Geek Review: Solo

Disney’s plan to release one Star Wars movie a year comes with a certain degree of risk due to oversaturation.  That seems especially problematic given this year’s selection Solo: A Star Wars Story seems like a movie no one asked for.  Did anyone seriously need or want a Han Solo origin story?

Well, we got one.  And thus far, it’s divided the Gabbing Geek critical consensus.  Watson hated it.  Jenny came out of her hiatus to speak highly of it.  Watson had other things to say about his grade later, but I’ll save commentary on his commentary that received further commentary for later.  For now, I have a SPOILER FREE review to write.

OK, here’s the deal:  I don’t think I liked it as much as Jenny, but I definitely liked it more than Watson.  Setting aside the production problems the movie had, what with the director change midway through filming and the fact Disney hired an acting coach for lead actor Alden Ehrenreich, the movie has a lot going for it.  Ehrenreich isn’t terrible, but he’s certainly no Harrison Ford (no one could be Harrison Ford).  Donald Glover practically steals the movie channeling Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian, Lando’s droid sidekick offers unusual philosophical discourse for a droid, Chewbacca is always awesome, and the rest of the cast which includes Woody Harrelson and Paul Bettany are all fine.  Director Ron Howard knows how to tell a competent story, and as always the special effects are great.

So, what’s the problem?

Simply put, Solo never really answers the question everyone was asking:  why did this get made?

It doesn’t offer any particularly deep insight into Han aside from his dream of wanting to be a pilot and getting as far away from his miserable childhood as he could.  At some point, he does learn to fly (that’s actually something the movie never really explains…he just says he’s a pilot and it is apparently true).  Was anyone truly clamoring for Han’s backstory?  Could this story have been told with someone else, or did Disney feel the story needed a character whose name the audience already knew to get butts into seats?  As it is, the movie doesn’t seem to pause much, zipping through plot point after plot point.  It’s not a bad movie, certainly not the worst Star Wars has ever delivered, but as much as I can say I had some fun, I never understood why it was made in the first place.  I was going to rate it an 8, but that seems a little too high.  Besides, that was Jenny’s grade.  As I said, I think she liked it more than me.  7.5 out of 10 Clint Howard cameos,

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