I really wanted Solo: A Star Wars Story to be a great add-on to the Star Wars saga. It's not.
Forget the number of problems the production had with director Ron Howard being brought on board to direct in 2017 after the project's original directors parted ways with Lucas Film. Howard shot (or re-shot depending on who you read) at least 70 percent of the movie. The movie had problems and it shows despite Howard's effort.
Forget that Solo was a movie which really no one asked for. Most fans felt that between books and movies they had enough info on the backstory of Han Solo and his partner Chewbacca. Solo is really a "fanboy" movie. It's one that fans didn't demand but should want to see.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is an okay movie. Generally, it is enjoyable, and it is largely forgettable. The problem is that it often seems disjointed. Enjoyable scenes are shoehorned together in order to fit all of Han's backstory that we know from the Saga into one movie. How did he meet Chewbacca? Check. What was the game like when he won the Millennium Falcon? Check. What is the story between the somewhat strained relationship between Han and Lando? Check. How did Han become the good guy rogue that we all know and love? Check. How many cliché type scenes can we stick in one movie? Check. Can we have a robot with an attitude like we had in Rogue One? Check. Can we fit in yet another bar scene with strange aliens? Check and Check again. Do we have a love story in the movie? Check.
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Problem is as the checklist scrolls through some of them fail. Take, for example, the love story element of Solo. Han (Alden Ehrenreich) in escaping his horrid past must leave the girl he loves behind. She is Kira (Emilia Clarke). He must find his way back to save her. While on his quest to save her, he meets the rogue Beckett (Woody Harrelson). It is his adventure with Beckett that more or less brings all the other elements of Solo's back story into existence. Instead of the quest though for Solo to save Kira, he and Beckett go to a party (cue bar scene) and voila there's Kira. Kira has become the lieutenant and property of the main bad guy, Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany). Solo, Beckett and Kira go off to do his bidding meeting Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) along the way in another bar scene. After all this, the true love of Solo and Kira seems to be uhm not so much. Kira chooses power. It fails. The true love we see in other movies just not there for us.
The problem is that there are so many opportunities to tell us an original story. Solo announces that he wants to become a great pilot. Two scenes late, he is. There is a story there. One we do not know. Beckett's team is fun and amazing and gone. There is a story there too. Even the fact that Solo speaks the Wookie language is a story we don't get. Even the robot L3-37 wants to be the robot we come to care about, but it is in the movie for so little time that we cannot really get an attachment for Lando's copilot. In fact, the only character that we get to know is Beckett. His character is not particularly original and what happens to him in the movie isn't really original or unpredictable.
Solo: A Star Wars Story has its moments especially aboard the Falcon. It is fun enough but its weak plotting and not particularly strong character development keeps the movie from really being anything more. It is not the next great addition to an icon of American pop culture. It is really just a "fanboy" movie. I am undecided if I will buy the Blu-ray.