Solo: A Star Wars Story Review
When Solo: A Star Wars Story was announced, I have to be honest, I felt that a film about the legendary character Han Solo, from the original Star Wars trilogy, didn’t need to be made. One of the many great things about Han Solo is the mystery about his background and also the charm Harrison Ford brought to the character. Sadly after seeing this film, my thoughts before release were confirmed.
Unlike the Han Solo we know in the original Star Wars trilogy, Solo does not star Harrison Ford as the legendary space smuggler, in this film he is played by a younger up-and-coming actor in Alden Ehrenreich. The reason for the recasting is because Solo is a prequel to the original trilogy, telling us the story of how Han Solo became the character we all know and love today. For me Han Solo and Harrison Ford are the same. It’s not what the character says, it’s how he says it, which is the unique style that made one of the best actors around. Therefore, straight away, Ehrenreich had an impossible task, not only taking on a legendary character, but filling the shoes of a legendary actor. I think Alden Ehrenreich is a good actor but sadly he is not Ford, and no one will be, which is why Ford is so special. As I said, impossible task, and I think, even though I never saw him as Solo, he certainly put in a fun performance and was not the reason why I did not like this film. To be perfectly honest, I actually enjoyed all of the performances within this film, especially Donald Glover, where, unlike Alden, I did see Glover as the character he was filling the shoes of; Lando Calrissian. Not only did Glover bring an identical swagger to the role, he also sounded freakily like him.
So if I enjoyed the performances of all the characters in the film, why have I not rated this film highly? Because even though the acting was well performed on the whole, the story was just pointless, and seriously bland. It felt so forced and was just not needed. No one wants to know the backstory of Han Solo. As I said, the mystery behind him, whether he’d do the right thing when he’s called upon, is part of what makes him who he is. What I also didn't like was his love for Emilia Clarke's character, Qi’Ra, as it takes away what’s special about Han and Leia’s relationship; that before he met Leia he was just a ladies’ man, but him falling in love with her was the catalyst to wanting to do good in the universe. I say that this takes away what’s special about their relationship, but to be brutally honest I will never think of this film when I watch the original trilogy, as this film didn’t feel right, it just didn’t flow well into what we know and love already.
The score was composed by John Powell, who I am a fan of. He’s done some great work with films like The Bourne franchise and How to Train a Dragon, but sadly when it comes to Solo, I just wasn’t a fan. I could see he was trying to make a theme that stood out, but it just didn’t grab me. The only parts I enjoyed was when he pulled from John William’s score. It’s a real shame as, like I said, I’m a fan of Powell, and after Michael Giacchino’s brilliant score for Rogue One I was excited to hear someone else take on Star Wars.
What I will say about Solo: A Star Wars Story is that it doesn’t offend me, like The Last Jedi. Where I felt The Last Jedi didn’t treat any of our favourite characters with any respect, Solo shows that respect, it was just a pointless story, with shoes too big to fill. It’s sad that Disney feel they need to churn out Star Wars films. Star Wars is a special brand that people look forward to, it’s an event when a Star Wars film is released, but if they keep this up, the aura of it will disappear, and I worry that Solo is the first film to really cement this.