Solo: A Star Wars Story focuses on the early life of Han Solo. The events of the greater Star Wars Universe are not the focus here, with the story itself being far more self-contained. For me Alden Ehrenreich is a believable Han Solo, bringing the right amount of charisma to the role. However, he is greatly outshined by his on-screen peers, Woody Harrelson,(Tobias Beckett), Emilia Clarke, (Qi’ra) and of course Donald Glover, (Lando). Beckett is a father figure to Han throughout the film, and the two have a believable emotional bond. Conversely, the relationship between Han and Chewbacca, (Joonas Suotamo), is lacking with scenes such as the life debt being left out, and the relationship, on the whole, being sidelined for the Han Qi’ra romance. Qi’ra is perhaps the best character as she is incredibly three-dimensional. Qi’ra is a very capable character as shown during third act fight scene with a sword; which is the action high point of the film. The best thing about the writing for Qi’ra’s character is that she is not written as merely Han’s love interest, but instead as a very cunning character whose allegiance you can never be sure of. Furthermore, the end of the film sets up her connections to Darth Maul, which as far as twists go is very welcome and satisfying. Overall the shortcomings of the film are as follows, firstly the film relies far too heavily on nostalgia, with the constant use of Han’s dice becoming unbearable towards the end of the film. This is also reflected in the diegetic dialogue where character will say things that equate to, “remember that?”. Moreover, there is also the use of incredibly on the nose foreshadowing to hint at future events, such as when Qi’ra says something to the extent of, “Chewie needs you and I have a feeling you will need him to”. Furthermore, and this may the films greatest crime, there is no real villain, sure Paul Bettany’s Vos is menacing when he is on screen, but that equates to two scenes if that, with the film lacking real danger as a result. A final complaint is that Donald Glovers’ Lando is underused, he is the scene stealer of the film and seems to be punished for that fact by being given precious little to do. On the whole Solo is a lot better than I was expecting it to be, I believe that both hardcore fans and more passive viewers can find something to like here. I would recommend you see it.
Reviewed by Luke