You’ve never heard of the Millennium Falcon? It’s the ship that made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs.
The Millennium Falcon, Han Solo, and Chewbacca have been legends since first appearing in the original Star Wars movie. Within his first few minutes of screen time, he was already a legend. Couple a solid ego along with his copilot Chewie and the Millennium Falcon, Solo was unstoppable. Now after over 40 years after being introduced, how this dynamic duo came together and ended up piloting the Falcon. Solo: A Star Wars Story tells the stories that brought them all together.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is exactly what one would expect it to be. It is a fun adventure movie that at the surface level doesn’t seem too deep but does have a few surprises along the way. It started at a medium pace and the picked up speed as it progressed. The world, or galaxy, that it takes place in was familiar but also a bit different. This is mainly due to the fact that it isn’t told from the perspective of either the Empire or the Rebellion. This is a story being told from the perspective of criminals that live in the underworld. This created a movie that didn’t feel quite so polished or militaristic. Instead, it had a bit of a western feel that was dusty and wild. The result was a story that was fun and made sense. While it did answer some questions about Han’s origins that perhaps didn’t need answering, it didn’t do any harm either. Overall, good story choices were made.
It is amazing to see how far special effects have gone in the last four decades. Since Star Wars: A New Hope was released in 1977, special effects have empowered storytellers to do things that were just the things of dreams. Now, CGI characters can look as solid and real as the real-life actors standing next to them. Entire planets, galaxies, ships, and more can be made lifelike from a computer with the practical effects being barely discernable from the digital. Solo: A Star Wars Story had a fairly solid set of special effects that had a look and feel that was realistic and also fit the story that was being told. This movie also allowed fans to see more of the Millennium Falcon than ever before! This was pretty awesome! Also to see what this legendary ship once looked like was a wonderful puzzle piece that was revealed. Couple the effects with some great filming locations and this movie was one that didn’t lack at all for quality. In fact, I can say that the quality was just right because it wasn’t distracting from being either overwhelming or under.
Obviously, with a movie based on the character of Han Solo, there are going to be at least one or two characters in the movie that would be recognizable. I would argue three if you include the Millennium Falcon. Lando Calrissian would also fit into the classic familiar characters and he was a very welcome addition. There were some new characters that fill out the cast as well. I was quite pleased to note that the new characters did make sense. Yes, there were some rather predictable characters that were included but, they did have a purpose and they did make sense. It was nice to see that each of the main characters had a purpose and the casting choices were incredibly solid. With all of the issues that seemed to surround this movie, there was a real fear that some of the acting might be atrocious. Thankfully, that didn’t turn out to be true. I found them all to be enjoyable and am looking forward to watching this movie again to pick up more from the performances. Oh, and there were some fun cameos in this as well!
The music for Solo: A Star Wars Story was perhaps one of my favorite elements of the movie. The score was written by John Powell with Han Solo’s theme being composed by John Williams. It felt very much like what one would expect from a Star Wars film, with a bit of a west slant to it at times. It also harkened back to some familiar Star Wars themes from other movies at moments that seemed entirely appropriate to use them. This is a soundtrack that was not only fun but also respectful to the source material when it was used. As soon as the movie was over, I immediately downloaded. While I did enjoy the Rogue One: A Star Wars Story soundtrack, I immediately found this one to be superior. I look forward to listening to it in the coming days, months, and years. I’m pretty sure I’ll try to find it on LP whenever it becomes available as well!
Solo: A Star Wars Story is quite simply a fun movie. While it is an origin story and I do feel like we have had too many of those in recent years, it is a fun one. It also is telling the story of how two favorite Star Wars characters came together. While it is a really fun movie that I look forward to seeing, again and again, it also has its flaws. Overall though, this is a movie that overcomes those flaws simply by being so much fun to watch. It’s a bunch of adventures strung together with a few surprises along the way. Obviously, there are quite a few things we already know what happens after the movie so there can’t be THAT many surprises but that is ok. It is a wonderful collection of adventure, humor, heart, and explanation of how Han Solo became the scruffy nerf herder found in the original trilogy. With a movie like this, the primary rule is to do no harm to beloved characters and stories. Thankfully, this movie does a fairly good job with that. There are a few cringe-worthy moments but as I think more about it, what Star Wars movie doesn’t have them? Thankfully there was no reference to hating sand… Instead, the biggest sins are a few cliche lines and maybe explaining some of Han’s backstory that didn’t need explaining. But, throw it all together and this is a Star Wars movie that will be enjoyed for years to come. As I give it a hat tip I can’t help but wonder what will be next to come from LucasFilm and these sets of characters… This film definitely sets up a future for them before the future we know!
What did you think of Solo: A Star Wars Story? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!