Solo: A Star Wars Story – Review (spoiler free)

Theatrical poster for “Solo”. Photo credit to

Nicholas Silva, Layout Editor

Out of a turbulent sea of concern and preemptive criticism, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” rose to be a great movie. While there were some slow moments that did not feel like “Star Wars”, the overall storyline, cast, and characters worked together to create a nostalgic, worthy addition to the Star Wars universe.

The movie starts by showing Han’s childhood on the planet Corellia, a planet which until now has only been talked about and never shown. Events which unfolded on the Imperial-held manufacturing world motivated Han to enlist in the Imperial Navy. He ends up joining a group of smugglers, and engages in exciting raids, including a trip to the infamous Kessel, a mining colony.

Here, audiences are treated to a rendition of Han’s record breaking Kessel Run. However, as interesting and well-made as this scene was, it did seem to detract from the mystery around his oft-quoted trip, and perhaps could have been accomplished in a more authentic light.

The Kessel Run aside, “Solo” had a very authentic “Star Wars” feel, and did not greatly detract from Han’s character as had been feared. There was some traditional Han sarcasm, and a good play on his famous “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” line.

There were no major developments in the way of Chewbacca, and most other characters featured in the movie have yet to appear in other storylines.

The story was well thought out, and featured exceptional heroes and villains, making you feel for them within moments. In a way that the Original Trilogy was told, “Solo” was both action, adventure, and romance all wrapped together to create an exceptional two and a half hours.

Also, many fans feared that Alden Ehrenreich would not live up to Harrison Ford’s representation of Han, and they were right. However, as it was shown throughout the movie, that is not necessarily a completely bad thing. “Solo” is about Han’s younger years, a time before he is the smuggler seen in “A New Hope”, so in a way it is perfectly fine that the two actors have different portrayals of the character, since in a way they are two different characters.

The writers and directors did an amazing job. Scattered throughout the movie were mountains of minuet references to the greater “Star Wars” universe. There were off-hand references to fan-favorite bounty hunter Bossk, a set of Mandalorian armor –like that used by Boba Fett- in villain Dryden Vos’ suite. There was even a reference to an obscure “Star Wars” video game from 1997 featuring Teras Kasi, a fight style used by Emilia Clarke’s character Qi’ra.

A lot of thought certainly went into how the storyline interacts with the universe at large, which is brilliant, and has been somewhat forgotten in recent installments. There is even a reference to Citadel Tower on Scarif, the site of the climactic battle in the last ‘A Star Wars Story’ movie, 2016’s “Rouge One”.

Despite an underwhelming opening weekend -grossing almost $50 million less than expected- “Solo” was an authentic “Star Wars” experience. While it did have some disappointing components, it defied the stigma surrounding its production and rose to join the ranks of the great “Star Wars” cinematic enterprise. Also, the mudtroopers were not as terrible as their name suggested –Han himself even graced their ranks.