“Solo: A Star Wars” directed by Ron Howard and is the 10th film in the Star Wars saga but only the 2nd anthology film following 2016’s “Rogue One”. The film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clark, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton and Paul Bettany. Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were originally on board to direct the film but were fired in June 2017 by Lucasfilm due to creative differences thus turning to Howard as director.
Han (Ehrenreich) and his lover Qi’ra (Clark) are separated on the planet Corellia after stealing from a local gang. After serving the Imperial Navy for the next 3 years, Han is expelled for insubordination and then sent into a pit where he meets a Wookie named Chewbacca. The 2 are then rescued by Tobias Beckett (Harrelson) who is looking for recruits to join his crew for a heist but their plan goes up smoke as a band of pirates attack their cargo ship and kill a majority of Beckett’s crew including his wife, Val (Newton). Han, Chewie and Beckett make a deal with Drydon Vos (Bettany), the leader of a crime syndicate, to make another heist to pay off their debt or otherwise be killed. To Han’s surprise, they are accompanied by Vos’s first lieutenant, Qi’ra. The crew then enlist the services of Lando (Glover) a playboy pilot who owns fast cargo ship, and go off to make THE legendary heist.
This film had a lot of expectations given the Star Wars name but aside from great performances from Ehrenreich and Glover, the film fails to capture the same magic as the previous films. It does great visuals and some solid action sequences but where it falls apart is the pacing. With all the different things going on in the film, the story tends to drag with uninteresting characters and plot points. Unless you’ve seen the original Star Wars trilogy or The Force Awakens, its very easy to get lost from a storytelling aspect. As popular as the Han Solo character is, I feel as if he was an unpopular choice to get a spinoff film. Much like “Rogue One”, this doesn’t bring anything new the Star Wars franchise that seen or heard of.
Ehrenreich’s performance is really the only thing that holds the film together. He gives it his all which is good and really shows in scenes of drama, comedy and danger. He does come off as a young Harrison Ford but at the same tries to make it his own unfortunately the messy plot around him fails to boost his performance further. Donald Glover also gives a great performance despite having a smaller role. The Lando character wasn’t huge character the original trilogy but with his relationship with Han Solo is bought to the forefront and with Glover’s talent and charisma becomes a standout in this particular story.
Overall, this film left a lot of audience members as well as loyal and die hard Star Wars fans scratching their heads, myself included. Han Solo is a great character but as I said before an unpopular choice for spinoff movie. After the disappointments of 2016’s “Rogue One” & 2017’s “The Last Jedi”, Solo failed to rejuvenate the franchise and made fans question Disney’s motives for the franchise as a whole. While this film had some enjoyment, it really didn’t do what Disney wanted it to do.