I was very sceptical when ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ was announced as like many, I grew up watching Harrison Ford play the iconic character and the man himself is still alive. But once I saw the official trailer, it piqued my curiosity, and I ended up seeing the film more out of curiosity than excitement.
‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ is an origin story about Han Solo. Hans played by Alden Ehrenreich is an orphan that has grown up in Corellia, stealing to survive. Sick of his life, he plans to escape Corellia with his love interest Qi’ra played by Emilia Clarke. With dreams of becoming a pilot, owning his own ship and the desire to be free to live happily with the one he loves, a spanner is thrown in the works when Qi’ra and Han are separated. With Qi’ra now gone, Han is distraught and is left with his street smarts alone to survive. Only when Han befriends a Wookiee and team of thieves, does Han really start to grow into the legendary smuggler that we’ve all grown to know and love.
I was unsure of Alden Ehrenreich’s performance at first, clearly having big shoes to fill, following the performance of Harrison Ford in a role that he created. Despite my hesitations, Ehrenreich cemented himself as Han Solo in my eyes once he was conversing and affectionately bickering with fuzzy future bestie, Chewbacca. Although I would not consider ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ loud, action-packed and exciting as your typical Star Wars film, ‘Solo’ is still surprisingly impressive, sneaky, a slow burner, anxiety inducing and felt more like a mystery that was slowly unraveling before my eyes, cleverly placing the puzzle pieces together on how our favourite Star Wars character came to be.
I was thoroughly impressed with the performances of the cast. Emilia Clarke is consistent in her role in as the mysterious Qi’ra, Donald Glover is sly and ‘capetastic’ as Lando Calrissian and Paul Bettany is unstable and somewhat frightening as Dryden Vos. Although everyone is great in their roles, the stand out performance in the film for would have be Woodey Harrelson as Bennett, the well-established thief that reluctantly acts as a mentor to Han. Bennett plays a conflicted soul, one who wants to do right by Han, but at the same time instinctively cares about his own survival. The voice acting of Phoebe Waller-Bride is also impressive, playing feisty, sassy and outspoken droid, L3-37 who is freakin’ fantastic and I daresay almost stole the spotlight. L3-37 or ‘L3’ for short, is a droid with opinions and a mind of her own, having issues with droids being enslaved by humans. Last but not least, Alden Ehrenreich is perfect and practically is Han Solo.
I watched ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ in both normal cinemas and IMAX and I preferred my experience in IMAX because I noticed things I hadn’t notice before as the screen was bigger. I could not recommend seeing this film in IMAX enough. As for the film itself, it may be different compared to it’s predecessors, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t good. You’ll be filled with questions and theories long after leaving the cinema. I may have been hesitant at first, but I must admit, the more I watch ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’, the more I love it.