Solo hits cinemas today but it hasn’t had a smooth journey along the way. The film’s original director’s, Phil Lord and Chris Miller left the project after a few months and Ron Howard was tasked to save the day. Fans were skeptical on the idea of anybody trying to step into Harrison Ford’s shoes as he has made Han Solo a universally loved character; there was a concern that nobody could bring the same lovable smugness that Ford did as the audacious smuggler. However Alden Ehnrenreich delivers a stellar performance as a young Han Solo that has Ford’s own approval and should easily win over even the most cynical of fans.
The story follows Han’s adventures with Beckett (Woody Harrelson), Val (Thandie Newton), Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke), Lando (Donald Glover) and Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) with the film’s villain coming from Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany). The film boasts a proven cast in Harrelson, Clarke & Bettany but it also brings Donald Glover to the front of cinema where it’s clear he belongs as he puts in a great performance as a young Lando.
The film is rough around the edges and often doesn’t feel like a Star Wars film but it will definitely have viewers beaming with joy multiple times, especially with the interactions that take place between Chewie and Han. It shouldn’t be forgotten that this film is purely about Han Solo and it thrives in providing the audience a wealthy backstory that lets us know why Han is the brash outlaw that we meet in Episode 4.
The biggest pitfall of Solo is the introduction of a new droid, L3-37, who falls flat and seems to be in the film purely for comic relief that feels forced and is very often not at all funny.
The positives far out way the negatives in the newest addition to the Star Wars franchise and it safely delivers a great ride for one of films most iconic characters. Fans can rest easy knowing that Han Solo has been done justice by both the film and Ehrenreich.
– Ciarán Hayward