MOVIE REVIEW: Solo: A Star Wars Story

The second standalone film in the Star Wars universe overcomes obstacles to deliver super fun heist-in-space
solo Han Solo and Chewbacca go full throttle in Solo: A Star Wars Story. (Disney/Lucasfilm)

Han Solo. Seriously, is there a cooler name in the history of movies?

Even though the story of the Jedi and Sith dominates the Star Wars episodes, you could argue that no one left as strong a mark on the films as he has. He didn't need the Force to win our hearts. From his easygoing charm and fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants battle plans ("We'll just float away with the rest of the garbage!") to his mighty best buddy, Chewbacca, and the universe's sweetest ride, the Millennium Falcon, Han had it all.

And above all, despite his 'I know what I'm doing!' attitude and shady smuggler past, he always had a heart of gold. When someone needed him, no matter how unsafe the situation, Han showed up. Where did that guy come from?

That question is what Solo: A Star Wars Story is here to answer.

Escape from Corellia to ... escape from everywhere else!

Donald Glover is Lando Calrissian in SOLO

"Is this seat taken?" Is Han ready to match Lando Calrissian at a game of Sabacc? (Disney/Lucasfilm)

When we first meet Han Solo in this film, he is a just a young street kid. He and his girlfriend Qi'ra are trying desperately to escape Corellia, a planet famous for building enormous spaceships—and infamous for its filth, crime, and poverty. The pair dream of having a ship of their own and a life far away from their home. To do this, Han relies on his wits, skill, daring, and ability to talk his way out of nearly any situation.

But once off Corellia, life doesn't get any easier. Everywhere, Imperial forces are taking over worlds and claiming them for the new Galactic Empire. As all of this is happening, pirates and criminal organizations like Crimson Dawn are fighting for control over territory, resources, and money. After three years away from home, Han is an average soldier in the Imperial Army who is no closer to getting the ship of his dreams.

Until a chance meeting with a smuggler named Tobias Beckett changes everything.

Becoming Han Solo

Emilia Clarke is Qi’ra and Alden Ehrenreich is Han Solo in SOLO

Han's old girlfriend Qi'ra escaped Corellia ... but is she the same person she once was? (Disney/Lucasfilm)

But not right away, of course.

Solo shows us the stories behind how Han meets many important people and things in his life—Chewie, Lando Calrissian, the Falcon, even the Rebellion and Jabba The Hutt. But one of the best parts of the movie is how things never go as you expect. In this lawless world, friends and enemies change in the blink of an eye. Tobias tells him, "Assume everyone will betray you, and you will never be disappointed."Does that include Qi'ra? Lando? Chewie? Tobias himself?

Alden Ehrenreich has big shoes to fill as young Han Solo. (Disney/Lucasfilm)

As Han Solo, actor Alden Ehrenreich Han-dles these questions with ease. This is really impressive since there is so much pressure on him to play such a classic character. But we fell in love with Ehrenreich's Han pretty quickly. You can see the older hero he becomes, while digging the younger version on screen. A guy still trying to figure out the life that he wants to live ... and who he wants to live it with.

Classic Star Wars adventure

Millenium Falcon in SOLO

The Millennium Falcon looks a bit different in Solo ... but we're pretty sure Han will take care of that... (Disney/Lucasfilm)

In the end, we think that you'll enjoy watching Han go from small-time thief to major smuggler with a heart. Along the way, this film is full of chases, action, crazy creatures, and comedy. And the budding friendship between Han and Chewie is especially fun to watch. Who doesn't love tons of Wookiee?!

And like Rogue One—the universe's first standalone film—it proves that you don't need a bunch of lightsabers to make a great Star Wars movie. Check out the trailer below.

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