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Solo: A Star Wars Story Movie Review

It takes true love to create the greatest pilot in the galaxy.

Reviewed by on May 24, 2018
Rating: 4 Star Rating

Kidzworld saw Solo: A Star Wars Story. Will it please newbies and classic fans alike? Can we believe Alden Ehrenreich as Han? Is it just a rockin’ good time at the cinema? Check out our movie review.

By: Lynn Barker

Han (Alden Ehrenreich) meets Chewie (Joonas Suotamo) and Lando (Donald Glover) and pursues lost love Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) in Solo: A Star Wars Story. Growing up a street kid on his native Corellia, 20-ish Han is living by foolish bravado alone as he steals what he needs alongside his love Qi’ra. The two plan on stealing enough to cash it in on a ship to get them off their vile planet but…plans go wrong. Will teaming up with career criminal/smuggler-for-hire Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) set things right?

Han and Chewie during the dangerous train heistHan and Chewie during the dangerous train heistCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Stealing on Corellia

On the scummy, ship-building planet of Corellia, in a lawless time of crimelords and their syndicates, young street kid Han and girlfriend Qi’ra steal to survive. Summoned by head criminal huge, worm-like Lady Proxima for not fulfilling an “order”, Han has to escape in a land speeder with Qi’ra after grabbing a vial with a tiny bit of rare and unstable hyper-fuel as a bargaining chip. They head to a spaceport hoping to “buy” their passage on a ship but although Han makes it through the gate, Qi’ra is captured.

Qi'ra feels trappedQi'ra feels trappedCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Imperial Han

Swearing to come back to rescue Qi’ra, Han joins the Imperial Army in hopes of being trained as a pilot but ends up on the ground on various planets fighting wars as an infantryman for three years! He has had it so once seeing mercenary, gunslinger Beckett in action, Han deserts and wants to team up with Beckett and his crew including tough gal Val (Thandie Newton). Desperate for money to get a ship to get to Qi’ra, Han talks his way onto Beckett’s crew but is captured as a deserter and thrown into a muddy pit with a huge, frightening beast.

Beckett tells Han not to trust anyoneBeckett tells Han not to trust anyoneCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Enter Chewie

Said beast turns out to be captured slave Chewbacca. Somehow, Han speaks a bit of Wookie and the new duo escapes together and are taken in by Beckett. Val softens to Han when she hears that he is doing all to get back and rescue his girl. Beckett’s crew tries to rob an elevated train by uncoupling a car and hoisting it away by ship on a cable. When Beckett’s pilot dies, Han has to take over…with flair of course. The shipment has to be dumped when mercenary pirates intervene. Beckett is angry but  frightened to tell his ruthless boss Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany), one of the top bosses of Empire-allied syndicate Crimson Dawn, that his mission has failed.

Han is stunned to find Qi'ra on Vos's shipHan is stunned to find Qi'ra on Vos's shipCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Vos’s Luxury Ship

At a cocktail party on Vos’s luxury yacht, Han is beyond shocked to see a very sexy and grown-up Qi’ra who says she works for Vos. She is his “top lieutenant” and even wears the brand of Crimson Dawn. With Han’s quick-thinking intervention, Vos accepts a deal to replace the hyper-fuel lost on the previous mission with much more of the raw stuff to be found on the mines on Kessel and transport it to another planet to be refined. Of course it has a tendency to blow up if not transported quickly! It’s a fail or die mission and Vos sends Qi’ra along to insure it gets done.

Vos spots strangers Han and ChewieVos spots strangers Han and ChewieCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Fast Ship for The Kessel Run

Qi’ra knows of a charming gambler named Lando Calrissian who has the Millenium Falcon, the fast freighter ship needed for such a run. Han will have to win the ship in a card game. When Lando wins by cheating, he is offered a cut of the deal in trade for the use of his ship. He and his female navigator robot L-3 (voice of Phoebe Waller-Bridge) join the crew. When Beckett catches Han and Qi’ra kissing, he warns him not to trust her.. in fact don’t trust anyone!

Chewie, Beckett, Qi'ra and Han make the Kessel runChewie, Beckett, Qi'ra and Han make the Kessel runCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Fighting to Escape Kessel

After a scheme to get the raw ore easily fails, the gang must fight their way off Kessel with the goods on the Falcon. L-3 frees all the imprisoned miners as a distraction but this also attracts Imperial troops who blockade our gang’s way back to Vos. Han will have to find a new route and make the dangerous Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs in order for the load of raw ore not to explode! During the flight, Chewie takes over the co-pilot seat from Qi’ra and the Han/Chewie flying duo is born!

Lando brings L-3 along on the missionLando brings L-3 along on the missionCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

The Outcome?

Will Han and crew avoid all threats and make the run back in time? Will Han and Qi’ra continue their romance or is it doomed? Who will betray who and will the hyper-fuel end up in the hands of Crimson Dawn or can it help fuel the budding rebellion against the Empire? And just who runs the Crimson Dawn syndicate anyway?

Lando cheats at cardsLando cheats at cardsCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Wrapping Up

In Solo: A Star Wars Story, there is no time for much soul searching but there is humor and romance and, in my opinion, Alden Ehrenreich does an admirable job of achieving Harrison Ford’s cocky swagger, voice tone quality and duplicates many of his little mannerisms without doing an impersonation of Han. He doesn’t look like Ford but that would be just too weird. Emilia Clarke makes a great love interest; a conflicted, tortured woman who is caught between true love and grim duty she can’t escape. Woody Harrelson is a great baddie with some depth and other actors do a nice job of bringing old and new characters to life.

The Falcon approaches KesselThe Falcon approaches KesselCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

The story is pure crimelords vs. good guy action/adventure showcasing the CGI Falcon in daring flying that made Han “the best pilot in the galaxy”. The entire galaxy or success of the rebellion isn’t at stake but the movie, taking place ten years before the first film A New Hope, nods to the beginning of rebellion.

Val, Beckett and Han set up a heistVal, Beckett and Han set up a heistCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

Part of what makes the flick so much fun is the fact that we know the future and can feel gratified, laugh or even cheer every time we recognize a catch phrase or the name of a planet or a character who will appear later or we spot an iconic piece of weaponry or equipment (Han’s famous dice, his gun, Holo-chess on the Falcon, etc. etc.). We are in on a great joke and that is satisfying and fun.

After the deeply emotional The Last Jedi, “Solo” is light and fun while successfully establishing a beloved character’s backstory. Can it be all that Han Solo fans desire? (I’m one of them), probably not but it doesn’t negate anything established in later films and succeeds in filling in some blanks with flair. We go four stars.

Solo: A Star Wars Story Movie Rating:  4

Solo: A Star Wars Story Movie PosterCourtesy of Walt Disney Pictures

See Solo: A Star Wars Story in theaters now!

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