Young pilot Han Solo joins a ragtag crew of smugglers
to pull off an impossible job for a brutal crime lord.
Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
Directed by Ron Howard
Written by Lawrence Kasdan and Jonathan Kasdan
Starring Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson,
Joonas Suotamo, Donald Glover, Paul Bettany, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Jon Favreau
Prequel to 1977's Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Oscar Nominations - Best Visual Effects
Solo: A Star Wars Story seemed to be the one Star Wars story that nobody wanted to see. Upon its announcement, the fan reception was lukewarm at best and after a number of production problems, it seemed like Solo was doomed to be the first real flop of the Star Wars franchise. Not to mention last year's Episode VIII that left fans upset and confused about the future of Star Wars. Imagine my surprise and relief that Solo not only does justice to one of sci-fi's greatest characters, but it brings things back to the roots of Star Wars and once again gives fans something to look forward to.
Alden Ehrenreich brings his own charm and charisma to the role of Han Solo, not replicating Harrison Ford's portrayal (which would be impossible) but playing the character in his own way for a new generation. This film shows us why he became a pilot, how he met Chewbacca (who finally gets a meatier role in the franchise), and the tough choices that led him to lead a life as a smuggler working for vile gangsters. This is a Han Solo without the inspiration of the Rebellion and without the belief in the Force that Luke and Leia showed him. If anything, he's more vulnerable and it makes for an interesting character study. The supporting cast is also exciting, particularly Donald Glover as an impeccable young Lando Calrissian.
Solo is an exciting film that features some incredible set pieces and a number of jaw-dropping fan service moments (particularly one at the end that I have been waiting for nearly my entire life). With Rogue One and Solo, Disney has proved themselves more than capable of telling small, contained stories set inside the Star Wars universe that provide context to the greater story at hand. With a Boba Fett film announced recently and the inevitable Obi-Wan Kenobi film that's been on the backburner for some time, the episode formula may be dwindling down. The future of Star Wars may just be in this single story format.