Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

As someone who has grown up with Star Wars movies being released very infrequently, the recent flurry of movies that have been thrust upon us seems somewhat overwhelming. It’s certainly not a bad thing that we now have so many more movies enriching the canon and breathing life into the Star Wars universe. As movies like The Last Jedi take the core chronology forward we also have supplementary movies filling in the gaps in our favourite characters’ back story. The most recent of these is Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Set several years before the events of the original trilogy (and seemingly also the events of the prequel trilogy) Solo: A Star Wars Story finally gives the infamous smuggler Han Solo a back story. The movie follows his early years on Corellia, his development into a skilled (but cocky) pilot and his baptism into the life as a smuggler and seeks to give us a deeper insight into this popular character.

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Solo: A Star Wars Story also brings in a host of secondary characters, some recognisable, others totally brand new. The one most fans will be eager to see is how Han comes to meet his long-time partner Chewbacca and it doesn’t disappoint. This is the second time that the role of Chewie is played by Joonas Suotamo (the first was in The Last Jedi) after the role passed on from Peter Mayhew after The Force Awakens.

We also see the forging of the tempestuous friendship with one of Han’s oldest associates and star of The Empire Strikes Back, Lando Calrissian. The role is filled by Donald Glover (Community) and their early rivalry shows the signs that will lead to their future alliance.

New characters include love interest Qi’ra (played by Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke), temporary allies Beckett, Val and Rio and Lando’s droid companion L3-37 who, in Star Wars tradition, risks stealing the show whenever she’s on-screen. The title role however is reserved for relative unknown Alden Ehrenreich. There was much debate about that particular casting choice, especially given that other actors have portrayed a young Harrison Ford (Solo’s original casting from the original trilogy) with almost supernatural accuracy. But that kinda misses the point doesn’t it? This was about a young Han Solo, not a young Harrison Ford and Ehrenreich does a stellar job at portraying the young rebel.

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Solo: A Star Wars Story is a fast-paced action movie that rarely slows down but nevertheless the characters are all well-established and none feel particularly disposable. The relationships that we see pan out throughout the movie, especially the one between Solo and Qi’ra, leave you with a curious desire to sandwich another movie in afterwards to see what becomes of them.

For me one of the things that stood out was Emilia Clarke’s ability to avoid the lazy typecasting that could have dogged her from such a long stint on Game of Thrones. There is no hint of the stern queen of dragons here and if anything she approaches the somewhat troubled character with a light-heartedness that carves out a character we want to see more of.

I thought Solo: A Star Wars Story was a great addition to the ever-growing Star Wars saga and I look forward to seeing what other parts of the universe will be similarly fleshed out.

To celebrate the release of the movie I was sent this awesome Galactic robe and slippers! In now way has this led to me pretending to be an evil sith lord while I eat my breakfast.

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If you’d also like a robe that shows your love for the galactic republic, check it out over at Argos here. If you’d rather relax whilst representing the Jedi, then there’s also this one for all you do-gooders out there.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is still in theatres! Go see it while you can!

 

 

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