Solo: A Movie Review
Ya know, Solo: A Star Wars Story ended up being a little more of an interesting experience than I thought it would. There were highs, and lows, and hidden Easter Eggs for fans; John Powell's score was pretty solid, and the action sequences were fun. When it comes down to it for me, I am never going to see Harrison Ford in Alden Ehrenreich, and you may call that nit-picking, but whatever. Aside from that you can tell Ehrenreich spent the time trying to bring Han's mannerisms, wit, smirks, and self-confidence into the role, and I can appreciate that effort.
The way Han and Chewy meet should be pleasing to fans as the premise didn't change from what has long been known about these characters' histories. Han, a member of the Imperial Navy, deserts with an enslaved Wookie, and up until now we only had comics and Extended Universe novels to see that play out. It was great seeing Chewy get so physical, but it should be no surprise either. If we're going to get chronological with this, the last time we have seen Chewy prior to Solo: A Star Wars Story was on the shoreline on Kashyyyk, at the end of Episode III. So not only do we know that he has no love for the Empire, but he's a proficient warrior as well.
I'll go into these two a little more if we talk about it on the show, but overall, I think the relationship between Han and Chewy developed in a believable and genuine way.
The other thing about Star Wars has always been the ability to personify inanimate objects, making them essential characters in the process. Anakin's Lightsaber, for example, which was tossed around, and anticlimactically destroyed in The Last Jedi —many Star Wars themes were destroyed in The Last Jedi— had been an important relic of in the franchise, since 1977. The Millennium Falcon is no different.
It is always great to see the Falcon because it never disappoints. It's always going to be that same nocked-coin shape; it's propulsion systems are always going to rev up with a familiar high squeal, resulting in a blast of bright blue plasma; and, like our favorite droids, will always be back at the end of the film, in good working order, no matter how beat up it gets along the way.
Which brings me to some of my lows:
L3, Lando's droid that won't shut up about Equal Rights for Robots.
Whoever programmed this droid to be such a stick in the mud was a sadistic son of a bitch. It's one thing to listen to an alien creature complain about being low man on the social totem pole; it's another thing to listen to a droid, whose personality was programmed into them, complain about droids being made to fight each other in cage combat. I was GIDDY when this thing got blown to bits, but nothing compared to watching Lando struggle to drag the torso of L3 across the battlefront as if it were a scene from Platoon —it read more like Tropic Thunder. And this is why C-3P0 and R2 were always kept firmly within the realm of comic relief—they're droids!
How many times as 3PO been torn limb from limb, only to return at the end of every episode, reassembled and shined up like new? As L3 and Lando had their Forrest Gump/Bubba Vietnam moment, was anyone else thinking to themselves...uh, just keep L3's head and you'll be able to get her all fixed up. I'm sitting there saying to myself, "What the fuck am I watching right now?" The kids sitting next to us were laughing, too.
Which brings me to my last point, for now—and it's not even really a "low":
Lando. Donald Glover did a fine job. I had always envisioned what those games of Sabacc between Lando and Han were like— the card games that lead to the Han and Chewy winning the Falcon. Lando's still the same style-obsession, self-assured swindler, and I loved it. But you now what? Aside from coming on to the gorgeous Emilia Clarke, Glover's character never showed more sexual interest in anything or anyone in the way he was interested in money and status.
Which leaves me to a new recurring Star Wars/Disney point:
Why on earth did Jonathan Kasdan say what he said about Lando's "pan-sexuality"? Why can't these people help themselves?
Before the release of Rogue One, writer, Chris Weitz, felt the need to get onto Twitter and draw lines of comparison between the Empire and White Supremacy and our newly elected President, Donald Trump. He wanted people to go into the theaters paying special attention to how the Rebellion was a multicultural force, lead by strong womynz. So, naturally, people get pissed off and wary of the release, which is unfortunate because Solo wasn't anywhere near the cinematic disaster that was The Last Jedi. So, why are any of these Social Justice public service announcements necessary, or allowed? Why do they do this? It's a huge part of the reason why the franchise is going to continue to drop off and wither on the vine—the numbers on Solo and the mum reviews should be a telling sign in itself.
The reviews aren't even that bad, but there's just no juice for it... Perhaps if Disney had more than half of the people who gave life to Star Wars in the first place still on board, this would be a much different outcome?
To me, It's one thing to accept that Star Wars is controlled by Disney, which is controlled by a gaggle of progressives who can't allow themselves to create something for all people to enjoy. It comes through in their plot-lines, their characters arcs, their casting, and the promotion therein. It brings the conversation to a whole other level when they actually do a decent job (Solo & Rogue One) for fans and these freak-show writers still can't control themselves enough as to refrain from giving people viewing instructions when they watch the film.
Alright. Rant over. There's more to say but maybe we'll talk about this to close out a broadcast this week.