Solo: A Star Wars Story is an anthology film and the newest edition to the Star Wars franchise. Star Wars is centered around three sets of trilogies: the prequels, the originals, and the sequels. Kiri Hart, Lucasfilms’ Vice President of Development, describes Star Wars “anthology” films as stand-alone films produced by Lucasfilm outside of the numbered, episodic series.
Solo takes place before the events of A New Hope (the first film of the original trilogy) in order to stand as an origin story for one of its main characters: Han Solo.
The film’s focus character, Han Solo, is played by Alden Ehrenreich. Ehrenreich not only gives the appearance of Han visually, but also does an outstanding job displaying Han’s charming and mischievous character. I especially loved the back and forth interactions between him and Chewbacca.
I do feel, however, that the movie fails to highlight the sarcastic, annoyed-by-others’-stupidity manner of Han that Harrison Ford did so perfectly.
Donald Glover also does a phenomenal job as Lando Calrissian. He flawlessly captures the essence of Lando without going too over the top. He has the perfect amount of screen time to show his importance as a character, but doesn’t take away too much of the focus from Han.
Emilia Clarke plays the part of Qi’ra, Han Solo’s newly-introduced love interest. The viewer has to constantly change his or her mind on rather Qi’ra is to be trusted or not. Her character overall was meant to be mysterious and secretive as far as her intentions. Clarke does a favorable job keeping the character generally unpredictable, which plays a major role in developing the story.
As one would expect from a Star Wars movie, the production and cinematography are top-notch. The music, composed by John Powell but featuring heavy doses of the famous Star Wars music by John Williams, is fantastic and carries a lot of weight in the tone and emotion of the film.
The overall pacing of the story is practical. The film never focuses on one part of the story for too long that it bores the viewer, but it also doesn’t speed through parts so quickly that the viewer gets confused.
Although the narrative was entertaining, it more or less added nothing to the Star Wars universe. It hardly gave the characters any extra depth or development to the story.
Overall, Solo: A Star Wars Story is a great introduction movie for someone who is trying to get into the Star Wars movies, but to an avid fan of the films, the movie doesn’t do much for the franchise. I’d give the movie a solid three out of five stars. It’s a good movie on its own regard, but to have Star Wars in the title, there’s an expectation to be met.