Solo: A Star Wars Story Review – Spoiler Free
Solo: A Star Wars story is the latest film to be released in the immensely popular Star Wars franchise. The film comes directed by Ron Howard who some may know as the director of films such as Rush (2013) or Apollo 13 (1995). The film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Joonas Suotamo, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton and Paul Bettany.
The film is based on the Han Solo character from the previous Star Wars films, but instead of Harrison Ford being in the role, we have Alden Ehrenreich who takes over for Harrison Ford in a film about a much younger Han Solo, which is a side of the character we’ve not seen before.
Going in to see the film or even in the lead up to seeing it, I wasn’t so sure about this one. I’ve always known Han Solo as Harrison Ford’s character from Star Wars and the idea of them making a movie about a young Han Solo, without Harrison Ford at all seemed a little odd to me. The trailers also look just okay and none of them are too great really. There’s also surprisingly little hype surrounding this film and I actually haven’t seen that much advertising around. I know Star Wars is a massive franchise and it’s probably going to do tremendously well at the box office, but still, things seem a little quiet.
My expectations were pretty low, even as the film started to play, but I came for some Star Wars fun, so I was keen to see what they were going to do with the character. For about the first 35 minutes or so, I spent much of the film looking at Alden Ehrenreich play Han Solo and thinking about him compared to Harrison Ford and things felt a little odd. But as the film went on and I had more time with Alden Ehreneich’s Han Solo, I started to like him. Although I still don’t think he looks at all like Harrison Ford, I kept thinking, why didn’t they change his hair colour at least? Coming out of the film, I was left feeling quite impressed and I enjoyed Solo: A Star Wars Story much more than I did Rogue One when it was released. I am completely on board with the new actor and would be happy to watch a sequel to this story should they release one in the future (now I’m wishing they advertised the film a little more).
The story that we have here in Solo: A Star Wars Story is basically a heist mission. It’s not at all hard to follow and basically it is about Han Solo when he was starting out as a smuggler somewhere in the galaxy and he gets a job with some very bad people who want him to steal some stuff. The plot is filled with all sorts of laser shootings, space battles and a lot of running around and occasional fights to see. Interestingly, the film is basically lightsaber free, which I thought was actually a good thing. What we have here is a story that takes place in the Star Wars universe which doesn’t have to rely on lightsabers for its action sequences and what it does offer is actually refreshing.
I am not an insane Star Wars fan in any way, but for fans of the franchise, this film is filled with quite a bit of fan service moments. I myself quite enjoyed all the interactions between young Han Solo and young Lando Calrissian. There’s a few scenes where the two essentially are playing some type of space poker game and are placing bets. These little scenes were amongst my favourite ones in the film.
The acting in this is decent. Alden Ehrenreich had possibly the most difficult part to play, having both the pressure of following Harrison Ford in an iconic role and also somehow needing to get the approval of Star Wars fans, who can be quite savage at times. But I think he did well in the role and as I said, by the end I was completely on board with it. Emilia Clarke also did exceptionally well and aside from Hano Solo, her character Qi’ra was one of the most interesting and complex characters in the film. Emilia Clarke and Alden Ehrenreich acted well opposite each other and Ron Howard did well when directing the two in many soon to be memorable scenes. There’s also some great stuff from Paul Bettany who plays the villain Dryden Vos, although I would have liked just a little bit more screen time for him and his character and he was quite intriguing. I also enjoyed the performances from Donald Glover (Lando Calrissian) and Woody Harrelson (Beckett).
If you’re a Star Wars fan, I’m sure you’re already practically on your way to see this film no matter what any reviewer says, but if you’re for some reason on the fence about it, just like I was, I have to tell you, you shouldn’t be. While not a masterpiece as it has some issues of its own with some parts being very silly, the film comes into its own in the end and will leave audiences wanting more. The special effects are great and the film goes to show, you don’t need lightsabers for a Star Wars story anymore, Han Solo and his blaster might be all that’s needed. The acting is great, especially from Emilia Clarke and Alden Ehrenreich, but it’s Ron Howard who deserves quite a bit of credit for pulling off what is one of the more enjoyable and charming blockbuster films of the year.