Originally helmed by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the directing duo were dismissed from the project four months into production after major creative differences with Lucasfilm chief Kathleen Kennedy. Disney were left with a cluttered mess of Han Solo shaped fragments in their hands but no director to piece it together until Apollo 13 director Ron Howard swooped in to save the day. From the behind the scenes drama to the seemingly lacklustre marketing campaign - as well following the widely hated The Last Jedi - this is a rare Star Wars film that hasn't really grabbed anyone's attention. Solo tells the origin story of intergalactic outlaw Han Solo, how he came to meet legendary co-pilot Chewbacca and their thrilling adventure amongst the murky criminal underworld.
Kicking into hyperdrive at the flick of a switch, Solo is a fabulously fun sidestep from the usual Star Wars conventions. The biggest concern with this four decade long franchise is over saturation and arguably that Solo is unnecessary, it isn't exactly the Star Wars movie anyone needed nor the one anyone asked for. Nonetheless by extraordinary revelation Solo: A Star Wars Story offers a high speed Han and Chewie adventure that screams nostalgia whilst simultaneously requiring little pre existing fan knowledge; this time around lightsabers and the Death Star are replaced by blasters and drag racing.
What works quite magnificently about Solo is its ability to challenge people's perception of Star Wars. Dividing fans with The Last Jedi, LucasFilm have done the same again in a different, equally original way with this intergalactic wild west style heist movie. The film brings a distinctive, edgier quality that deliberately overlooks the gleaming polished space sets of the past - crucially this not only enables Solo to be a product of its own but symbolises the rough around the edges style of its protagonist.
Alden Ehrenreich is worthy of the blaster, dice and Captain's chair of the Millennium Falcon. His excellent take on Han Solo captures the charm and charisma the character is so famous for. Importantly, Ehrenreich doesn't play Harrison Ford - he brings his own nuance and style to expand on the legacy of the character we already know and love. His energetic performance imagines Han Solo with the get up and go attitude the legend demands. As someone who was never originally a fan of the character, Solo - along with help from Ehrenreich - proves why the cheeky outlaw is as fantastic as people think.
Solo is very different from what the majority of people are saying about it. Similar to Ready Player One - Solo is admittedly less ambitious than The Last Jedi, offering a zippy, fast paced intergalactic caper. There is not a single mention of The Force and very little emphasis on The Empire, Howard delves into the shady world of the space gangster crime ring. Though the story is reasonably straight forward, Solo has consistently funny and charming moments that play as a light and refreshing pallet cleanser from the usual Skywalker stuff. Still maintaining the Star Wars magic, John Williams' score and the electrifying Millennium Falcon theme sounds even more special than its ever been now we experience where it all began.
Whilst the force is definitely strong with this one, Solo is a wonderful but distinct variation in the epic Sci-Fi series. No doubt this would present tremendous issues for hardcore fans of the episodic format, but in my opinion the quality of the Star Wars universe is strengthening by each film they release, with Solo yet another marvellous example. Ehrenreich is some of the finest casting mainstream Hollywood has seen since Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman, as well as Donald Glover's fabulously smooth take on Lando Calrissian. Charming, funny, exciting and action packed - Solo is a Millennium Falcon adventure full of fun.
Solo: A Star Wars Story
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Hi I’m James - a huge welcome to my film blog! I started this site just after my 14th birthday and have been bringing you my own take on the hottest box office arrivals and many art house triumphs ever since.