Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Solo: Fun Fan Fodder

Next up in my catch-up-athon: this awesome review of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

I'll be honest and say that going into the theater, I wasn't too excited about this movie, even though I loved The Last Jedi (review). It felt like I had just seen a Star Wars movie, it was way too close to Infinity Wars, and most of the trailers out at the time didn't hook me. (Though, the trailer attached here is a lot more exciting than what I had seen -- why didn't they lead with this one?) I had no desire to catch this movie on review night, nor any desire to watch in IMAX or 3D or with any other gimmicks. But still, as a Star Wars fan, I had to go.

Despite a few slow parts, I ended up enjoying it more than I had expected. Why? Because it had action, a decent story, and a whole slew of nods and easter eggs geared toward fans. If I had to make a comparison with Star Trek, I would compare this one to #3: The Search for Spock. That was another movie made entirely for the fans, but lost on most everyone else.

If there is any question you previously had about Han Solo, this movie most likely covers it. My personal favorite was an explanation of the Kessel Run and the 12 parsecs remark. It was a BIG stretch, but I approved with a good laugh.

Another moment near the end takes a swing, mocking George Lucas' digital adjustments to the original trilogy. Again, I approved with a good laugh.

My main complaints are these:

I and others in the theater evidently spent too much time trying to figure out where this movie fit in the whole anthology. How many years after #3 did it come? At one part, a lot of people seemed confused, wondering if it were possible that this movie might be happening before #1. I think a quick paragraph in the beginning could have better set the stage and avoid this confusion.

I felt that a large part was missing from Qi'ra's story. How exactly did she come to her position after three short years? And how could her character allow for it?

I already mentioned the timing of the release ... way too early in the year, and way too close to other blockbusters. November or December would have been much more enjoyable. And now we must wait a year and a half for the next installment?

Other than that, I rather enjoyed the movie, and I'm disappointed that it performed poorly in the box office. One of the reasons for this came to light when I read a recent column blasting again The Last Jedi and saying why it was prudent to miss Solo, even though he listed it as being a "good movie." That made me scratch my head. "You mean to tell me you're a Star Wars fan, but you're so mad at The Last Jedi that you would happily skip a movie written by one of the original screenplay writers for people just like you?" Their loss. There are yet millions of true fans who are sticking with the series while things are starting to get interesting.

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