Cinemagic is a series where I talk about live action or animated Movies and TV Shows. Many of them are Science Fiction and Fantasy films that are anticipated enough to give them a watch. Today, I review Solo: A Star Wars Story
Cinemagic: Solo: A Star Wars Movie Review
This time, I’m reviewing the side story of the Star Wars universe: Solo: A Star Wars Story. I have a lot to say about this film, and it mostly revolves around the plot. This had a troubled development cycle and while it’s leaps and bounds better than The Last Jedi, it has its issues as well. So let’s start the Kessel Run and get into it.
After living his life as a captive on the Planet Corelia, Han escapes to join the Imperial Army, but not before leaving his friend Qi’ra behind. He teams up with a rag-tag group of smugglers who land their biggest job yet, working for Dryden Vos, a man who seeks anything if he gets his way. However, Han might be getting ahead of himself, and into deeper trouble than he could have imagined.
Coming off the heels of the most polarizing Star Wars film to date, this had a lot to live up to. It’s a story about an iconic Star Wars character whose charm and wit wooed Star Wars fans. I felt this film lived up to my expectations of what a Han Solo film should be and gives a huge back story to a fan favorite. I have plenty of thoughts on the overall piece, but I want to cover the story itself first.
It’s a fun tale all throughout. A big hotshot who loses the love of his life and has to rescue her. Or at least that was his goal when he finds out she’s working alongside Dryden Vos. I felt this was a wasted opportunity as far as the story goes. I mean, the movie alludes to this whole, return to save her plot and they seem to switch it up midway. I mean, granted, the second half was satisfying overall, but I felt that they shouldn’t have bothered with this line and instead have Han punished so he meets his new allies.
A few of them I felt were killed off too early and also felt like a waste. A few characters are part of one mission and then die. They could have been brought back in future movies, but I felt there was no point. Why introduce these interesting characters if they’re not going to do anything with them. I know most of it was about Han Solo, but they could have played with them a lot more.
Also, the narrative felt all over the place. The first half seems to have one narrative where Han is trying to find his girlfriend and the next, we see him taking an assignment and it seems to have forgotten what it was about. This did have development troubles, but I felt like they had two different plots going and the continuity errors didn’t seem to notice any problems.
One character, in particular, was a droid named L3. She’s a friend of Lando Calrissian who vouches for freedom for her kind. The problem is, not only is she obnoxious at times, but she seems to spout this thing about equal rights for droids almost constantly. It feels like an animal rights activist who seems to go with the flow and do whatever is necessary regardless of how immoral it is.
Plus, like a number of other characters, she’s killed off, and again making me wonder what the point of her existence was. She also shows up halfway through the film. Han seems to have a hard time keeping everyone alive. I’m amazed he got through the original trilogy without Luke and Leia dying to the empire.
But It seems like L3 had no real reason to exist unlike some of the other one-off characters. She wasn’t integral to the plot (aside from being integrated into the Millenium Falcon), she barely did anything of note, and she had so little screen time that she seemed to be nothing more than a blowhorn for activism. I mean, cool, but that’s not what I want in Star Wars.
I will say that some of the characters that did exist, even if they died, were entertaining to watch. I just wished that they lasted longer and had more purpose in the story. The first half looked like it was leading into a big event with his crew, but killing them off and going to the other narrative is odd. Especially since either narrative could have taken the forefront and not have been an issue.
It feels like I’m ranting a lot, but the plot could have been ironed out a lot more. Having this type of narrative is confusing and trying to keep up with what’s going on.
I won’t give away the ending, but I will say who appears towards the end. This one–again, tying into this narrative and continuity issue–make me raise an eyebrow or six (note: I may or may not have six eyebrows). I won’t spoil the ending, but we get a surprise visit from Sith Lord Darth Maul.
You know, the Sith Lord with the red and black face paint, spikes, wields a dual-bladed lightsaber. Whose climax with Obi-Wan and Qui Gon Gin was the best part of Episode I. Oh, and he was also cut in half and chucked down a bottomless pit.
So why is he back, when this takes place after the prequel trilogy? Your guess is as good as mine. Unless the Sith had some bodily repair magic that can bring him back to normal, it’s never explained why he’s here.
When I saw this, I assume this had to take place sometime prior to the prequels. That Han was in this late teens, escaping from the slums and everything somehow had to line up. Nope. Apparently, this takes place AFTER Episode III. Which raises tons of questions as to how he’s alive and why he’s even here. I also thought it was some other Sith, maybe Snoke who would tie in with the sequel trilogy. But Darth Maul, on top of being random as hell, makes no sense as to why he’s alive. If he is, is he going to be in Episode IX? Will they explain how he’s back?
If it isn’t obvious before, continuity is the movie’s biggest flaw. This was what pushed it over the edge. I felt someone either wasn’t paying attention, didn’t bother to ask how they could bring him back convincingly, or how they expected to tie this all in. The beginning made sense, but it went far off the rails here.
While I had a lot to say about this film, I did at least enjoy it more than The Last Jedi. Not only was the character development and the humor better (most of the humor came from Han and it made sense to his character rather than trying to be funny), but it was a joy to see Han get into all of these situations and watching the drama unfold was exciting to watch. Obtaining the unrefined Coaxium in the famous Kessel Run (in 12 parsecs no less) was entertaining. Like before, it did a lot right. If they had ironed out which narrative to go with (and maybe push it back to a December release so they can finish it in a timely manner) then this would have been better.
I’d give a cautious recommendation. If you can get past the structure, it’s a fine movie. Just don’t expect it to make a lot of sense. If Episode IX ends up the same as the last two, I feel the franchise is in big trouble.
So that’s that. Fun watching it, but might give it a second viewing if I feel up to it.
That’s all for today. Take care, and remember, the inn is always open.
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