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  • Don Ford

Don Reviews "Solo: A Star Wars Story"

“Star Wars” is back! With the fourth film in the Disney era, they seem to be milking it big time, but it is understandable because they want to get their return on their multi-billion dollar investment. For me, one of the things that made the pre-Disney “Star Wars” films so special is that they were so few and so far between. With Episodes “IV,” “V,” and “VI” being released within three years of each other and it was sixteen years after “Return of the Jedi” before “The Phantom Menace” hit theaters followed by three year gaps of the other two prequels, there was a specialness to it. Now we are getting them yearly, and there is the question of quantity vs quality. Are we coming to a point where we are getting “Star Wars” movies now as fast and as often and McDonald’s or Burger King comes out with a new twist on a burger?

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” is directed by Ron Howard (Apollo 13, A Beautiful Mind) and stars Alden Ehrenreich (Beautiful Creatures, Stroker), Woody Harrelson (Zombieland, The People Vs. Larry Flint), Emilia Clarke (Me Before You, Game of Thrones), Donald Glover (Community, Spider-Man Homecoming), Joonas Suotamo (Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Star Wars: The Force Awakens), Thandie Newton (Crash, 2012), Phoebe Waller-Bridge (Fleabag, Man Up), and Paul Bettany (Margin Call, A Knight’s Tale). Since this has the “A Star Wars Story” label, this takes place out of the normal timeline, as it is the tale of Han Solo (Ehrenreich) in his early years joining the Rebel Alliance. He lives on a planet full of criminals where he meets his love interest in Qi’ra (Clarke), and joins the Empire as the only way to escape, where he meets Chewbacca (Suotamo), Beckett (Harrelson) and Val (Newton). They desert the Imperial Army and come up with a plan to steal some prized fuel for crime boss Dryden Vos (Bettany) in order to make some money and have a better life. Along the way, they meet up with Lando Calrissian (Glover) and add him to the crew since he has the ship needed for the job.

With the budget and studio, what do you expect above great visuals? Well, “Solo: A Star Wars Story: delivers, with dark and gloomy locales as well as also beautiful natural scenes, enhancing the storyline for each moment. One thing I really liked was how they used a combination of practical and computer-generated effects instead of just having every scene in outer space or done with a green screen. When it comes to the acting, there are some great names in the supporting cast, with Bettany or Harrelson not disappointing, as Ehrenreich and Glover also doing very well in their iconic roles through their mannerisms and deliver.

At about two hours and fifteen minutes, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” did keep me interested and only dragged for a few minutes. If I have a gripe, it would be that this film tries to put the audience on the edge of the seat a little too often. This builds a good base to Solo, but if there are going to be more “Solo” films, I am worried those will be films with just a bunch of action with only a couple minutes of important life events just so they can milk the franchise and make movies for just the sake of making them. I did enjoy this film and I do recommend it, as it is more of a quality vs. quantity in this case, so I will recommend it as a twilight showing in the theaters.

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