"Solo", like the very first "Star Wars," has the right idea: It wants to be a classic movie in galactic guise. Do you know what I mean? While it's nice that the movie just jumps to a love story between Han and Qi'ra rather than going through the motions of a romance, the relationship never convinces because it lacks definition. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone didn't like the way Solo played things too safe - something that could not be said about the previous Star Wars movie, The Last Jedi - saying, "Howard and the Kasdans play the series game without ever raising the stakes, defaulting to tiresome and dutiful when they might have blasted off into creative anarchy".
It's sort of a shame movies can't just exist in a vacuum without the added baggage of often troubled productions or studio interference. Despite some unique cinematography from Bradford Young, Ron Howard's direction is staid, stolid, and completely without personality, which is a problem when your movie is the story of a young rogue like Han Solo.
If a Lando film moves forward, what story would you like it to tell?
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. Solo's set-up follows that formula, but without the universe-altering mythology of the ancient battle between Jedi and Sith. Beckett asks. It's one of the many unsubtle references to things to come, and a fallback refrain in "Solo" where some of the most memorable and pleasing moments are winking references to future memorable lines. Disney really lucked out in casting Glover, who is now one of entertainment's hottest stars, thanks to his widely acclaimed FX series "Atlanta" and his politically charged musical career as Childish Gambino. This is the first Star Wars movie where it hasn't felt like it's being crushed by the portentous weight of what's to come.
Neal Scanlan from the Special Creature Effects department revealed that the film begins with a dark tone, and as the film progresses the fans will get to see brighter scenes as well as brighter aliens and droids. This one loses the foregone conclusion element of something like a Rogue One, which is very welcome and refreshing. "It may not look like much - but it's got it where it counts". Not merely Han who makes it through life with the cheesiest of cheese-eating grins, but all of his cronies, both known and unknown. There's probably a whole trilogy's worth of adventures of Woody Harrelson's Tobias Beckett, a gun-twirling outlaw with unfathomable debts to repay to particularly unsafe people.
They'll soon meet up with the man Beckett is working for, Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany), and encounter Han's old friend from Corellia, Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) before taking off on a risky smuggling mission. Nonetheless, the end-product has satisfied fans and movie critics.
One reviewer, New York Post's Johnny Oleksinski, was far more cutting: "Solo, sadly should be frozen forever in carbonite".
It turns out Han was born on a lawless world called Corellia, where he learned how to be a pilot, and frolicked with his girlfriend Qi'ra, played by Emilia Clarke, who is far more interesting when flanked by dragons.
On the other hand, no franchise rakes in more than $42 billion, as Star Wars is estimated to have done since 1977, without being able to keep a good thing going.
Do critics have a good or bad feeling about the Star Wars spin-off? I wasn't blown away, but I'm thoroughly compelled to watch more Solo movies, which even a week ago was not what I expected at all.