There were fears the Disney/Lucasfilm empire couldn’t pull Solo off, because original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie) were abruptly fired over “creative differences” past year, necessitating major reshoots of the story by Howard, and there had been other rumours of on-set tensions. Original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie) were five months into filming when they were summarily dismissed (for the traditional “artistic differences”).
And maybe “fine” is good enough.
He’s not the only OG Star Wars presence to have an opinion on the Han Solo movie, however. Newton and Harrelson play Val and Tobias Beckett, respectively, married bandits who reluctantly allow young Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) the chance to join a unsafe heist they’ve been hired to pull off. (He won it from Lando in a barroom card game we now get to witness.) And how did he meet his shaggy copilot Chewbacca?
“I momentarily forgot how to act, say my name, function as a normal human being”, she said of the Solo set visit. “Ron Howard was born to direct it”. Ehrenreich is a pretty solid Han.
This tension shows up in the performance of Ehrenreich, doing an inconsistent impersonation of Ford, and one that feels less successful and assured than the Billy Dee Williams homage we get from Donald Glover here as Lando Calrissian.
Solo stars Alden Ehrenreich in the titular role opposite Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo and Paul Bettany. “One of the wonderful joys of making this movie is getting to watch things come into place that you know and love – and then some things that are very unexpected”, said Ehrenreich. As you know, we’ll all eventually find out. It also opens a mere five months after Star Wars: The Last Jedi hit theaters. Some are overt, such as the backstory of how Solo got the Millennium Falcon or what that “Kessel Run” he brags about in “Star Wars” was all about. It has some solid laugh lines; Han and Chewie remain a good duo. Jonathan Kasdan has emailed us with a correction, which we are posting below.
Still, Solo feels small and unnecessary and a bit pandering.
However, while Solo’s setting and time period probably had a lot of fans expecting appearances from Original Trilogy icons the new Star Wars standaloneactually pulls out a bigger twist, revealing the big villain from the Star Wars Prequels (as well as the Clone Wars and Rebels animated series) as a surprising part of its storyline. Oh, and when we aren’t gasping with excitement for Rian Johnson’s trilogy about, I presume, urchins who Force-sweep stables. But numerous earlier Star Wars pictures were able to at least create the illusion of sci-fi sleaziness with their glimpses at various facets of the galaxy’s criminal underworld. So few reasons given to care about any of it.