Review: Force not with ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’

Photo courtesy of Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

“Solo is just yet another Star Wars movie. Not much more.”

Grant Vogel, Special to The Red Ledger

Lucasfilm and Disney should’ve had a bad feeling about this new “blockbuster.”

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” is a very long, drawn-out fan film detailing the irrelevant backstory of an overrated supporting character from the original Star Wars Trilogy. The film doesn’t expand the already established, vast Star Wars Universe, and tells a story made up of cliches and expected twists.

Instead of Harrison Ford playing the snarky pilot, Han Solo is played by Alden Ehrenreich who doesn’t sound anything like Ford, but manages to convey Solo’s famous rebel attitude. Ehrenreich, along with the rest of the cast, Donald Glover in particular, are the best parts of the film. Glover seems to fully embody the character of Lando Calrissian unlike Ehrenreich, but isn’t nearly as utilized as much as he should’ve been in the film. Every new character, although not exactly groundbreaking or original, seems to fit well in the Star Wars Canon, with one exception.

Lando Calrissian’s droid, L3-37, seems to be another comedic relief droid with a rude, vulgar attitude, but goes too far hinting that she had a sexual relationship with Lando. The inclusion of a human/droid relationship in this film is by far the most absurd, most disturbing detail I have ever seen in a Star Wars movie. The scene in the film in which L3 discusses her relationship with Lando is used as a point of levity and comic relief when in reality is utterly inconsequential and disrupts the flow of the film.

The story revolves around Han Solo as he starts his new life as a smuggler with his Wookiee co-pilot, Chewbacca, and embarks on a heist to capture a MacGuffin to repay a crime boss played by Paul Bettany. But along the way, Han meets other characters who may or may not betray him for their own selfish purposes. The story isn’t very interesting and sometimes moves at a slow pace, but it also features some interesting set pieces, production design, and cinematography in the scenes shot on location without any CGI.

Unlike other Star Wars films, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” doesn’t feature any Skywalkers or Jedis, but it manages to give Han Solo fans the film they’ve always been waiting for. With the inclusion of complex, but not altogether original characters, the film somewhat accomplishes its goal of making an entertaining space heist story with some very exhilarating moments along the way.

Solo is just yet another Star Wars movie. Not much more.   

Rating: C-