Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story

This post contains significant spoilers for Solo: A Star Wars Story.

I saw Solo: A Star Wars Story recently. It was enjoyable enough, but somewhat mediocre. However, it wasn't that far away from being a good movie.

The main actor playing the young Solo was good. He's not Harrison Ford, but it's hard to fault him for not being on that level. Danny Glover's Lando Calrissian was excellent. The other characters were okay. The new droid introduced was terrible, though.

The very beginning, Solo as Oliver Twist, was laughable. It was an interesting decision to portray young Solo as a good guy with heart of gold, who becomes disillusioned and jaded. I am not certain it was the correct decision, though. A more amoral Han, in line with his character at the start of A New Hope, might have been more interesting.

There are lots of good scenes, the sabacc games in particular were great. There were even a few good quiet scenes, which is a great rarity in action movies these days. However, I think there were a touch too many action sequences. A more rigorous edit that cut 15 minutes or so all over the place, would probably have improved the movie greatly.

One problem all the new Star Wars films have is their villains. They just aren't good villains at all. I'm not sure why Disney has such a problem writing villains in these films. SWTOR has a lot of issues, but their villains are leagues ahead of the modern movies.

The villain of this movie, Dryden Vos, is actually a great character, right up until you realize that he never actually did anything villainous. (Well, outside of shanking that governor. But then it's an Imperial governor, so maybe shanking him was a good deed.)

Seriously, Solo and his crew screw up the first job, and he gives them a second chance. He even loans them his best lieutenant to help them out. Then at the end, Solo betrays him first. Vos is really only a bad guy because the marauder chief turns out to be a young girl with a sob story. Solo allies with her despite the fact that she is responsible for the deaths of two of his first crew. It's such a blatant violation of "show, don't tell" that it seriously damages the movie.

I think the movie also suffers a bit from trying to set up a sequel. I think Han's girlfriend, Qi'ra, would have been handled in a better manner if there had been no hope of a second movie. It felt like they were trying too hard to keep her being a good person, even though it is necessary for her to betray Han to complete his character arc.

So that's what I thought of Solo. It's decent enough, with several good moments. But you can see the places where it could have been improved, and thus it's somewhat disappointing.


  1. I agree, it wasn't a bad movie. It was a bit muddled, but it had its moments. Danny Glover saying "Han" the same way that Billy Dee Willams did was amusing. But overall it seemed to be trying to answer a bunch of questions that nobody was really asking... and, as you note, setting up a sequel. It also seemed to be going out of its way to prove that the "12 parsec" gaff in the original wasn't a mistake at all. (Though the context of the conversation makes it clear than George Lucas thought is was a speed, not a distance.)

    1. Heh, yeah, the 12 parsecs part was amusing. But it was a decent enough way of handling it.