A Second Look at a Solo Story Ain't so Bad
But the Franchise Fails to Strive for Quality
My initial plunge into Han Solo : A Star Wars story did not go so well. I believe this paragraph encapsulates the drudgery. Following the green screened air locomotive chase, “This Star Wars story was more like someone put a camera on a bank robbery and simply followed the characters along. Stressful and dramatic for the perpetrators but not necessarily for those who are being spoon fed the feed. I struggled to stay awake and soon walked out."
But I’ve taken a second look and have come to the conclusion that my early exit was unwarranted...Some what
The back story set up begins the sentiment. Han and his female partner in crime (Emilia Clarke) are on the run, and our hero eludes on the fly as usual. Some snarky wit, a well placed rock and ship that doesn’t fit brings us back.
Slipping through, the getaway with Qi'ra felt pretty good. But ultimately forced into a long distance relationship, the unfortunate disconnect weighs pretty heavy, and both viewings had me dreading a worse tragedy to come.
Forced off world, Han pines for a ship to come back and rescue his damsel. This was still a problem for me. "The Millennium Falcone is is not the Enterprise,” I previously wrote. “Han can’t just waltz in, point photon torpedoes and make demands.
The expectations lessened, though, I rolled with the plot hole. More importantly, the void intersects Han with a scoundrel who could provide some important mentoring. So much so, Woody Harrelson condemns the prodigy to an early end and at the hands of his future sidekick.
Once again, Han has the snark to sway Chewie, and Beckett can’t shake the upstart. The potential loot then puts Han’s journey back on course.
Things of course going awry, the movie's villain makes his inevitable entry. Dryden Vos wasn't quite Darth Vader again, but he was sufficient enough for my second go around.
At the same time, I thought the unexpected plot twists served the film reasonably well and added to the overall story. Now, I know this iteration once again had Han weighing his own self interest against the greater good, but we were here to find out how Solo came to be. So I’m all good with a similar ultimate switch to help these freedom fighters.
The same goes for revealing the romantic bad boy we couldn’t first resist in 1977, and his girlfriend taking the easy/darker path sheds further light.
Thus, the jaded cynic that emerges provides my primary focal point for the entire franchise, and adding Lando Calrissian in The Empire Strikes Back ups the ante.
A lot to live up to, I did not take kindly to the introduction in my first review. “The sheer presence of the duo’s introductory scene in The Empire Strikes Back screams out for a backstory. One so strong that you would think a stand alone movie could almost write itself…” As it were, this solo story didn’t reap much in my estimation.
But again I have softened in my stance. The back and forth is worthy of sitting out the entire movie and so does the bantor among the rest of the cast.
On the other hand, the best the discourse really does is amuse, and the cohesion is just not there to deliver like their predecessors. That would require spending the extra diligence to get the right script, cast the right actors and hammer the scenes until they jump off the screen.
So why not do what it takes? You already know. When a billion dollars awaits the final cut, and the suits upstairs are clamoring for their payday, why put in the work.
Of course, Han Solo didn’t get its billon. But all the others did and their shortfalls are easily traced to the same bankrupt formula.
Please Like My Movie Page on Facebook
Author can be reached at [email protected]
Walt Disney Studios