May 24, 2018: Solo: A Star Wars Story, Movie Review (A Star Wars Story Done RIGHT!)

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A Brief History

On May 24, 2018, fans of the Star Wars movie empire have only one more day to wait for the country wide release of the latest film in the franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story. After having to fire the directors of the movie and replace them with Academy Award winning director Ron Howard, who had to re-shoot most of the movie, we were leery about the possibility of the film turning out disjointed or in some way substandard. We were super relieved last night when we reviewed the movie that the latest Star Wars film is one of the best in the entire pantheon of Star Wars films.

Digging Deeper

For one thing, the movie is not as sappy as the other films. Oh, it has a little bit of sappiness, but nothing like some of the previous movies. (No annoying Jar Jar Binks or Ewoks.) For another thing, there is no overwhelming darkness to the film as in the immediate predecessor, Rogue One. No sad, morose Luke Skywalker or the audience knowing Carrie Fisher had died.  Hard corps Star Wars fans (purists, they may claim to be) bristle at anyone other than Harrison Ford playing Han Solo, but seriously, if you are going to portray young Han as a 25 or so year old lad, you cannot have an elderly geezer playing the role! Alden Ehrenreich plays the Han Solo origin role to perfection. You can see how Han develops his sense of wise cracking bravado and his cynicism exhibited in later films. Emilia Clarke as young Han’s love interest is adorable. (There is nothing she can do wrong. Period.) Woody Harrelson also happens to be one of our favorite actors, and he does not disappoint in a major role as an opportunistic outlaw. The rest of the cast is well chosen for their roles, even the voice of Jon Favreau. Donald Glover is a fine heir to the Lando Calrissian role pioneered by Billy Dee Williams, with just the right amount of debonair offset by oily sleaze.

Theatrical release poster

The acting and directing is excellent, as is the film editing. The special effects blow away the older movies, and although we saw the film in 2D, the depth was great. Scenery was beautiful and the musical score struck us as outstanding, both the older classic Star Wars music and the new music unique to this film. The “tension” music was pounding but not intrusive, giving just the right atmosphere to the action. Did we say action? The movie lasted 2 hours that seemed like 20 minutes! Lots and lots of action, very little slow time. The chase scenes are superb and the fights brutal and not drawn out, never seeming to be choreographed dances like some of the fight scenes in other Star Wars films.

Audience reaction was enthusiastic and positive throughout the movie, and at the end the applause was accompanied by cheering, something we rarely witness. Even the kids sitting behind us that kept kicking our seat backs were quietly spellbound throughout the film. No time for boredom or conversation!

This reviewer admits to only being a lukewarm Star Wars fan, but I loved this movie! In fact, my personal opinion is this film is the best Star Wars film in the entire franchise. We highly recommend the movie for families of all ages and of course, it is a must see for fans of Star Wars and all that entails.

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Historical Evidence

For more information, please see…

Hidalgo, Pablo. Solo: A Star Wars Story The Official Guide. DK, 2018.

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About Author

Major Dan

Major Dan is a retired veteran of the United States Marine Corps. He served during the Cold War and has traveled to many countries around the world. Prior to his military service, he graduated from Cleveland State University, having majored in sociology. Following his military service, he worked as a police officer eventually earning the rank of captain prior to his retirement.