Disney takes an in-depth look at the galaxy’s favorite smuggler in “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” We see where Han Solo grew up, how he was connected to the Empire and how he deserted to join a group of smugglers before setting off on his own.
Since Disney took over the “Star Wars” franchise, it’s been hit or miss with their projects, but for me, this one was a definite hit. It wasn’t necessary, but I lost myself and just had fun with what they did. Despite plenty of behind the scenes drama, Ron Howard stepped in beautifully as director and made an enjoyable film.
The two best parts of this film, in my opinion, are Woody Harrelson and Donald Glover. Harrelson steps up as a wonderful antihero who serves as an inspiration for Han and ends up betraying him. Harrelson has made a career out of playing similar characters. He’s a very talented actor and it’s always great to see him on my screen. Likewise, Glover’s talent shines through in almost every role he’s in. He feels like a natural in the role and is a great bridge from the current product to the original role portrayed by Billy Dee Williams. I came away from this film very interested in seeing what Lando does between the end of this film and when we see him again in “The Empire Strikes Back.” He’s the character I came away caring most about.
There are some flaws that are hard to overlook. Alden Ehrenreich does an admirable job as Han, but he doesn’t grab your attention the way Harrison Ford does. He’s overshadowed by Harrelson and Glover, as well as Emilia Clarke and Paul Bettany as Qi’ra and Dryden Vos, respectively. He’s a talented actor who I think would do well in a supporting role, but as the lead, he left something to be desired. It’s not a good look when your lead is overshadowed by almost everyone else in the cast.
This is considered the first real “Star Wars” film dud, at least commercially. But, the film is better than that reputation brings. I believe it was a dud because of “Star Wars” fatigue and mistrust in Disney’s handling of it following “The Last Jedi.” Where Disney struggled in its sequel trilogy, I think it found a way to succeed in its offshoot films. I think they did a great job with “Rogue One” and a solid job with “Solo.” I’m more interested in Disney offshoot films than I am a true trilogy. Unfortunately, Disney canceled these offshoot projects following the disappointing box office performance of “Solo.” My hope is, one day, if they are dead set on milking the franchise for all the money it can make, Disney will make more offshoot films, because I truly think they do a better job with those than building a coherent trilogy.