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May 30, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Film (2018) --- “Never Tell Him The Odds, He May Get A Good Feeling About It.”

Plot Summary
Young Han Solo finds adventure when he joins a gang of galactic smugglers, including a 196-year-old Wookie named Chewbacca. Indebted to the gangster Dryden Vos, the crew devises a daring plan to travel to the mining planet Kessel to steal a batch of valuable coaxium. In need of a fast ship, Solo meets Lando Calrissian, the suave owner of the perfect vessel for the dangerous mission -- the Millennium Falcon. (1)

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Hello, Movie Buffs! 
     While I am not a “true” Star Wars fan, I have a great love for the characters and films, even the prequel trilogy despite the flaws. Now with the most recent Star Wars addition, I can easily say that I have never seen anything like this before. Solo (2018) is an incredible addition to the Star Wars saga and its a fresh start to the saga. I hope that this is not the last we have seen of individual Star Wars Stories that follows other subplots throughout the Star Wars timeline.
     Writers Lawrence (Wyatt Earp) and Jonathan Kasden (First Time) have written an incredible story we never knew we needed, while Director Ron Howard (Splash; Apollo 13) has brought that story to life. The story introduces us to new worlds and new characters both good and bad, specifically the start of Han and Chewie’s relationship. The story in no way feels repetitive as it does not follow the Empire vs. the Resistance conflict. There are no giant scale inter-galactic battles and the edge of your seat tension when it seems all hope is lost. Instead, just like the film’s title, Solo is a film all on its own. Its smaller and more personal. In fact, you could probably even watch this film without ever having seen the rest of the saga. However there are some huge reveals and surprises that will leave fans speechless, so if you don’t watch the other films then you may not understand what all the hype is about. Not to mention, you may be confused as to where the film fits in with the saga’s timeline. The story’s place in the timeline is explained well and the pacing of the story moves at a smooth pace that is not too fast nor is it too slow.
     Composer John Powell has had a hand in many amazing soundtracks. From Happy Feet 1 & 2, Shrek (2001), and Kung Fu Panda 1 & 2 to I am Sam (2001), The Italian Job (2003), and the Bourne films. Here the music score is clever, new, and yet brings up feelings of nostalgia without feeling expectedly boring and repetitive. In other words, the music draws you into the film with some familiarity and yet manages to stand on its one as a worthy music piece. In addition, the films visuals are stunning. Although this film was done in 2017-2018, somehow the visuals manage to give off an “I’ve been made in the 70’s”. It almost felt like I was watch one of the original trilogy films but with better camera technology. Rogue One (2016) is the only other Star Wars film after the original trilogy that came close to giving off the same feeling.
     In terms of the characters, it was a bold move for the filmmakers to take one of the most iconic characters in the saga and recast him into his own film. And I am glad to say the acting was spot on. Alden Ehrenreich (Blue Jasmine; Beautiful Creatures) did a great job as a young Han Solo by bring a younger and more niave side to the character we have not seen rather than trying to imitate Harrison Ford’s  portrayal of a pessimistic character. It makes you wonder what happened to Han between this film and A New Hope (1977) that changed his viewpoints. The only issue that I have with Ehrenreich’s portrayal is there was a bit of a lack of humor. The trailers made it seem like he had more humor to offer than he actually did upon review. Joonas Suotamo (The Force Awakens; Last Jedi) is great as Chewbacca and it is nice to see him get more moments in this film than any other. Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag; Crashing) is hilarious as the droid L3 and her big scene in the film was unexpectedly funny. Woody Harrelson (War for Planet of the Apes), Donald Glover (Atlanta; The Martine), Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones; Terminator Genysis), and Paul Bettany (Avengers Infinity War) were also great in their respective roles. With Glover playing a different type of character, while Clarke played a mysterious and unpredictable character.

     Overall, Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) is not a typical Star Wars film featuring Empire vs. Resistance conflict, and yet the film itself fits in perfectly with the Star Wars timeline. Its less serious and more fun with some hints of a nostalgia without feeling repetitive. The film opens up a new side to the Star Wars saga that we have yet to see, while the music pays homage to original soundtracks but also manages to stand on its own. The visuals are unexpectedly stunning as they somehow manage to give a 1970’s feel to the film. And the characters, both new and old, help carry this new story quite well, especially some interesting cameos that will leave you speechless. I cannot wait to see if there will be any more additions of Star Wars Stories to the franchise. It would be a great opportunity for the franchise to expand without losing its heart. I highly recommend this film to all fans of the Star Wars franchise, but I also ask that you watch this with an open mind and accept it for what it is: a truly entertaining addition to a beloved series.

"I thought we were in trouble there for a second, but it's fine. We're fine."

- Han Solo [the Falcon nearly hits and dodges gigantic tentacles]

Final Vote
Worth Seeing:  8 of 10 stars
Worth Buying:  8 of 10 stars

I hope you liked this post, Subscribe HERE, send in your comments, and watch Solo: A Star Wars Film (2018).

Movies Similar 

Rogue One (2016)
Star Wars I: Phantom Menace (1999)
Star Wars II: Clone Wars (2002)
Star Wars III: Revenge of the Sith (2005)
Star Wars IV: New Hope (1977)
Star Wars V: Empire Strikes Back (1980)
Star Wars VI: Return of the Jedi (1983)
Star Wars VII: The Force Awakens (2015)
Star Wars VIII: The Last Jedi (2017)

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