I’m going to do my best not to “Harry Knowles” you to death with a lengthy, inarticulate diatribe about what I ate for breakfast and the phony history of my Star Wars “geek” street cred. I didn’t see AOTC at the Ramada 6 months early and “Meesa didn’t luv Jar Jar”, but I have been of fan of this series since 1978, when I saw the original in the theatre.
I hated The Last Jedi, the biggest abomination in Star Wars history.
I also wasn’t crazy about the other 2 movies released in Disney’s Star Wars universe. They ruined elements of the OT, made no sense as a narrative, had terrible new characters that were SUPER FUCKING TERRIFIC at everything they did because reasons and had humor so unfunny I wanted to watch Wicket hit himself in the face with a slingshot instead (God help me).
I wasn’t going to see Solo and have said so since it was announced.
I didn’t want to see someone besides Harrison Ford as the character, especially not Hobie or whatever that character is called in Hail Caesar! I wasn’t interested in seeing a 2 hour version of the first 10 minutes of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade either.
I figured it would be a checklist of:
Han Meets Chewie
Han Meets Lando
the Falcon does the Kessel Run
Han wins the Falcon
After Hobo Luke went out like a disgraced failure and Rey was better at the Force than Yoda with zero training I was out. The trailers and production drama did nothing to change my opinion.
Just When I Thought I Was Out
I talked to my sister — who’s been a big fan since 1977 — a few days after Solo came out. She said it was good and that both my 5 year-old son and I would like it. Her husband thought it was going to suck and he liked it a lot and their tween daughter, who doesn’t care for the last few movies, liked it as well. Some friends on Facebook also were buzzing about how it was way better than TLJ and the other Disney abominations and how people should check it out.
I ended up going with my wife, 5 year-old son and 8 year-old daughter.
My kids like the original six George Lucas movies (it’s all one story to them), but never mention the Disney movies at all, even though they have seen them within 24 hours of theatrical release. Hell, my son didn’t even remember watching Rogue One the day after he saw it, that’s how little it stayed with him.
I was going to watch this new movie with low expectations and an open mind.
Get To The Review Already!
I loved it and so did the rest of my family.
It captures the humor, spirit and sensibilities of Star Wars (fuck saying “A New Hope”) and ESB about as much as a movie at Disney’s Lucasfilm possible could. I assume this was either a mistake or actually talented people like Lawrence Kasdan and Ron Howard were allowed to make a decent product.
It was the most fun I’ve had watching a Star Wars movie for the first time since 1980 and the most fun I have had watching any movie for the first time since Batman Begins 13 years ago.
The plot of the movie is basically a caper movie about stealing some “Space Fuel” mixed with a Han Solo/Q’ira love story, hitting all of the expected Last Crusade origin-style plot beats along the way.
It sounds like it should be horrible, but it works. Why?
Because the writer and director knew what the fuck they were doing and it shows. In a lot of ways it’s a love letter to the 1970s produced Star Wars products (I half expected Itchy to start jerking off to some Harvey Korman in a dress).
If you hate everything Star Wars after 1980 you will probably enjoy this movie.
It’s The Characters, Dummy
I liked the performances pretty much across the board and the characters all had a sincere believability to me.
Han is written different from when we first meet him in Star Wars. He isn’t a cynical anti-hero smuggler. He’s a pretty good guy overall, more heroic, but cocky like the original character. By the end of the movie he isn’t 1977 Han and that’s fine.
I assume they planned to do more with the character, but given the box office backlash due to Rian Johnson’s December 2017 release that is doubtful to happen (either that or Star Wars movies can’t make money in May).
Chewie is pretty good, but the guy in the suit doesn’t really have the right mannerisms of physicality for the character. Nevertheless his looked like Chewie, which I haven’t been able to say since 1983. I thought he had some good character moments throughout the movie.
Lando was a highlight. He’s pretty much like the Lando from Empire for the entire runtime, except more of a dandy. He cheats, backstabs and connives his way through the movie and he has some of the best moments in the movie.
Woody Harrelson’s Beckett is like a mentor to Han. He’s closer to the 1977 version of Han than the Han in this movie, but seemingly more of a nice guy than the guy that shot Greedo under the table. There are some genuine, unexpected plot twists with him and his motivations throughout the course of the movie.
Q’ira is Han’s love interest and one of the best things about the movie. I think the romantic relationship between her and Han is some of the strongest parts of the film. She is also a real character unlike Rey with flaws, conflict and character development (what a novelty!). She’s not a Mary Sue. She’s not a SJW. She’s just a good character that is enjoyable to watch and learn about.
L3 37 is this robot character that I expected to hate, but didn’t. I thought she was going to be some SJW avatar, but she wasn’t really that at all. Basically she’s this movie’s C3PO, but substitute being a Gay Englishman for being a parody of the feminist movement. Like C3PO in the OT the other characters in the movie can’t stand her, but she’s useful to the team and their adventures so she is merely tolerated. I thought that whole aspect of the story was pretty clever and I enjoyed it.
Finally I want to talk about the Falcon. I wasn’t sure about how it looked so new and nice in the beginning and in the trailers. What I did like was that by the end of the movie it looked like the Blues Mobile or Buford T. Justice’s car at the end of Smokey And The Bandit. A piece of metallic trash.
I liked the action sequences, there are two major ones and several brief ones throughout. All of them were good.
Most of the humor works and has the old-school Star Wars feel.
There are some plot twists and red herrings along the way. Some are predictable and some are unexpected, but I liked that I was confident something was going to go one way and end up being totally wrong. It’s been a long time since a movie did that.
The Empire and Stormtroopers specifically are barely in the movie, which is great because they are stale at this point.
The name drops of 2 bounty hunters — one from OT and one from the PT — was cool and unexpected.
Wrap It Up
This was the first good Star Wars movie my kids had ever seen on the big screen. My son said as soon as it ended “That was the best Star Wars movie I ever saw!” Can you imagine your first theatrical Star Wars movies being the first three Disney releases? I’m glad he got to see something good up there finally. I think that had a lot to do with his feelings.
I would put it in the top 4 Star Wars movies for sure, possible top 3. I can’t wait to see it again.