Solo: A Good Star Wars Story

Solo: A Star Wars Story has a whirlwind of mixed reviews and a number of unfavorable characteristics associated with its release.  But, I'm here to tell you....this movie is good, really good!

From what I have noticed, most of the negativity surrounding the film is the fact that Alden Ehrenreich is not Harrison Ford.  However, finding an actor to fill Ford's shoes was never going to happen.  Its impossible to recreate Harrison Ford's unique charm and the little nuances that gravitated all Star Wars fans to him in the first place.  To put that kind of responsibility on Ehrenreich's shoulders is unfair.  With that said,  I thought Ehrenreich was good!  Much praise went out to Donald Glover's performance as Lando Calrissian.  Glover is a prized talent right now that most people are going to love whether or not he truly does a good job.  Despite that fact, Glover is good.  He does a great job of mimicking Billy Dee Williams' take on the character from the older movies.  But, (I may be the only one saying this) I thought Donald Glover's act got a little tiring by the end of the movie.  In other words, it came off as a bit overacting by the middle of the film.

Nonetheless, I still thought all of the actors in the film were solid.  Emilia Clarke as Qi'ra was great.  Woody Harrelson might have been my favorite.  Is this the same guy that used to star in Cheers and played an undercover one-handed Amish bowler in Kingpin?  He's really good now!  When did this happen?

Solo has also taken a bit of criticism because it is supposedly under performing at the box office.  I think this is a little bit of fake news.  True, it is not matching the numbers from previous Star Wars movies.  However, its been number one two weeks in a row, and it was released during a difficult movie theater weekend (Memorial Day).  Typically, more people are doing things outdoors and not going to the movies during that weekend.  Plus, with The Last Jedi being so polarizing, many fans and casual fans are getting winded from the now frequent Star Wars content.  Timing is huge!

Now, let me quickly set the table.....

I'm a huge Star Wars nerd.  I've watched all the movies.  I've watched fan-theory videos.  I've read books.  I own a few t-shirts and I sometimes play Battlefront.  I didn't hate The Last Jedi.  In fact, the first time through, I thought it was extremely entertaining and well done.  After seeing it a few more times, it has grown a little more stale.  It falls in the middle of the pack for me as Star Wars movies go.  I like Force Awakens.  I don't care that it feels like a ripoff of New Hope.  Its Star Wars!  All of the movies are going to fit into a similar mold and have recurring themes.  I'm accepting of that.  In fact, I want that!  I believe The Last Jedi was a let down for so many, because after 2 years of speculating, the film went in so many unexpected and unique directions.  In other words, it heavily veered from the Star Wars mold and people didn't like that.  I thought it was okay that it veered a little bit.  It's almost like Episode 7 of Season 2 of Stranger Things.  It was different, but not necessarily in a bad way.

Anyways,  I say all that to clue you in on my perspective and fandom.  I don't give any of the movies a free pass, but I'm not overly critical.  I enjoy the Star Wars universe for what it is.  With that said,  I enjoyed seeing a good heist film dropped into the context of the Star Wars universe.  That's what Solo is, a gritty sci-fi Ocean's Eleven.  As a fan of the universe, I enjoyed getting answers to questions I've had from the other films.  I enjoyed getting context to Han Solo's background and how he came to know Chewbacca and fly the Millennium Falcon.  It filled my fanboy tank, but also entertained me with a good action flick in the process.  Plus, I won't even get into the awesome SPOILER that popped up near the end of the movie.  A fan-favorite makes an appearance in a shocking reveal.  I'll leave it at that. 

I look forward to what may possibly be a string of Solo films.  I thought Ron Howard did an excellent job of directing.  Hopefully, the supposed underwhelming box-office numbers won't sway filmmakers from tackling more Han Solo movies.  There's great potential here! 

All in all, if you are a fan of Star Wars, you've probably already seen this movie.  If you didn't like it, I encourage you to think about the reasons why.  Was it about Alden not being Harrison?  Did Last Jedi leave a bad taste in your mouth?  Did you need more lightsabers?  Take the movie for what it is.  It did it's job, and provided a bunch of great context clues.  It opened up the universe even further and gave us everything we could possibly need to get excited for more Star Wars content!

NOW!!!!! Here are my current Star Wars movie rankings.  These are subject to change upon watching the films more and learning to appreciate new things and growing tired of old things.

10. Attack of the Clones
9. The Phantom Menace
8. Revenge of the Sith
(all entertaining, but poorly done.  Ewan McGregor was great though!!)

7. A New Hope
(Yes, it's what made Star Wars a thing, but for me, it doesn't hold up over time.  I struggle watching this one now.)

6. The Last Jedi
5. Rogue One
4. Solo
(All highly entertaining, Last Jedi and Rogue One not as exciting the second and third time through)

3. The Force Awakens
2. Return of the Jedi
1. The Empire Strikes Back
(All epic in my opinion!  I can still watch all three of these and feel the same excitement as I did the first time through.)