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May 15, 2018

Spoiler-Free Review of SOLO

If you've listened to The Dorky Diva Show or had any conversation about Solo: A Star Wars Story with me for longer than five seconds, you probably know how hyped I've been over the last couple years for this movie. While some Star Wars fans have been very uneasy about the choice of Alden Ehrenreich to play Han Solo or even the general concept of making this movie, I've been over here having a one-woman party on the hype train. After seeing Solo last week, I really wanted to share my initial reactions and thoughts, but I also wanted to wait for the review embargo to be lifted. This review will contain NO spoilers. This is purely going to sum up how I felt about the characters, cast, and overall plot. None of the major plot points or exciting moments will be given away. I truly want everyone to have the same experience I did while watching the movie so I'm suggesting that you stay completely clear of spoiler-filled reviews about Solo. Mute as many Solo related words in your Twitter timeline too! I promise the wait will be worth it. Alright, with all of that said...let's get to it!

The Plot

The film starts with a look into Han Solo's life when he's starting to figure out where he belongs and where he should be going. He wants to be a pilot, but nobody will give him a shot. After a time jump, he eventually joins a crew of scrappy smugglers on a job to retrieve a specific item. I'll leave out the name of that item in case some of you find it to be a spoiler. Along the way, Han encounters trials of the heart and mind where he must prove himself and his loyalty. He befriends the mighty Chewbacca and dashing Lando Calrissian during his journey.

I felt like the overall mission of Solo wasn't anything that was totally mind-blowing or a concept that would completely alter the story of Star Wars. It was an interesting job that made sense to the world of Star Wars so I have no complaints on that. The movie definitely became more about the characters and relationships than the job at hand in my opinion. 

I really love how they introduced Chewbacca into the movie. I wasn't sure how Chewie and Han would become friends, but it's really sweet and a little funny. We also learn where Han's name comes from and who gave it to him. I never really wondered why Han Solo was named Han Solo, but it's neat that we get to learn that bit about his life. 

When this film was in early production, it was very clear that Solo would involve a lot of humor. After seeing The Last Jedi and absolutely hating the goofy, childish humor in that movie, I was a little worried about how the jokes in Solo would play out. To my relief, none of the jokes in the movie made me cringe or react negatively. I got a lot of giggles out of the film and a few big laughs. None of the humor felt out of place or inappropriate to the situations the characters were in. It was just quick, snarky comments from Han Solo and the gang which felt exactly like the original trilogy Han we all know and love. 

The Crew

Speaking of Han, this movie features a ton of other characters. Chewie and Lando are some familiar faces. Tobias, Qi'Ra, Val, Dryden, L3-37 and Rio were all new. When Emilia Clarke was announced to be playing Qi'Ra, I wasn't sure what to think. I love her performance in Game of Thrones, but I didn't know how she would fit into the world of Star Wars. She surprisingly turned out to be one of my favorite characters in the whole film. Qi'Ra has a very big heart, but also a lot of conflicting emotions. I felt like she represented a lot of women and I think a lot of girls will be able to relate to her. She was also a total badass and carried her own weight in every battle- never crying for help or needing rescuing. As for the rest of the characters, there wasn't one person I didn't like. That's extremely rare for me in Star Wars movies. In Rogue One, I really liked Cassian and K2-SO, but some of the other main characters didn't really interest me. I was happy to feel a connection with each and every one of these new characters in Solo. Oh and speaking of K2-SO, L3-37 is totally giving him a run for his money in Solo. L3 is the most hilarious and sarcastic droid I've ever seen on screen. I can't wait to talk about this new robot more once the movie is out. Everyone is going to love her!

As for the acting, Alden made me truly believe he was Han Solo. There was never a moment where I thought, "Hmm...that didn't seem like Han," or "Ohh, he could've said that line better." He nailed the entire performance and his chemistry with all the other actors was off the charts. I really liked his scenes with Emilia Clarke. Donald Glover seemed more like Lando Calrissian than I ever could have imagined. The casting was spot on for all the characters.


The Twists

As I mentioned earlier, there are a few big twists in this movie which really surprised me. I'm not going to talk about those twists at all, but I wanted to share some of the emotional highs and lows of the film. Personally, I didn't have any moments where I was brought to tears, but there were a few sweet moments that really warmed my heart. I felt like I was sitting on the edge of my seat during a few scenes and the big twists made me gasp out loud. There weren't any moments that I felt were too slow or unnecessary. It was jam-packed with tons of action sequences so I recommend going to the bathroom before the movie starts because there's not a lot of time for restroom breaks! Even though it was fast-paced, it never felt too fast like The Last Jedi. That movie really seemed to jump all over the place and never gave me time to marinate with the characters, but Solo followed the same group of people while they were getting into tricky situations and allowed you to connect with them. 

The World

Out of all the new "Disney era" Star Wars films, this one feels the most real. The sets, the costumes, and all of the creatures felt so real. Everything was gritty and looked lived in. Nothing stood out to me as being obviously CGI. I really couldn't be happier with the overall design and cinematography of the movie because it felt so authentic. I can't wait to watch it again to focus more on the background details and characters. The music was also really enjoyable. It wasn't similar to a John Williams style, but it fit with the movie and had a different spice of Star Wars vibes to it. 

I had insanely high expectations for Solo and somehow Ron Howard managed to create a movie that exceeded those expectations. In the grand scheme of Star Wars ranking, I think I'd put this one right up there with Episodes IV and V. When you head to the theater to see Solo, get ready for a fun ride full of action-packed goodness and you won't be disappointed! 

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