Etched in Stone

Movie Review: Solo

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Photo Credit: starwars.com

Photo Credit: starwars.com

Photo Credit: starwars.com

Anna Henning

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Solo: A Star Wars Story hit theaters officially May 24, and although many aspects of the film such as the cast and visuals were well done, some elements of the plot could have been written and used in a more thoughtful way. As a huge Star Wars fan, I had high hopes for this film that I think are justified overall, but at the same time there was so much more that this movie could have been.

The thing I was most worried about for this film was the legacy of Han Solo. He is such an iconic character in the Star Wars universe, and I didn’t want this film to butcher the character and make him into something he’s not. I also couldn’t picture anyone but Harrison Ford playing a good Han. In the trailers, I was almost too distracted by the fact that it didn’t really look like Han, and I thought because of this I wouldn’t be able to enjoy the movie. I was pleasantly surprised by Alden Ehrenreich’s performance; he did a fantastic job of continuing the role of Han Solo. Ehrenreich worked a lot with Harrison Ford about portraying the role of Han. He wanted to be Han Solo not only from his own perspective, but from Ford’s as well. I really appreciated this because I could clearly see how much effort he put into staying true to the character, and combined with his actions throughout the movie created a great Han Solo.

Solo had a strong cast that did amazing things with their characters. Every actor’s performance was really well done. I really enjoyed seeing more character development behind Lando Calrissian, played by Donald Glover – he did an amazing job. Also, all the costumes, hair, makeup, and other creatures were very detailed and I could tell that a lot of thought was put into them.

The newest trilogy of Star Wars episodes, although they still have the “Star Wars” look, have a lot of aspects that make the films look different from the originals. Solo had a more traditional look and feel to the original trilogy, which was nice to see. It also referenced a lot of other events and things in other Star Wars films, which added both more comedy and context to the plot. Some of the references, especially the long debated concept of “Han shot first,” made the movie even more enjoyable. Also, all the events tied in effortlessly with the rest of the saga.

The plot, although it started off promising, was a letdown. Events in the beginning such as a speeder chase, Han’s experiences with the empire, and the train heist established a good tone and pace for the movie, which slowed down as the movie progressed. Pretty late in the film a very interesting and well thought-out character reveal occurs, but it was too late in the movie for me to care about what the characters were trying to accomplish. I went into the film expecting more from the Kessel Run, which was shown a lot in trailers. The fact that the Falcon can make the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs becomes legendary, and that scene in the movie was rushed and not well done. The writers had so many directions they could have taken to make this scene feel like a big deal, yet they didn’t do it. It felt like they took the easy way out of writing this scene.

Something I really enjoy from Star Wars stories is that more aspects of the war are able to be explored. In all of the episodes, the plot always involve the bad side chasing the good side and there is not much else in the war besides that. Movies like Rogue One and Solo explore more aspects of the war. They also focused a lot on not knowing who to trust and betrayal, which is a nice continuation after DJ turned on Finn and Rose in The Last Jedi. A character from The Phantom Menace was also brought into the film, who I thought deserved more character background, which tied things together well and was a good plot reveal.

Although this is only the second Star Wars Story, I feel like Rogue One really set a tone for how Star Wars stories should be, and although Solo mostly seemed like a stand alone film, there was a lot of set up at the end for a sequel. This disappointed me, as it made it feel more like a Star Wars episode than its own thing.

I was also really excited for the soundtrack, as the music in the trailers was really good and set the tone for how the movie was going to be. However, the music had mostly repeats of themes from Star Wars episodes, and although I like the references, it made it feel less unique as a Star Wars story.

Overall, I think Solo had a lot of strong elements in it. I enjoyed the characters, visuals, and references, but the plot could have been a lot better. There were so many moments throughout the film that could have been more unique and thoughtful, as the most important scenes felt rushed and cliche. With all that being said, I still loved watching Solo for the quirky humour and insight into more of Han’s world, and I’d definitely recommend seeing it in theaters.

About the Writer
Anna Henning, Academics/Activities Beat Leader

Anna Henning is working as a Copy Editor and BEAT leader for Etched in Stone. The sophomore has been a part of the staff for a year and looks forward to her leadership roles this year and within the program. She writes articles on a range of topics but her favorite to write are movie reviews. In fact, her favorite movie franchise is Star Wars and her favorite episode is Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. On her first year writing she discovered her passion for journalism, and continues to be a key member of the staff.

Outside of the paper Henning dances for the Fossil Ridge High School dance team, and this is her first year on the team. Despite being new to dance team, Henning has been dancing her whole life. She did ballet for 11 years until an injury made her decide to try something new and pushed her to join the school team. Now being on the team, Henning has found a great passion for learning hip-hop because she never had previously danced many other dance forms outside ballet. Along with her love for dance and movies, she enjoys reading in her free time. Among her favorite genres to read are mystery and action novels, nothing boring. She loves all kinds of music, although her favorite band is Twenty One Pilots. Her final interest at Fossil is choir in which Henning is a part of Femina, the select women’s choir.

The prominent young journalist plans to pursue a four year degree at a university after high school. Her goal is to become a journalist for an international charity to combine her passions of humanitarianism, travel, and journalism. In the upcoming school year Henning hopes to be successful in her leadership roles and academic career.

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