(Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, 2018)
As far as I can tell from the audience section of Rotten Tomatoes, the majority of the Star Wars fan base was not interested in Solo: A Star Wars Story from its conception, especially after the betrayal some felt after last year’s The Last Jedi. So even though the reactions before its release didn’t promise a big box office success like The Force Awakens experienced, is the film still good?
Directed by Ron Howard, the film stars Alden Ehrenriech as the iconic Star Wars character Han Solo in a heist-type thriller. He teams up with his iconic partner in crime, Chewbacca, and we follow the pair through a galaxy far, far away in a time years before A New Hope.
Even though some fans don’t approve of The Last Jedi, it at least tried some new things in an effort to evolve (even if some things didn’t work. See General Leia’s “shooting stars” moment). Solo, on the other hand, takes no apparent risks and fails to create tension simply because there is none; we all know what’s going to happen with this clichéd-heist scenario; which characters are going to die or back-stab Han and Chewie, and which main characters are going to survive the death-defying situations. This lack of suspense and care didn’t occur when I saw Rogue One because new characters were created and killed off for a sentence-long plot point that was crucial to the Star Wars lore.
Ehrenreich is pretty mediocre as Han Solo, with the forced charm he brings to the role a world away from Harrison Ford’s swagger in the original films. The only cast member who was above passable was Donald Glover as a younger version of the charming Captain Lando Calrissian.
Away from vast character inconsistencies, the dialogue is either dull or forced with vital plot points summarised in ordinary exposition. For example, Han’s build-up of being a great pilot with a mind of his own is entirely summarised in only one sentence, and never shown upon a visual medium.
With the apparent lack of care going into this film, it seems its purpose is to just to make a buck for the franchise with a dull prequel. With some generally average performances from the cast and crew, I’d say give this prequel the skip.