There is a distinct and powerful personality behind Solo, and it doesn’t seem to have been given enough credit for that
Solo is not a classic Star Wars film. It’s often forgotten how far the universe traverses beyond the main line of films, and Solo really takes that as its own, becoming a unique addition to the core part of the franchise. There is a reason it has not been released in December along with the tradition of other modern Star Wars films, and there is a reason it holds the full title Solo: A Star Wars Story. This is very much a stand alone film, and allowing it a bit more wiggle room than a core line film is both refreshing and interesting, however much hardcore fans want to complain.
Han (Alden Ehrenreich) and Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) are trapped in the clutches of a cruel gang in control of the streets of a dangerous city. Desperate to escape, the pair create a foolhardy plan and bound their way to safety. Just as they think they have reached freedom, they are cruelly split up, and Han sets off on a lifelong quest to find his love again. Starting with immediate pilot training.
The production of Solo was marred by the change of directors from Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, to the ever strong Ron Howard, with the majority of the film needing to be re-shot. Due to this being so prominent in its build up, its an impressive feat for the film to run as smoothly and confidently as it does. There is a distinct and powerful personality behind Solo, and it doesn’t seem to have been given enough credit for that.
The young cast are prominent, individual, and cutting as they breathe life into either new roles, or incredibly difficult ones with an unimaginably large reputation behind them. Donald Glover is the pick of these as he epitomises Lando Calrissian and the slick, sly manipulator that he is. It’s a cast piece, but the stand out performers are certainly allowed to make their mark on the film’s standing.
The main gripe with Solo comes from its story, based on the ever talked about ‘Kessel Run’, it seems to ultimately settle for being a fan pleaser rather than carry through the individual approach the rest of the film relies on. This would be understandable if the film managed to pull it off, but the ‘Kessel Run’ becomes a let down and a damper on an otherwise strong film. It limps into existence and quickly shoots off into the distance.
Perhaps Solo is interesting rather than thrilling, offering something to Star Wars fans they haven’t seen before, but coming off as too experimental for many’s taste. It is often style over substance, and far too often is that perceived as a negative. In solo’s instance, it’s a very refreshing change.
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