SOLO delivers with all the sentimental references from the initial films and spin-offs from the Star Wars Saga plus all the space chase fun and adventure that we would expect from the well-loved Harrison Ford iconic character.
But as far as the story is concern, it falls a little short.
The movie however did cover some of the bases. SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY will tell you the story of how Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) met Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and space gambler Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover AKA Childish Gambino). And also how Han was able to acquire the Millennium Falcon from Lando. All with scenes impressively tied to Empire Strikes Back.
But aside from the three things I’ve mentioned, there’s nothing else that connects SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY strongly to the franchise.
It was a fun and exciting watch, but for many Star Wars fans – everything feels like a blur. It’s like a GNR concert, when Slash was about to make his earth-shaking solo and then the smoke machine goes haywire covering the whole stage with smoke. – that is what this movie feels like to me.
Speaking of smoky scenes – the most clouded character in the film was Qi’Ra played by Emilia Clarke (GOT, Terminator). I am still at a lost about who she really is and who she will turn out to be in the saga. I have a lot of theories though. Similar to the character of Supreme Leader Snoke (Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi) who has a very clouded past, Qi’Ra on the other hand has a very shady future. Which I’ll bet my bottom peso will both make some exciting revelations later in the franchise.
Another thing that’s messed-up in this film is the timeline. I think Han Solo was in his early 20s in this movie, and then at the end of the film we see the true identity of the mysterious shade behind the group Crimson Dawn – Sith Lord Darth Maul who first appeared in Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace. Qi’Ra appears to be some kind of an apprentice or an associate.
The Phantom Menace tells the early origins of Darth Vader – Anakin Skywalker, who was still a very young boy when Darth Maul met his demise through the light saber of Jedi Obiwan Kenobi with the help of Qui Gon Jinn.
Now, Han Solo will appear again much later in the franchise during Star Wars: New Hope meeting the grown-up twins of Anakin Skywalker and Padme Amidala whom they named as Luke and Leia. I would say, roughly 30 years after Phantom Menace. So how old was Han Solo during that time? 50 years old?
A good twist to explain this is if somehow, Solo and Chewbacca was able to travel (or be trapped) through space and time – which is highly unlikely.
Anyway, the coolest character in SOLO is probably Lando’s co-pilot droid L3-37 voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge. That droid is messed up in so many levels but it is the character in the film that actually made the biggest impact in the story. Very hilarious.
Over-all, it’s still a very entertaining movie to watch and I hope that they tie up all the lose ends in the next A STAR WARS STORY film feature.
Also in the film are Woody Harrelson as the outlaw Beckket, Thandie Newton as Val, Paul Bettany as Dryden Vos and the voice of Jon Favreau (Rio Durant) and Linda Hunt (Lady Proxima).
Directed by Ron Howard, SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY screens starting tomorrow May 23.
Thank you Orange Magazine and Ayala Malls Cinemas for the special advance screening tickets. Here are some of the scenes during the exclusive celebrity screening held at Glorietta Cinema last Thursday.