Larry Slawson received his Masters Degree at UNC Charlotte. He specializes in Russian and Ukrainian History.
Review (Spoiler Free)
Solo: A Star Wars Story – Movie Review (2018)
Directed by: Ron Howard
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich (Han Solo), Donald Glover (Lando Calrissian), Emilia Clarke (Kira); Woody Harrelson (Beckett); and Paul Bettany (Dryden Vos)
Produced by: Lucasfilm
Distributed by: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Based on: Characters by George Lucas
Music by: John Powell and John Williams
Written by: Jonathan Kasdan and Lawrence Kasdan
Premiere Date: Los Angeles, 10 May 2018
Opening Weekend: $103 Million Dollars
Runtime: 135 Minutes
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” follows the adventures of young Han Solo in the years leading up to Episode IV (“A New Hope”). The movie is full of numerous twists and turns, and delivers a solid storyline that fans of all ages can appreciate. The story focuses on Solo’s humble origins on the planet Corellia, his time in the Imperial ground forces, and finally his dramatic transition to a smuggler’s life.
From his first meeting with Chewbacca, to the card-game battle over the Millennium Falcon with Lando Calrissian, this movie provides stunning (and exciting) context to the origins of one of Star Wars most beloved characters. With a hint of comedy, drama, science-fiction, romance, and action all rolled into one, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” offers a dramatic mixture of genres that nearly anyone can appreciate.
Following his first meeting with Chewbacca, Solo finds himself in the midst of smugglers attempting to steal a valuable hyper-fuel, known as coaxium. The quest for this natural resource leads Solo and Chewbacca across numerous planets and sectors of the Star Wars galaxy, and introduces fans to a broad array of villains and heroes; culminating with an epic showdown that will leave audience members both surprised and astonished.
One of my favorite aspects of this movie was the lack of “political correctness” that has come to dominate latter Star Wars films (particularly in the latest trilogy). This story, instead, tries to focus more on the escapades of Solo without taking itself too seriously, and without trying to put distance between itself and earlier films. This is refreshing, as more recent films in the series have made tremendous strides to reinvent the Star Wars franchise, with varying degrees of success and failure.
Although Alden Ehrenreich may look nothing like Solo (a major critique from many reviewers), I felt as though this didn’t detract from the overall story, as Ehrenreich delivers a solid and convincing performance as a young Solo. Glover’s portrayal of Lando was also top-notch. Not only did Glover fit the part perfectly, but his acting, appearance, and overall demeanor/personality matched superbly with Billy Dee William’s original portrayal of Calrissian in the first trilogy. Other supporting characters also add appeal to the movie, as their interaction with Solo unfolds throughout the film.
Performed by: John Powell and John Williams
Released by: Walt Disney Records (May 25th)
As with most Star Wars movies, the accompanying music for "Solo: A Star Wars Story" is top-notch, and delivers what fans expect from the series. The score not only adds a deep sense of emotion to the film, but also provides a "space western" ambiance to the overall movie that is quite remarkable. The soundtrack is available on Amazon.com now! Definitely check it out!
1.) "The Adventures of Han" (Composed by John Williams; Length: 3:52)
2.) "Meet Han" (Composed by John Powell; Length: 2:22)
3.) "Corellia Chase" (John Powell; 3:36)
4.) "Spaceport" (John Powell; 4:09)
5.) "Flying with Chewie" (John Powell; 3:34)
6.) "Train Heist" (John Powell; 4:51)
7.) "Marauders Alive" (John Powell; 5:16)
8.) "Chicken in the Pot" (John Powell; 2:12)
9.) "Is This Seat Taken?" (John Powell; 2:39)
10.) "L3 & Millenium Falcon" (John Powell; 3:19)
11.) "Lando's Closet" (John Powell; 2:14)
12.) "Mine Mission" (John Powell; 4:14)
13.) "Break Out" (John Powell; 6:18)
14.) "The Good Guy" (John Powell; 5:28)
15.) "Reminiscence Therapy" (John Powell; 6:14)
16.) "Into the Maw" (John Powell; 4:52)
17.) "Savareen Stand-Off" (John Powell; 4:28)
18.) "Good Thing You Were Listening" (John Powell; 2:11)
19.) "Testing Allegiance" (John Powell; 4:23)
20.) "Dice & Roll" (John Powell; 1:59)
Total Length of Album: 77 Minutes and 11 Seconds
Overall, I give this movie 5/5 Stars and highly recommend it to Star Wars fans and science fiction lovers, alike. Although there are quite a few negative reviews about this movie in the news and the internet, you should definitely experience this movie, first-hand, before you buy into all of the bad hype and publicity that surrounds it. As someone who was skeptical about the premise of this movie (particularly after my extreme disappointment with “The Last Jedi” in December 2017), I found myself pleasantly surprised with this movie. With a number of plot twists and turns, along with numerous references and connections with earlier films and books, this is a must-see movie for Star Wars fans; particularly individuals fond of Harrison Ford's earlier rendition of Solo. Definitely check it out if you get the opportunity, as you will not be disappointed.
About the Director: Ron Howard
Ron Howard was born March 1st, 1954. He has played in several sitcoms (including "The Andy Griffith Show" and "Happy Days"), and has directed numerous films across his illustrious career, including: Apollo 13, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, A Beautiful Mind, The Davinci Code, and most recently, Solo: A Star Wars Story.
Howard is a long-time Star Wars fan, and reportedly fell in love with the series ever since its debut in 1977 with Stars Wars: A New Hope (later known as Episode IV). Howard took over the directing role for "Solo" in June of 2017, following a dispute between Lucasfilm and directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller over issues with the script and the film's overall premise.
Howard is the father of actress Bryce Dallas Howard (Jurassic World), Jocelyn Carlyle and Paige Howard, as well as Reed Cross. In more recent months, Howard has also announced plans to begin his own directing class.
Reassessment (Updated on 26 July 2019)
More than a year after "Solo: A Star Wars Story" first released in theaters, the movie still maintains its appeal; possessing a perfect mix of science fiction, comedy, action, and "space western" elements in its presentation. Following the failures of "The Last Jedi," many dismissed this film as mediocre or "below standard" without even setting foot in the theater. This is a shame, as "Solo: A Star Wars Story: offers both an exciting and enjoyable experience to seasoned Star Wars fans and newcomers alike. After re-watching the movie for my fourth time in a year, my review of 5/5 Stars still stands. Definitely check out this movie if you get the opportunity.
Images / Photographs:
David Shankbone - Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=15083312
"Solo: A Star Wars Story." Wikipedia. May 26, 2018. Accessed May 26, 2018. https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solo:_A_Star_Wars_Story.
"Solo: A Star Wars Story." Wikipedia. May 26, 2018. Accessed May 26, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Solo:_A_Star_Wars_Story.
© 2018 Larry Slawson
Larry Slawson (author) from North Carolina on May 31, 2018:
Haha, yeah it was a really enjoyable movie. Reminded me of a "space western" with its presentation. It was very unique, to say the least.
Jo Miller from Tennessee on May 30, 2018:
I am not a Star Wars fan but we just saw this movie yesterday with two of our granddaughters. Our 10 year old granddaughter loved it. She's a huge fan and knew all of the characters. I enjoyed the popcorn and the ambiance of going to the movies with my granddaughters. My husband, however, who has not been a big fan either really liked this movie.