A Men's Lifestyle and Family Blog | North East England

Thursday, 7 June 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Growing up in the eighties Star Wars was a big part of my childhood. However, recently I've had a bit of a love/hate relationship with it. I enjoyed The Force Awakens but wasn't blown away by it. I loved Rogue One (It's probably my favourite) but I hated The Last Jedi. I thought The Last Jedi was so bad I couldn't even bring myself to write a review of it.

I was not expecting much from Solo after I had heard there was problems during filming between the directors and the studio but when I heard that Ron Howard had taken over directing I was hopeful the finished product would be something worth watching. Solo stars Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo, Emilia Clarke as Qi'ra, Woody Harrelson as Tobias Becket, Paul Bettany as Dryden Vos and Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian

The film itself is essentially a heist movie. Starting with the back story of Han and Qi'ra on their home planet of Corellia where they are working for a local gangster called Lady Proxima. Proxima is a giant centipede-like creature that lives in an underground lair. I personally think this character was pretty crap. I felt in unnecessary to have a CG creature here and think the character would have been far more sinister as human.

Fast forward a few years and Han has escaped Corellia by joining the Empire but has recently been kicked out of the Imperial Navy Academy (for having a mind of his own as he says). He meets Beckett, who leads a crew of thieves who are trying to steal an imperial ship. Han tries to join them as he is looking to get back to Corellia to rescue Qi'ra. They refuse his offer an Han ends up in pit with 'The Beast'. After using all his charisma and wits Han manages to befriend 'The Beast' (you probably know who that is) and they both join Beckett's crew and they try to steal some valuable fuel. Things don't go to plan and they need to bargain for their lives from Dryden Vos, A gangster and high ranking member of the criminal syndicate Crimson Dawn whose top lieutenant happens to be Qi'ra. Planning a new heist they need a fast ship and Qi'ra knows a scoundrel by the name of Lando Calrissian and after Han impresses Lando in a game of Sabaac the whole crew head off on their new heist.

There is a lot to like about this film. Alden Ehrenreich is great as Han and manages to get a lot of the mannerisms of Harrison Ford's portrayal with a mix of youthful idealism. Woody Harrelson is great (is he ever not great) as a dodgy mentor to Han. Emilia Clarke, however, I think is under-utilised here playing a love interest and intermediary with the Crimson Dawn but not much else. Paul Bettany (another actor I really like) also plays the villain Dryden Vos brilliantly with malicious gusto complete with menacing British accent. However the one that steals the whole film is Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian he absolutely nails a young Billy Dee Williams and plays the preening smuggler in all his vain glory.

There are some great nods to the older Star Wars films with the explanation of the Kessel Run and the first meetings between Han and Chewbacca and Lando as well as surprising cameo that I totally wasn't expecting and it was great to tie this in with other branches of Star Wars media. It also leaves the door open for other Star Wars Anthology films and with Alden Ehrenreich having an option to two more films in his contract I can see Han making an appearance in the Boba Fett movie planned for 2020 and hopefully a future Lando film with Donald Glover returning.

Next in the franchise is episode XI in December 2019 and I really hope they can build on Solo, erase the mistakes of The Last Jedi and end the Sequel trilogy on a high. However with another change to the director after the project has already started I've got a baad feeling about this.

May the force be with you.

S



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Solo: A Star Wars Story

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1 comment

  1. Ah, so THIS is the back story regarding Han and the heist. I must say, rather like you I have a Star Wars love / hate thing going on. I just don't get the order of the films any more, totally lost by it! Thanks for your insight though. We may be seeing it at the weekend.

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