Solo: A Star Wars Story
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover and Thandi Newton
Runtime: 2hrs. 15mins.
There is an old saying that simply states, “It is good to be young again”. Does it mean that we want to relive our youthful exploits at a time when we were living care-free with no worries and few responsibilities? Or maybe it is the feeling of nostalgia, traveling back to a time that instantly puts a smile on our faces that cause a blank, but concentrated, stare into space as others wonder and ask if we are all right. Solo, directed by Ron Howard, transports viewers back in time to 40 years ago with the release of the 1977 original Star Wars with his ability to enamor audiences with compelling storytelling.
Separated from his love Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke), Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) vows to come back to get her but his promise takes him on an adventure where he meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) years before joining the Rebellion.
Ron Howard’s vision of a young Solo in the early stages of his smuggling career, or as an outlaw as Han proudly claims, is a throwback to the early Star Wars adventures of the 1970s and early 1980s. It has a gritty feel of authenticity and originality. Howard reminds audiences that it is not the special effects that bring legions of fans to the theater, but the story. Along with John Powell’s score, Solo brings the legendary cinematic John Williams’ feel of an epic adventure of a cast of a unique band of outlaws and a character we know and love. No, it is not Harrison Ford. Nor does Alden Ehrenreich try to be. But he captures the essence of the character making the young Solo believable and genuine.
Alden Ehrenreich portrayal of Han Solo was spot on. With rugged good looks and boyish charms, it is not hard to understand why he was cast in the lead role. Whether it is his onscreen chemistry with Games of Thrones Emilia Clarke as they figure out if they can rekindle their love despite their pasts. Or the Abbott and Castello-like relationship with Chewbacca and the understanding of the Wookie language, Shryriiwook, Ehrenreich keeps viewers entertained and ingrains Solo in the hearts of a new generation of Star Wars fans.
Who can be smoother than the Colt 45 spokesperson, Lady Sings the Blues, and Mahogany actor, Billy Dee Williams?
Donald Glover, that’s who. Glover’s breakout performance as the space smuggler Lando Calrissian solidifies his bright future for upcoming film roles. His colorful wardrobe and a boundless assortment of capes along with his calm but steady presence make his performance worth watching (liken to that of his Childish Gambino alter-ego in the highly controversial video, This Is America).
His playful banter with both Solo and L3, the militant activist droid, makes his charm appealing and mesmerizing.
As a reminder, Solo states in the title that is a Star Wars story. It is meant to be set apart from the lineage of the Star Wars Saga of episodes one thru eight. It is a backstory of one of Star Wars’ most beloved characters. Although it has its share of Easter eggs, hidden references, inside jokes or clues that may take die-hard fans to spot, it is meant to stand on its own. And maybe, just maybe, it will inspire a break out series of its own.