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Solo: A Star Wars Story Blu-ray Review

September 24, 2018

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Solo: A Star Wars Story Blu-ray Review - Reviewed by Kidzworld on Sep 24, 2018
( Rating: 4 Star Rating)

Are you going to add Solo: A Star Wars Story to your Star Wars home video collection? Kidzworld checked out the Blu-ray film and extras. Read our take in our Blu-ray review.

By: Lynn Barker

In Solo: A Star Wars Story, young Han (Alden Ehrenreich) meets Chewie (Joonas Suotamo) and Lando (Donald Glover) and pursues lost love Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke). Growing up with Qi’ra as a street kid on his native Corellia, 20-ish Han is living by foolish bravado alone as he steals what he needs. The couple plans 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 is sure he can beat any pilotHan is sure he can beat any pilotCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Corellian Street Smarts 

The scummy, ship-building planet of Corellia exists in a lawless time of crime lords and their syndicates. Young street kid Han and girlfriend Qi’ra steal to survive. Summoned by head criminal, the ginormous, 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 off Corellia but, although Han makes it through the gate, Qi’ra is captured.

Will Qi'ra befriend or betray Han?Will Qi'ra befriend or betray Han?Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Joining the Army

Han swears to come back to rescue Qi’ra. He joins the Imperial Army in hopes of being trained as a pilot but ends up on various planets fighting wars as an infantryman for three years! 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 advises Han to trust nobodyBeckett advises Han to trust nobodyCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Time for Chewie

The “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 but 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 men at Empire-allied syndicate Crimson Dawn, that his mission has failed.

Crime Boss Vos looks over his kingdomCrime Boss Vos looks over his kingdomCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Crime Pays

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.

Han sees Qi'ra after a long timeHan sees Qi'ra after a long timeCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios

The Kessel Run

Qi’ra introduces Han to charming gambler 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!

Beckett's gang try to rob an elevated trainBeckett's gang try to rob an elevated trainCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Escape from Kessel

When a simple scheme to get the raw ore 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 duo is born!

Han and Chewie do the Kessell runHan and Chewie do the Kessell runCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Success or Failure?

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 with his beloved droidLando with his beloved droidCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Special Extra Features

We got the Blu-ray plus Digital set. Extras are on their own disc. The film sounds great. The colors are kind of bleak and muted but this was the way things looked when it was in theaters as well.

  • Solo: The Director & Cast Roundtable – I love these chats with the cast. Here Director Ron Howard moderates a chat with some of the actors: Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Joonas Suotamo, Emilia Clarke, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Thandie Newton, Woody Harrelson, and Paul Bettany. The group talk about getting their roles, their inspirations and auditions, shooting various scenes, their relationships and backstories, plus working on set and a visit from George Lucas. Lots of fun and friendship here. Loved it!

The Rio character sides with HanThe Rio character sides with HanCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios
  • Remaking the Millennium Falcon covers reimagining the Falcon as a newer ship inside and out. Its iconic place in the SW universe and Lando’s influence on its design is discussed. Cool.

The Falcon at the end of its runThe Falcon at the end of its runCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios
  • Escape from Corellia straightens out the film’s timeline and Solo’s life on the planet. Big focus on the speeder chase scene from the opening; design, set, effects, sound and more are discussed. Nice!
  • The Train Heist is like the previous feature, this time concentrating on one of the movie’s big action scenes. Using real models as well as train design, digital effects, the locations and how hard it all was are mentioned. The Rio character is described. Neat.

Beckett's gang try to rob an elevated trainBeckett's gang try to rob an elevated trainCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios
  • Team Chewie concentrates on the Han/Chewie story, how they share a connection and some of their scenes are discussed. Yay, Chewie!

Han and Chewie make a great teamHan and Chewie make a great teamCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios
  • Becoming a Droid: L3-37 This time we concentrate on the lovable droid and actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s performance. On set and digital effects to bring her to life are shown. Like this one.
  • Scoundrels, Droids, Creatures and Cards: Welcome to Fort Ypso features all the alien characters at the card game and hanging out in the background. The card game was invented for the film and we hear why this arena was important to the story. Nice extra.

Rebels ready to start a rebellionRebels ready to start a rebellionCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios
  • Into the Maelstrom: The Kessel Run The fascinating run that Han refers to in the very first Star Wars movie is a cool, fast-paced scene. We look here at the on set visuals, piloting the ship with cool sound and digital effects. Liked this one.
  • Deleted Scenes There are eight of them; some new, some extended. Included are:  Proxima's Den, Corellian Foot Chase, Han Solo: Imperial Cadet, The Battle of Mimban, Han Versus Chewie, Snowball Fight!, Meet Dryden and Coaxium Double-Cross. Some add a bit to the story, all are interesting.
  • Kasdan on Kasdan presents Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jonathan talking about how Star Wars was a big part of their lives and how Larry just loved the Solo character. Sweet and “real”.

Chewie, Han and Beckett discuss a partnershipChewie, Han and Beckett discuss a partnershipCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Wrapping Up

Solo: A Star Wars Story, is full of fast-moving action and romance. I liked Alden Ehrenreich as Han.. just the right touch of Ford’s mannerisms and speech without copying him. Supporting characters are all really great. Story is a crime lords vs. good guy adventure with plenty of Han flying the Falcon. The seeds of rebellion are here but this is a stand alone tale with great nods to Star Wars trivia you are familiar with.

Vos wants his shipmentVos wants his shipmentCourtesy of Walt Disney Studios

We got the Blu-ray/Digital set. Extras are not mind-blowing but fun. I always like to have a blooper reel and some really good audio commentary but what is here is entertaining. Like we did for the film in theaters, we can give it four stars.

Solo: A Star Wars Story Blu-ray Rating: 4

Courtesy of Walt Disney Studios

Buy Solo: A Star Wars Story in stores now!

Let’s Hear From You!

Are you going to add “Solo” to your Star Wars home collection or gift it to a mega-fan? Did you see it in theaters and like or dislike it? Feel free to leave comments below or write your own review on your Kidzworld Profile page! Express yourself and share!