Han Shot First: A Review of “Solo”

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From the moment the casting was announced for Solo, I was dreading seeing this movie. It sounded like a trainwreck. I didn’t think Alden Ehrenreich looked anything like Han and every story from the set made this movie sound like it was doomed to fail. As time wore on, I figured this would be a movie I’d wait to see on DVD, if at all.

And then the first preview came out. Just that one glimpse of Donald Glover’s performance as Lando Calrissian was enough to pique my interest. After that, reviews started coming out and many people actually enjoyed it. Once I heard it might actually be good, I decided I needed to see it.

I finally went to go see it with my dad on Sunday. And you know what? I really enjoyed it! It was a fun little flick. No, it wasn’t perfect, but most movies aren’t. I had a really good time following young Han on his first space adventure. And, while many complaints are valid (Han’s lack of an arc, for one), I didn’t find them as a detriment to my enjoyment of the film. I could see this Han becoming the Han we meet in A New Hope.

What’s more is that Alden actually does a great job as young Han! He’s got the arrogance and wiliness down to a T. His Han is a little more earnest and good-hearted, but he’s in his late teens/early twenties, so that’s not too surprising. He’s got plenty of time to harden his heart. However, for the most part, Alden’s performance as Han is great.

The previews were, of course, an accurate portrait of Donald’s portrayal of Lando. He’s suave and charming, but he’s also a snake. My only complaint is that he isn’t in the film more. Chewie is the same Wookie we know and love. In fact, he’s the character in this movie with the closest thing to an arc. I was really happy to see how his relationship with Han developed.

The new characters were fun too. Qi’ra is a morally gray wildcard— you never know just whose side she’s on. While I thought she could’ve been developed more, I really like where her story ended. Tobias Beckett is a slimy criminal, and yet you can’t help but root for him. Dryden Voss is more of a distant crime boss than a villain, but he was still an interesting figure. He’s both rough and distinguished. I also liked Enfys Nest, though I don’t want to get too into their role. Spoilers, you know?

My only real complaint about this movie is L3. She is so obnoxious. I dislike her for several reasons. First, she’s essentially a Social Justice Droid, which… yeah, not the most fun character to follow. She’s intensely preachy— it’s honestly so grating. I can’t tell if it’s supposed to be a genuine nod to people who fight for equal rights or a mockery (given how every other character reacts, I’m going with mockery). Either way, it’s just annoying. My other issue is the fact that L3 is a female droid. What happened to droids being genderless? L3 throws that all out of whack. Maybe it’s related to her whole “droid rights” thing, but it’s just confusing. She’s also very shapely which is… uncomfortable. C-3PO is humanoid without having a particularly “masculine” or “feminine” figure, so why does L3 have to be curvy? It’s probably because of the whole “Lando may or may not be sleeping with her” thing, but again, it’s just weird. (It should also be noted that, despite what one of the writers said, Lando is not explicitly pansexual, so there’s that too.)

All-in-all, I think this is a really fun movie. Maybe I’m in the minority, but I don’t look to Star Wars for deep, intricately-told stories. Even though I totally get the complaints, I ultimately can’t agree. This was a good movie and I can’t wait to see it again. As for a potential sequel, well, I’ve got a good feeling about this.

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