Like many Star Wars fans, I asked the question, why make a Solo movie when there are so many other possibilities? My feelings have changed back and forth during the production process, but once the trailer hit I was convinced it would at least be a bit of fun. So now that I have been to the midnight screening I can confidently say that Solo is more than the sum of it’s parts, it is a worthy addition to the Star Wars Story.
Setting the film so far in the past allows a lot of wiggle room for the characters to change as they grow towards the point we remember meeting them in Episodes IV and V. This softens the blow of not seeing familiar faces Harrison and Billy Dee, and opens us up to a fresh interpretation of the characters. While new Han and Lando, (Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover respectively) could never replace the originals, that was never the goal here. Time passes and is not kind to our favourite actors, now in their 70’s and 80’s so it is inevitable that we meet new friends, and accept change.
As much as things are different in Solo, many things stay the same in the Star Wars galaxy. The Empire is still evil, Han still has a heart of gold and that boyish charm, Lando is as smooth as ever, and the supporting cast expand on the roster of Non-Skywalker related characters admirably. The new worlds we visit, and the various droids, aliens, and minions of evil that inhabit them, are exactly as we would expect, delightfully ‘Star Warsy.’ Large scale action scenes impress, as does the attention to detail invested by set designers and model makers. The many different locations feature hundreds of intricately designed costumes and it is clear that a great many people poured their heart into making this movie absolutely gorgeous as well as entertaining. The plot details fall into place smoothly leading us through the story and nothing feels forced, Solo is a smooth ride.
We will have to wait and see if there will be more Solo films, or if rumours come true of a Kenobi, or Lando ‘Star Wars Story’, but Solo confirms whatever is to come will be full of spectacle, and the spirit of fun that George Lucas brought to life over 40 years ago. Adventure, excitement, a Jedi craves not these things, but Han Solo is no Jedi. Han is a smuggler, and Solo is full of heart.