David Barry (pappubahry) wrote,
David Barry
pappubahry

Solo

(Spoilers.)

I concluded my second TLJ post by looking ahead to Solo: "I'll go in with low expectations – a fun hour and forty minutes of criminals shooting at each other, but fundamentally uninteresting in the broader SW universe. I don't really care about Star Wars for the smuggling." I could have added that I don't really care about Star Wars because of Han Solo either, the most over-rated character in the original trilogy.

This paragraph is just some more filler in case the intro isn't long enough to shunt any spoilers to below the preview text that will appear in social media links. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet!

All right, so I left the cinema thinking that Solo was a real mixed bag, and over the subsequent couple of hours my feelings are only getting worse. The film failed to live up to my low expectations. I won't watch it again in the cinema, and I'm mildly annoyed that I'll have to buy the DVD if I want to keep my little collection going. I expect therefore that my bullet points will be more superficial than usual. Let's go from worst to best.

  • Everything from the start of the movie till when Lando showed up. It was just a simulacrum of a Star Wars film, completely mindless, context-free action. Who are all these factions? No-one knows or cares. I had the impression that the writers were just making the whole story up.

  • Hey did you notice Han had those dice? Did you see the dice again? And again? And again? That's a reference.

  • There's a correctly deleted scene from ROTS where Anakin speaks a bit of binary. The non-repetition of this non-mistake in Solo also leads to the inelegant use of subtitles for Wookiee in precisely one scene before reverting to the usual practice of leaving the language unsubtitled.

  • Darth Maul! I almost laughed out loud. Darth Vader's cameo in Rogue One has been called completely gratuitous fan-service – yep! – but it had the advantage of being the most awesome scene in the whole of Star Wars. Darth Maul igniting his light-saber for no reason while Duel of the Fates plays... youtried.png.

    (I haven't watched Rebels, but I had read about how he Force-grew some spider-robot legs or something after getting cut in half, thus allowing him to be a character in that series, so I wasn't confused by his appearance.)

  • That scene of the gigantic alien octopus flailing its tentacles about as it tries to avoid the gravity well while the Millennium Falcon uses all its power to stay still, that will be a good gif that encapsulates the worst of Solo.

  • Some of the callbacks to the OT were a liiiitle too unsubtle; some of them were good. I liked the "I hate you"-"I know".

  • Too much of the plot is uninteresting, just a bunch of twists and double-crossing and whatnot. The proto-rebellion group was under-developed.

  • The treatment of droids is one of the great unexamined moral issues in the Star Wars Universe, and it deserved so much more than being played for laughs. Human-droid love, why not? We've seen Poe's reaction to BB-8's return (with Finn and Rose) in TLJ; Lando loving L3 is only a little bit more along that continuum.

    I'd like to consider the droid rebellion seriously, little though the film seems to want me to. Droids for the most part seem sufficiently well-programmed not to actively question their place, so it was strange for them to so eagerly embrace freedom at L3's announcement. Still it doesn't break all logic for me ("It's our lot in life"), and I hope that this latent desire for freedom is exploited as a device when writing the Droid Rebellion stand-alone movie.

  • I guess Qi'ra deserves a bullet point. Meh, a couple of cool action scenes doesn't make her character interesting.

  • I thought Alden Ehrenreich was pretty Han-y, close enough not to break it for me.

  • It was good that there are a lot of weird-looking aliens. It's a minor point but it's something that the last couple of Star Wars films haven't done so well.

  • When Chewie replaced Qi'ra as co-pilot on the Falcon, good nostalgia hit.

  • They canonised the twelve-parsecs-as-distance! My hope had been that he'd do the run in, say, 15 parsecs, but admitting that he was rounding down wins some points from me. This was one of the more important things to check off from ANH and they did it well.

  • The film picked up when Lando entered, like the plot suddenly had direction, a sense of purpose. I enjoyed a bunch of the scenes from then on.

  • That first cards game was great. I really felt the tension.

Overall, is it as good as The Phantom Menace? No. Is it as good as Clones? ...Also no, but it's close. I'm looking forward to the Rian Johnson trilogy.

5 > RO > 8 > 4 > 6 > 7 > 3 > 1 > 2 > S.
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