4. It is everything that The Last Jedi wasn’t
So murky are the after effects of The Last Jedi, director of Solo: A Star Wars Story Ron Howard thinks that fans may have been boycotting his film because of it. He said, “Sad to say, some Star Wars fans are snubbing Solo because they’re still upset over Last Jedi. If so, they’re missing out and punishing a good film for something not its fault.”
Not only is Howard correct on that count and fans are doing themselves a disservice by boycotting the film, but Solo: A Star Wars Story ended up being everything that The Last Jedi wasn’t and should certainly be seen and enjoyed by fans.
Within hours of its release, The Last Jedi was the subject of mass derision with fans flooding review sites with negative ratings. The Last Jedi suffered from a myriad of problems, so many that it would take too long to list them all here. However to touch on a few, it had plot holes so big that Solo would have no trouble flying the Millennium Falcon through them, it mishandled central characters, it rewrote canon and it completely misused humour (yo momma joke anyone?).
And above all that, well it was all a bit serious and grim wasn’t it? Solo: A Star Wars Story couldn’t be further from that. Yes there are definitely some sad moments and it has got its fair share of peril but mostly Solo: A Star Wars Story is just fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and the result is a great experience and a great Star Wars film.
5. It expands the Star Wars universe
One standout feature of Solo: A Star Wars Story is the masterful way in which it uses world-building to give audiences a glimpse of more of a galaxy far, far away. We get to see new planets and new factions, along with seeing more of classic characters and completely new ones. Previous films have been very much focused on the Jedi and Sith saga and the battle between the Empire and the Rebellion.
As well as world-building, Solo: A Star Wars Story expands the Star Wars universe by broadening several of the characters and their stories. It also fills an important gap in the Star Wars timeline, being set between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.
Although Solo: a Star Wars Story may be dealing with the origin story of a character we feel that we already know and thus not feel like as much as an expansion as the other new films are, it does set in motion an interesting concept – could audiences be treated to more spinoffs and more origin stories? With rumours of a Fett spinoff in the works, Solo: A Star Wars Story may be the first of many expansions of the Star Wars universe.
6. Great casting
When news first broke that a Han Solo film was going to be made, fans immediate reaction was who is going to take on the iconic role? Recasting the role which was made famous by acting legend Harrison Ford was no easy task and Lucasfilm went through a long and arduous casting process in search of the right actor, reportedly auditioning over two thousand actors for the role. Eventually the role went to relative unknown Alden Ehrenreich.
Many were unhappy with the choice of Ehrenreich and fans feared the worst when reports surfaced saying that Ehrenreich’s acting was so bad that the studio had to bring an acting coach in to help him with his performance. Though it is commonplace to have an acting coach on set, many saw this as proof that Ehrenreich wasn’t up to the job. Subsequently it turned out that these rumours were falsified, still the pressure was very much on for Ehrenreich.
However, with the release of the film’s first trailer, opinion began to change. It looked like Ehrenreich might be the correct choice after all. And when the Solo: A Star Wars Story finally hit theatres, it was confirmed – Ehrenreich was brilliantly cast as a young Han Solo.
Ultimately it came down to Ehrenreich being able to make the part his own whilst still honouring the popular character that Ford had already established. But it was never about Ehrenreich being the perfect carbon copy of Ford, it was about him embodying Solo’s qualities, attitude and spirit, which he does perfectly.
Both original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and Ron Howard who ended up taking over the project agreed that they never wanted an actor who completely resembled Ford, really what they most wanted was for an actor to successfully convey the spirit of the character.
Miller said, “An impression of Harrison Ford would have felt like an extended Saturday Night Live sketch. We wanted someone who could evoke the spirit of the iconic performance we all remember while bringing something new and fresh.”
And while Ehrenreich makes a great young Solo, he is also well supported by a strong cast. Some of which are also recastings. For example Donald Glover is recast as a young Lando Calrissian, and again he perfectly embodies the spirit of the character rather than just being an impression of the already well known character. Overall, Solo: A Star Wars Story boasts a cast that not only help make it a great film, but a great Star Wars film.
7. It is a film for the fans
No other franchise in the universe (expanded or otherwise) has fans as dedicated, loyal and enthusiastic as Star Wars fans. And fans have been handsomely rewarded with the arrival of Solo: A Star Wars Story. The film has taken one of the franchise’s most popular characters and given fans the backstory they always wanted.
Not only that but Solo: A Star Wars Story also expands the Star Wars universe, adding new characters and world building in a way that only enriches fans’ experiences. In a survey, thousands of fans were asked which character that they would like to see get their own spinoff, and Han Solo was chosen as the outright winner. In this way, Solo: A Star Wars Story feels like a love letter to the fans.
The film also represents an intersection between generations; fans that saw the original trilogy in theatres and fell in love with the character can now see this new film with their children and introduce them to that same character. This fact is made more poignant by that fact that the film was written by father and son team, Lawrence and Jon Kasdan.
Solo: A Star Wars Story may play on fans’ nostalgia, but a bit of nostalgia is never a bad thing. It is pure, unfiltered Star Wars and doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. Solo: A Star Wars Story has all the qualities of Star Wars at its best and has the look and feel of a proper Star Wars film – and fans couldn’t ask for much more. After all what are the odds of Episode IX catering to the fans as much as Solo: A Star Wars Story has? As Han himself might say, “Never tell me the odds!”
Author Bio: Cara McWilliam-Richardson is a writer with a passion for films and filmmaking. She has written several screenplays, and is currently working on her first novel. Her favourite genre to write is fantasy and science fiction.