’s later love connection better.
But the real show stopper is the bromance between Han and the hairy giant Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo). Their scenes together are by far the most endearing. For years Star Wars fans have seen them together but never fully understood their connection. In Solo a Star Wars Story we get to witness their first meeting and their incredible devotion to one another.
Star Wars Questions answered
As all great franchises, every movie in the Star Wars saga is important to help supply viewers with some answers and this one is no different. In Solo, we get to meet the woman before Princess Leia who clearly broke his heart. So, now we all know why he couldn’t bring himself to tell Leia he loved her all this time.
Another is how he met Lando Calrissian and managed to win the Millenium Falcon from him. Oh, and we also find out why Lando keeps insisting to on pronouncing Han’s name phonetically.
Other questions answered include How Han met Chewbacca, what the dice mean and how he got his surname. I won’t elaborate as it will spoil your fun when you see the movie!
Star Wars Questions asked
Clarke’s character Q’ira is mysterious through the movie and we still have no clue as to what happened to her during the three years apart from Han. Furthermore, her alliances and motives are clearly kept hidden for the next installment.Lando’s sassy and spirited co-pilot, L3 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge)’s story is also one that feels unfinished so I suspect there that plotline might be continued at a later date.
The plot is easy to follow which again points out the fact the movie is geared towards the younger lot. The first fifteen minutes are somewhat slow but the pace dramatically picks up by the train carrying coaxium heist. Te electrifying scenes with incredible mountaintop shots are filled with adrenalin and will capture kids and adults alike. Other noteworthy scenes include a hovermobile chase through Corelia and the Millennium Falcon zooming past ‘The Mouth.’
If you’re a fan of that subtle Han cynism then you’re in for some disappointment. This movie has many funny moments but the humor is simpler more basic. This might be because the creators are trying to cater to kids that may not readily understand the nuances of language a well as adults.
In fact, some scenes reminded me of Guardian’s of the galaxy. Rio Durant (Jon Favreau), Becket’s pilot looked a lot like Rocket the cute raccoon and at times Chewbacca seemed like a larger variation of Groot.
This can easily double as the Chewbacca Story
One can argue that the real hero of the movie is the hairy Wookie. Played by Joonas Suotamo he not only steals the show but he will be your kids’ new toy and Halloween costume. Endearing in his man-child behavior. he speaks the international language of gibberish that we all seem to understand.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is a ‘feel-good’ movie that provides plenty of old Hollywood style adventure and laughter. While kids will enjoy the action and campy jokes parents will love the plot twists and revisiting beloved characters.
- The movie is long (over two hours) so if your kid can’t sit in a movie theater for this long you’re better off renting it on video later.
- There’s nothing scary or gory in this movie. In fact,t This is the mildest star wars movie I’ve seen so far with very little violence per se. With that said it does have a few battles and several loud explosions. The movie has a few gunfight scenes
- The movie contains no nudity but has a couple of kisses between Han and his girlfriend. There is minimal bad language a few s@@t and D@@M but no over the top swearing
Disclaimer: Special thanks to Walt Disney Pictures for hosting us on the press junket event for SOLO A Star Wars Story . Our opinions are own and cannot be influenced in any way.
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SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY is now playing in theatres everywhere!