Chad Reviews "Solo: A Star Wars Story"
As could be expected, the “Star Wars” purchase has been proven to be a very lucrative acquisition by Disney, albeit a very polarizing one. There are fans that feel like we have finally achieved the “Nirvana” era of the franchise after the floodgates opened up after three massively successful films beginning with “Episode VII: The Force Awakens” in 2015, followed by establishing the Anthology series with “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” and last year’s “Episode VIII: The Last Jedi”. You would think that all would be right as rain in that galaxy far, far away, but you would be sorely mistaken.
Fan-bases are a very fickle and unpredictable bunch, thinking that ANY changes in a property that they have held near and dear to their hearts since childhood could be considered borderline blasphemy. I can just as guilty as anybody when Lucas himself started tinkering with his own creation, making changes just because he COULD without stopping to think if he actually SHOULD. After limping my way through the highly anticipated “Prequel Trilogy” in the late ‘90s/early ‘00s to varied levels of enthusiasm and indifference, I was happy to see this second age of films but was not entirely ready for what I saw, leaving almost as many questions as they did answers like how Han and Chewie figure into all this prequel talk? That, my friends, is where “Solo: A Star Wars Story” comes in.
Han (Alden Ehrenreich) plays the loveable Corillean in his early days as a petty criminal looking for passage off of his home planet with his girlfriend Qi’ra by his side, after it falls under Imperial rule. Shortly after making his way off-planet by enlisting in the Imperial Navy and breaking ranks when opportunity presents itself, he finds himself in the company of Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) leader of a group of thieves and bandits content to making a living by stealing whatever they can and selling it to the highest bidder. Along the way, Han stumbles across two characters that will forever be tied to him, his first mate and closest companion Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and fellow smuggler and con-artist Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) joining him as they lie, cheat death and steal their way across the galaxy.
This film surprised me in more ways than I can even COUNT! After hearing stories of production woes, director firings and hirings, and countless hours of reshoots and casting challenges, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” bursts onto the screen with as much swagger and smirk as you would expect. Ehrenreich never comes off as some guy doing a ham-fisted Harrison Ford impersonation by making the character his own in a very unique way, but the true surprise here is the brilliant portrayal of Glover as the suave and ever charismatic Lando, truly embodying everything that Billy Dee Williams brought to the character originally but not taking it over the top or turning into parody. Despite all the trials and tribulations this film went through to get made and all the naysayers that predicted failure, this film is a complete joy to experience.