Solo: A Star Wars Story – History in Motion

Donald Glover
Reader Rating0 Votes
The Good
Great job by cast
Fun script and light story
A clear set-up for a new direction of Star Wars Stories
Donald Glover as Lando! Hellooo, Billy Dee Jr.!
The Bad
Still a largely unnecessary movie
Not as character-centric as it should have been
A clear set-up for a new direction of Star Wars Stories

Many prequels often strive to define who or what someone/something is. Even the Star Wars Prequel Trilogy, while mostly a “how the Galaxy became as it is in the Original Trilogy,” was an attempt at defining who Lord Vader was and for what the Empire stood.

Solo: A Star Wars Story, however, successfully does one better and offers the why is Han Solo.

While the movie’s story cues and visual aspects carry heavy influence from the Original Trilogy for obvious reasons, its content is far more comparable to the prequels.

Where Episodes 1-3 struggled to make Anakin a character easy to empathise with, Solo easily sets Han up on a similar journey of self-discovery and disillusionment but with far more relatable motives and without making the character unlikable.

It also focuses on the more immediate after effects of the Empire’s take over and the dictator-ish regime that was enforced on worlds with natural resources or with the capability to provide assets to the new government.

While the A Star Wars Story brand was originally presented as a series of one-shot tales, Solo lays the possibility of continued story-telling independent of the Episodes. Solo, could ideally spin-off into a Lando-centric film that carries over this film’s characters while shining the spotlight on another character and moving their adventures forward.

While Solo is certainly the first Star Wars movie to veer away from the events directly leading up or connected to the Original Trilogy, its tone, idealistic hero, character journey, and narrative makes it far more reminiscent of the franchise than Rogue One was.

True credit, however, belongs to the cast–especially Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover, who are both burdened with playing characters made iconic by their predecessors.

Glover easily slips into the role pulling off the ol’ Calrissian cape with style that would make Billy Dee proud, and sending chills up viewers’ spines with his occasional spot-on mimicry of Billy Dee William’s voice–done often enough to jar you, but not too often that the acting just feels like an impression of the original.

Alden Ehrenreich is the unsung hero of the piece, with his understanding that, unlike the younger Calrissian, this Han is still far from the man who will one day save the galaxy time and again.

While I’m no fan of the idea of primary characters receiving their own spin-offs (this could have easily been Lando: A Star Wars Story and to better effect), I am eager to see this cast return in some capacity within this series of non-Episode tales.

Bring on Kenobi!!