I'm not going to lie, I was nervous when they announced that they would be making a Star Wars film about Han Solo. Han's snark is one of the reasons I love Star Wars so much. I've also seen Beautiful Creatures, so seeing Alden Ehrenreich as anything other than a scrawny southern boy was going to be hard. I was, however, crazy excited to see Donald Glover as Lando and a chance to see how Han's friendships began. Of course, if we didn't get a chance to see the Kessel Run I was ready to riot.
I know I wasn't the only one that felt this way about the Solo movie. I've spoken to a bunch of my nerdy friends that were equally nervous, and they all agree. Ron Howard hit the nail on the head. Solo: A Star Wars Story hits the mark when it comes to telling Han's story. Alden managed to capture some of Harrison's signature smiles and looks too. He has completely proven himself worthy of the Han Solo name.
We get to see a feisty young man in a galaxy that is in turmoil during the Clone Wars. This is the time when the Empire is building and recruiting. When the war was in full swing and before the rebellion was born. Han even has a love interest, which doesn't surprise me since the Star Wars franchise also shared Leia's first love interest in her stand-alone book. Both romances are somewhat similar and a great way to show why the love between Han and Leia was so tense and special. Qi'ra is played by the beautiful Emilia Clarke who has the best “I'm the queen” face on the planet. If you've watched a single episode of Game of Thrones you can see it there as well. In Solo, she wears it with a smile.
This film isn't just a film about Han Solo though. The movie focuses a lot of time on Chewbacca, Lando, and the Millennium Falcon. I feel like the ship has always been a key character in the Star Wars universe. I'm so glad that it continues to live on in the new films. Before it was Han's ship and made that infamous Kessel Run, it was Lando's ship. It was a beauty with blue trim paint and a cape closet. It is also the key to making the Kessel Run for a job. So the team meets Lando to secure a fast enough ship. The fastest in the galaxy they say. Donald Glover is beyond the perfect Lando; he personifies this character to the core. The charismatic gambler is smug, charming, and dashing all in one smile. We get to see Lando in his prime, while he is gambling. He knows the importance of his ship as well.
Another new character we meet is L3-37, the first female droid to join the ranks of great droids. With the praise for Alan Tudyk's snarky rendition of K-2SO from Rogue One, having a droid that is as mouthy and unpredictable is refreshing on the screen. If I were a droid, I would be L3-37. She has an activists heart and an ego to boot. She is Lando's co-pilot (not property)! She also reminds me a little bit of the Power Rangers droid, Alpha 5 (good luck unseeing that one).
The best part of the film has to be the befriending of Chewbacca and Han though. We all know that deep down Han is a good guy and if there is one place he shows it, it's with Chewie. Chewbacca is a loyal friend and ally. One of my favorite moments is when Han translates Chewbacca in a scene about what he plans on doing after the job is completed, “He said tribe or family.” Becket responds, “What's the difference?”
One of the things that I loved about Solo: A Star Wars Story was the character development for all of these icon members of the future rebellion. There were little nods to the original trilogy that stood out to me like the fan debate of Han shooting first and it “changing” in the rereleases. Things like this are what die-hard fans are going to love about the film. The story also takes us far away from the Skywalker family, the Force, the Jedi or Sith. It truly drives the story deeper into new worlds.
Keep your eyes peeled for one of my favorite characters from the Return of the Jedi.
If you're worried about Solo not living up to your Star Wars standards and scared they ruined the character, don't. It was fantastic!
Solo: A Star Wars Story is in theaters May 25th. Get your tickets now and receive an exclusive movie poster.