Yet again, Lucasfilm has a produced a Star Wars spinoff that is exciting, gripping and expands the current Star Wars Universe.
'Solo: A Star Wars Story' takes a look at a how Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) became the cocky scoundrel we all learned to love and follows him on one of his many adventures before becoming a key element as part of the rebellion.
As one of the most beloved characters in a galaxy far, far away, this origin story had a lot to accomplish. Not only did it have to be a good movie, but it also needed to give enough fan service and have the characters feel like their older counterparts.
Director Ron Howard did a phenomenal job in all of those instances. With 'Solo: A Star Wars Story', he captured the feeling of its predecessors, but with a Western filter over it. This is very much the same approach as the MCU, whereby all the individual movies have a distinct flavour but still look and feel as if they exist in the same universe.
Alden Ehrenreich really sounds and acts as you would expect a young Han Solo to be. He’s cocky, very charismatic and an excellent pilot, but the vulnerability and innocence that Ehrenreich gives the character add more depth.
The chemistry between Han and Chewbacca is also spot on. The screenwriters were really able to capture Han and Chew’s loveable banter from the moment they meet.
As per usual, Lucasfilm introduces a new droid that steals the show. This time around it’s the co-pilot of Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover), L3 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge).
She is a droid activist with one of the best navigational systems in all of the known universe and from the minute she steps on screen, the energy changes - in a good way.
Speaking of Calrissian, Glover fully inhabits the role and once again proves that he is a creative force to be recorded with. However, I have a bone to pick when it comes to the House of Mouse and queer representation.
Before the release of the movie, both Glover and one of the writers confirmed that Calrissian was pansexual. While it is great to say, they only hint at it subtly and yet again used this tidbit of information to gay-bait queer Star Wars fans.
This is an ongoing issue with the three big Disney franchises being Marvel, their live-action fairy tales and Star Wars. As a member of the LGBTQI+ I’m getting tired of these bones they keep giving us and while the films are amazing, it’s time they step up with some proper queer representation.
Woody Harrelson and Thandie Newton are other standouts in the film.
Emilia Clarke really surprised me as to how, as an actress, she’s been able to take the aura she exudes - when portraying Daenerys Targaryen - into other films without it feeling like a copy of the character.
The funniest thing about all the Star Wars movies since Disney took over is how they keep on fixing errors from the prequels and, in one of the final scenes, yet again a character from that mess gets a bit of redemption.
Overall, 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' is a great time at the cinema and really gives Han Solo the spotlight he deserves.
Lucasfilm has truly finessed these spinoff films and I’m looking forward to the next one.