Going Solo

Millennium Falcon cookie

Actual appearance of the Millennium Falcon in the new SOLO movie

I have seen it, and lo, it was good.

No spoilers here — that’s not how I roll — just a quick and enthusiastic round of applause for Solo. And I intended to write a much better review but it’s late and I’m tired and I am just gonna crank this out because Solo was great and PEOPLE NEED TO KNOW.


(Also: I am not a critic. I do not go into movies looking to pick them apart. Please don’t expect any deep thought from most of my reviews. If a film entertains me, I’m generally satisfied. Solo entertained me.)

I went in expecting very little. There are a few reasons for this:

– No Harrison Ford. I mean…c’mon. He embodied that role so well it was extremely difficult to picture anyone filling in his shoes. I saw Alden Ehrenreich in Hail Caesar so I figured he wouldn’t be horrific but…Harrison Ford. It’s a tough act to follow is what I’m saying.

– The new generation of Star Wars has been hit or miss for me. I loved Rogue One and I will fight to the death to defend Jyn Erso’s honor. The Force Awakens introduced some great new characters but bafflingly chose to rehash the plot of A New Hope. The Last Jedi was stunningly beautiful to look at but left me feeling empty inside, and furthered the idea that Disney has bafflingly decided to reboot an already successful series. I disliked TLJ so much I swore off Star Wars altogether for a while.

– Solo was plagued by production difficulties, which we all heard about. Now it turns out Ron Howard reshot 70% of the film? Wow. How could this possibly end well?

Howard’s involvement was really the reason I decided to go. Not because I am a huge fan of Ron Howard (he does great work though!) but because I wanted to see how the hell he salvaged this thing.

…Okay, Okay, I was also raised on the original trilogy and will love it and all of its weird bastard stepchildren forevermore and even if Solo sucked it was still Star Wars, and didn’t I owe it to Han and the Falcon to give it a try.

SURPRISE. It was a ton of fun.

BE WARNED. The beginning is shaky. Like….really shaky. Like I turned to my friend in horror, envisioning two hours of this. Then we got to the first chase sequence and the bulk of the movie and all was well.

My reservations about Alden were quickly shunted aside. He’s obviously playing a much younger Han and he pulls it off — as the movie went on I saw his mannerisms and expressions becoming more…Solo-esque, I guess (I think what I’m trying to say is he definitely studied Ford’s facial expressions from ANH). And hot damn he had the posture down.

(Is it odd that I noticed these things? Like I said, I was raised on the OT. A New Hope is the first movie I clearly remember and I credit the OT for kick-starting my love of writing, sci-fi, and mythology in general. So after…well…several decades of watching these films, I guess I picked some things up. Long story short: Alden did a great job.)

Oh! And can we talk about something I think everyone was excited about when it was announced? Donald Glover as Lando. Fan-freaking-tastic. Maybe this is a backdoor pilot for a Lando movie. I wouldn’t even be mad.

Plot: It’s a space heist. I liked it.
Han’s crew: He attracts exactly the sort of people you’d expect him to.
Imperial presence: They actually get interesting representation here. They are one of many bad guys Han ends up dealing with, but the ‘faces’ we see are largely just officers doing their jobs. Think Captain Piett in the OT.

Extended Universe Rescues: OMG yes. LOTS OF THEM!!! Yes, I read a lot of the SW EU books when I was a kid. I played the video games. I’ll let you fellow EU fans experience it for yourself but 15yo me was thrilled to pieces.

Odds & Ends
– Yes, seeing Millennium Falcon before Han turned her into his flying bachelor pad was awesome. (This is NOT a spoiler, it’s in all the trailers.)

– CHEWIE!!!!!!

– Nice to see Khaleesi doing something without her dragons.

– That shot of the Star Destroyer in the solar storm is as badass as it looked in the trailers
Lovely soundtrack. I shall be purchasing it when it becomes available and shall type many glorious battle scenes while it plays in the background.

Cons

– One of the gangs he deals with felt a little…er…shoehorned in there, for want of a better word. I can’t really say more without spoilers but will discuss when the movie is out wide.

– No zombies (what? It’s me.)

TL;DR It was fun, go see it.

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