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Defending Solo: A Star Wars Story

Adam Aleksic, Editor-in-Chief

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When I walked into a Sunday evening showing of Solo: A Star Wars Story, I was shocked to find maybe thirty people sparsely sitting in the theatre I expected to be packed. In retrospect, it wasn’t so surprising: many poor reviews had came out prior to its release. According to numerous sources, Disney was preparing for a flop (and they seem to be getting one, with only $36 million netted on the opening Friday, lagging well behind previous films), Alden Ehrenreich simply didn’t do a convincing job as Han Solo, the script was poorly written, and previous directors had been fired for doing such a bad job.

This was mostly true. However, despite all the naysaying, I enjoyed Solo. I didn’t come to see a deep story or Oscar-winning acting; I came to see some great action and have some backstories explained, and that’s exactly what I got. And if you’re like me, and are just looking for an entertaining Star Wars film, then by all means see it. This won’t become a generational movie, the stuff of legend, or a cult classic, but it certainly doesn’t merit the sheer amount of negativity it’s getting.

I, for one, really appreciated the nuggets of clarity shed by the movie. They explain how Han met Chewbacca, his relationship with Lando Calrissian, how he got the Millennium Falcon, how the Rebellion got funded, and, most importantly, how he did the Kessel Run in twelve parsecs (rounding down). The light provided on these topics already vindicated the movie in my opinion.

And while Ehrenreich may not have been a hundred percent rousing as Solo, many of the supporting cast did excellently. Donald Glover cut an extremely convincing scumbag gambler as Lando Calrissian, Emilia Clarke did superbly as love interest Qi’ra, and Woody Harrelson never disappointed as Han’s fleeting and unsavory mentor (and that’s not to mention L3, the abolitionist droid, who provided much-needed levity). Together, these interactions propped up the story and created an overall pleasing movie.

Above all, the action and animation was astounding. As can only be expected from a Star Wars film of the 2010s, the backgrounds were riveting, the on-screen battles were breathtaking, and the colors were vibrant. Excellent scenery was particularly prevalent during the Kessel Run, which coincided beautifully with some really awe-inspiring battle scenes. Solo took Star Wars to levels of skulduggery hitherto unexplored, the well-choreographed conflicts just washed over the audience, and we finally got a confirmation that Han indeed shoots first.

I don’t want to come across as too much of a Star Wars die-hard fanatic, so yes, there were some problems. There were a tad too many instances of deus ex machina, which started getting laughably eye-rolling after the third or fourth time. It didn’t leave as remarkable an impression as previous films of the franchise had and Ehrenreich did kind of do a shoddy job. I can’t really say what my biggest peeve was, because it’s too big of a spoiler, but let’s just say that the prequels and all of its characters deserve the same fate as Alderaan and shouldn’t be interacting with these spinoffs whatsoever. There certainly was a dubious cameo, and you’ll know what I mean as soon as you see the movie.

All of these scornful reviews are really missing out on the better parts of the movie to cast shade on the parts that aren’t all that important. We got our great action sequences, our great characters, our great visual effects. I came out of that movie happy about watching something fun and interesting, and you will too- don’t let the naysayers discourage you.

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