Thoughts on Solo: A Star Wars Story

*SPOILER FREE* If there’s any more indication to how I felt about Solo: A Star Wars Story, is the fact that it’s been just a day since I watched it, and I’ve already forgotten that I’d seen it.

This isn’t to say that it was a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination, but at the same time, it’s hardly a film that’s remotely memorable in any real fashion.  On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being bad and ten being excellent, I would rate Solo at a 5, for average, solid mediocrity.  It was far from the excessively fatalistic and pessimistic expectations of the film that the cesspool of the internet and the cancers of social media would lead people to believe, but it was nowhere near the level of quality that was Rogue One, the other Star Wars Story film.  I would still rank it above Episodes 1-3 of the canonical storyline; although that doesn’t say that much, it at least shows that it’s still better than other films and therefore not the worst movie in the history of film.

It’s just not a particularly memorable film that has any sticking power in my opinion.  One of the only sentiments of the film prior to its release that I agree with, is that I questioned the necessity of a standalone Han Solo film in the first place.  I don’t disagree that it’s in all likelihood a money grab, trying to cash in on the familiarity of existing intellectual properties, but after Rogue One, I had hoped that future Star Wars Stories films would be similar, in the sense that they would be widely original characters and storylines independent from the reset of the main canon plot, while existing in the same universe.  But instead, two editions in, and we’re getting an origin story that kind of floats almost independently in the timeline of the canon, that would require some creative shoe-horning in order to make fit adequately in the stream of the story, because they’ve used primary characters.

To me, this implies that there will be a future necessity for Luke and Leia, since the childhoods of either would probably be way too boring to sustain their own films, and from what I understand, there’s a lot of scuttlebutt about a film about Boba Fett, to which I’ll never understand the mass astonishment for a character that really had a total of maybe 7-14 minutes of total screen time within the original trilogy, to have such a devout following, not to mention that his origins were already somewhat explored in the abysmal episodes 1-3.

Anyway, onto Solo: as is the case with most movies, I tend to not watch any trailers or teasers, because they always give away too much information, whether it’s plot or casting, to where preconceived notions can be born.  That said, aside from knowing Donald Glover was in the film portraying young Lando Calrissian, I knew nothing of the film, and no other actors going into it, which are the most ideal conditions for going into any film, in my opinion.

The plot is ultimately weak, and still not as origin-y as an origin story really could be, as Han is basically introduced as the Han that most people are already familiar with, just younger, and not portrayed by Harrison Ford.  As the movie progresses, it’s very simple and predictable, and requires almost no complex thinking to comprehend the plot and the likely sequence of events that are bound to happen, especially for anyone with any prior knowledge of the franchise.

To no real surprise, the introduction of Lando was probably the highlight of the film, as I’ve been saying for as long as I’d been a Star Wars fan, that Lando was always more of an interesting character than Han Solo was.  His portrayal in the original trilogy, as well as the creative liberties taken by extended universe authors have always consistently treated the character as a charismatic enigma of a person, who plays fast and loose with allegiances and seems to be as true to the smuggler’s life as they come.  Donald Glover does a good job of keeping true to that persona, even if there was much made about how Lando was supposed to be pansexual, whatever that’s supposed to mean.  Contrary to the belief of the internet, Lando does not fuck aliens or any droids (spoiler, sorry), and basically nothing comes from the pansexual remark, and instead viewers are left with an entertaining and scene-magnetizing performance from Donald Glover instead.

In my opinion, the low point of the film was the introduction of the token droid of the film, L3, or from what the internet says is full name is L3-37, as in LEET, which makes me hate L3 even more.  All agenda aside, L3 is basically on the tier of Jar-Jar Binks as far as obnoxious characters go, and their inclusion in the film seems very artificial, forced and completely unnecessary.  Primarily meant to sell an action figure or a model kit more than anything else.

Ultimately, I felt like the whole point of this movie was mostly to explain several references that Han, Lando and Chewbacca make throughout the original trilogy.  It otherwise serves zero purpose in the whole rest of the canon Star Wars timeline in my opinion, and probably didn’t really need to be made.  This isn’t to say that I didn’t enjoy the film; Lando shines in every scene he’s in, and the Han and Chewie brotherhood is always amusing to see in its infant stages grow and develop into the unbreakable life-bond they carry into the present.

But when the day was over, I literally forgot that I saw the film.  It wasn’t until I started to see that other people had seen it did I realize that oh yeah, so did I.  It was not a great film, but at the same time it was not a bad film.  I know there are people who take literally that a 5/10 is 50% which in most educational grading scales is well below a failing grade, which is why I felt the need to interpret it as being right in between good and bad, as completely average.  But considering to most diehard 501st overkill nerds, Solo was the epitome of the sky falling, it was hardly such a tragedy, and that it further validates my disdain for the hive-thought of the internet as a whole.

But whatever – I don’t wager my life in expectations for Star Wars films, so regardless of what may or may not be delivered in the future, I’ll be open-minded but have low expectations for any future Star Wars films, because supporting the franchise, is what fans do.

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