Solo: A Star Wars Story | Kilburnlad | Film | Reviews

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Solo: A Star Wars Story


Solo: A Star Wars Story

And so the saga continues, although this time it's Han Solo's story. One could feel that they are squeezing the pips out of the franchise, but in fact it's not a bad yarn, and it has the look of the original trilogy, which also can't be bad. Although with an estimated budget of $250 million, it ought to be good.

We begin on Corellia, a ship-building planet where the young Han is a scrumrat, surviving on his wits in a world of criminality. His love is Qi'ra, also a scrumrat, and Han has a plan to get them off Corellia. He has stolen a phial of extremely valuable hyperfuel, which he uses as a bribe to get them on an outgoing transport. But as the gate closes Qi'ra is grabbed by their pursuers, and Han has to leave without her. He vows to return.

Volunteering for the Imperial Flight Academy, he is accepted, somewhat easily I thought. But he is expelled from there and ends up an infantryman, which as we know isn't the the safest ticket in town. In an attempt to escape he tries to blackmail a group of criminals by threatening to expose them, but all this achieves is him being fed to the 'beast'. The beast, however, turns out to be none other than Chewbacca, and Han's ability to speak a bit of Shyriiwook enables him to 'make a deal' and both of them break free. At this point the leader of the criminal group, Beckett, decides that the two of them might be an asset on a 'job' they have planned, and he takes them on board.

And so begins the story proper, where we are introduced to the Crimson Dawn Syndicate, for whom Beckett is working, led by Dryden Vos, a somewhat unsavoury character, as you might expect. But there is a surprise for Han when he, Chewbacca and Beckett go to meet Vos. The reason they're there is basically to plead for 'another chance'. Han is shocked, therefore, to encounter Qi'ra, now an elegant young woman who seems to be tied in some way to Vos, and who by her own admission isn't the same person who Han left on Corellia. But Han is still smitten.

To placate Vos the group set off on a dangerous mission, with Qi'ra going along to keep an eye on them for Vos. It is during this mission that the Millennium Falcon must make the Kessel Run in less than 20 parsecs, the famous accolade that the older Han bestowed on his ship when Princess Leia questioned its capabilities in the original Star Wars. But we're jumping ahead, as the team haven't yet acquired this ship. Once again, Han's wheeler-dealer skills come into play when he is introduced the Falcon's owner, Lando Calrissan, although there's a hitch or two along the way. We also meet Lando's droid co-pilot, the rather refined L3-37, played by the equally refined Phoebe Waller-Bridge, granddaughter of a Baronet. Yet again a droid almost steals the show.

The final acts set the scene for the inevitable sequel, while also laying the ground for the forthcoming rebellion. The final words being those of Darth Maul, who isn't happy.

Alden Ehrenreich is perhaps physically not quite a believable younger version of Harrison Ford, but in terms of personality he carries off the role with aplomb. There have been rumours of him being given an acting coach, which is more than ironic given he played a singing cowboy who couldn't act in Hail Caesar! Meanwhile Emilia Clarke is suitably enigmatic as Qi'ra.

If you're a Star Wars person you will of course want to see this film.