Reel Matt

This blog started as my movie marathon — watching a movie a day for a whole year — and has continued as a place for me to write reviews about movies, TV, and various other items.



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Solo — A Star Wars Story

Film #623


During an adventure into the criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future co-pilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.


When I saw the previous Star Wars spinoff, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, I came away with a generally positive feeling. That movie had its fair share of problems, but it was fun to look behind a story that is alluded to in the original trilogy. Well, the same is mostly true for the second attempt, Solo: A Star Wars Story.

This movie has its fair share of problems too, mostly due to shoe-horning the movie to fit expectations of what an audience thinks a Han Solo movie should be. It has the Kessel Run, playing a card game to win the Falcon, and smuggling of course. And Ron Howard, taking over the job from the original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, does a decent job at making a decent film.

But given that the film seemed designed to fulfill a checklist of required story elements, Solo just isn’t going to be in the upper-echelon of Star Wars movies. There is no real unique world-building or background information to expand our horizons. Solo takes place in the universe we know and love, with characters we know and love — adding a few extras like Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson).

Solo is enjoyable for those reasons, but it lacks a draw, or originality that can be found in the trilogy films. When you watch the original films, or even The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, being transported to another world and lost in new canon is effortless. The world is bigger than the film and you can spend countless hours using your imagination to explore it. Solo is just like any other big-budget action/sci-fi film — it has a lot of pretty visuals, and just enough story to reel you in for two hours, but there really isn’t a lot there beyond the surface.


3 out of 5