Han Solo. Arguably, he’s one of the most popular characters in cinematic history. He’s beloved by Star Wars fans across the globe. When Disney bought Lucasfilm, and announced separate stories from the original canon, a Han Solo movie was inevitable. It’s also a movie that gave people pause. Did we really need a Han Solo origin story? Could newcomer Alden Ehrenreich play Han with the same charisma as Ford? Additionally, the firing of directors Chris and Phil Lord -- and replacing them with Ron Howard -- created uncertainty. Luckily the film is one big, fun, science-fiction western full of wonderfully executed tropes and fantastic chases, heists, and battles. However, the entire movie's plot is driven by what has got to be one of the most obvious MacGuffin's in history: Coaxium. It's a power source...thing.
(Photo courtesy of: Disney)
Ehrenreich does a better job of playing Solo then I anticipated, effectively capturing his mannerisms and essence (Although I still think Anthony Ingruber was a the better choice and a no brainer to play Solo and for that I will never forgive Disney for not casting him) However, he is no Harrison Ford, and, and times, it’s difficult accepting him as the character. That’s not his fault: with a character as iconic as Han Solo, it’s tough for anyone in the audience to imagine someone other than Ford as the space pirate. The supporting cast is strong. Donald Glover shines as Lando Calrissian, the suave smuggler. His co-pilot, droid L3 (voiced by Phoebe Walter-Bridge) steals a lot of the scenes she’s in. You can’t forget the Millennium Falcon, too. It’s a different version of this ship: cleaner, new, polished. Can you say, Kessel Run? The movie misses a villain. Paul Bettany does a solid job as a crime lord. His scenes though are too far and few in-between to appreciate.
The most polarizing character will likely be Emilia Clarke as Qi’Ra. It’s not that she’s a bad character, but the decisions they make with her are probably going to rub some people the wrong way. It’s not so much a fault on Clarke’s performance but the way that she is written. There are also some serious missed opportunities when it comes to the supporting cast. There is not nearly enough screen time dedicated to Val played by Thandie Newton or Rio played by Jon Favreau. There are also a few deep cuts into Star Wars lore that will leave fans very excited but could leave casual fans very confused.
(Photo courtesy of: Disney)
While some have criticized the pacing, I thought it moved well. With that being said, the editing and construction of a few scenes felt jarring and confusing. Solo offers a few twists and turns, some good humor, and new storylines for characters we love. Check it out with your fellow Star Wars friends, enjoy the ride, and wait for the next one to come out. Because it’s clear, Disney is not done telling Han Solo stories.
Final Verdict: 3 out of 5 stars
Review by Cody Gari