May 27, 2018

'Solo: A Star Wars Story' slides quickly into incoherence

16 May 2018, 09:47 | Israel Caldwell

Ron Howard and Jar Jar were never meant to

Ron Howard reveals he turned down Star Wars The Phantom Menace in a car park

Solo is the third Star Wars film to appear at Cannes, following Attack of the Clones in 2002 and Revenge of the Sith in 2005. The film is being produced by Lucasfilm from a screenplay by Lawrence and Jon Kasdan, and will be distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. Under Kennedy, Star Wars has gotten progressively worse, which should be unheard of as the franchise is an easy seller to the fans; however, Kennedy's approach has been anything but fan-friendly.

The story follows Han from his years as a street urchin on the shipyard-dotted backwater planet of Corellia through to his early experiences as an outlaw, working among Beckett (Woody Harrelson of "Cheers" fame) and his crew as they run jobs for fearsome gangster Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany from Marvel's recent smash "Avengers: Infinity War"). Solo will please fans, if not necessarily astound them, and leave them anticipating how the story will connect with the original Star Wars saga.

He may have been lucky enough to win the Millennium Falcon off Lando - but do reviewers think Solo: A Star Wars Story also has the Force on Han Solo's side? None of that matters much in "Solo: A Star Wars Story", a breezy tale about the seedy underbelly of the "Star Wars" universe and a handful of characters who help populate it: namely scoundrel/smuggler Han Solo, his Wookiee copilot Chewbacca, femme fatale girlfriend Qi'ra, mentor in all things crooked Tobias Beckett, and the smoothest double-crosser in the galaxy, Lando Calrissian.

I'm guessing if the box office return for Han Solo is lower than what Disney would like, we could see leadership changes at LucasFilm with the ouster of Kathleen Kennedy. There was no way an actor would be found who had that kind of swagger on set of, "this is all pretty dumb", which is kind of necessary for this character. Harrison Ford was always the flawless person to play Solo: an actor who didn't really want the gig that bad in the first place and thought the whole thing was stupid.

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In a two-and-a-half star review, he calls it "thinly-sketched", says it's "hobbled early by a herky-jerky start", and says the creative team "defaults to tiresome and dutiful when they might have blasted off into creative anarchy". Even the new score by John Powell (Jason Bourne) only soars when it samples the original John Williams theme. But while it gets the trappings and appearances right, Solo never delivers on the promise of finding out why Han became who he was in A New Hope.

As reviews being to pour in for Solo: A Star Wars Solo, Lucasfilm has released a new behind-the-scenes featurette for the upcoming standalone film. How did Han Solo meet Chewbacca? He's got a bunch of unexplained scars, a vague eccentricity and no menace.

Bryan Bishop, The Verge: "But Solo succeeds because it's not interested in just being a greatest-hits mixtape".

Vanity Fair It gets off to a slow, muddy, grimly predictable start-but Solo is ultimately, thankfully, one of the good ones. Solo is about the events that shaped him into a smuggling scoundrel. He's Han Solo before he was beaten down and made selfish and cynical by the galaxy. Glover captures the duplicity and bravado of the best-dressed rogue in the franchise, while also revealing a surprisingly tender side at one key point in the film. This is best represented by L3 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), Lando's impassioned droid who has ideas far above that of a normal robot.

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