<Review by: Sailesh Ghelani>


Directed by Ron Howard. Starring Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Paul Bettany, John Favreau, Linda Hunt

Running time: 2 hours 15 minutes


Looks like Disney is getting used to making lots of money and being very popular with all the fan boys and girls. With Marvel’s Avengers and now the Star Wars Saga continuing it looks like nothing is going to stop this force!

But are people getting a bit tired of it all? And is Disney overestimating the popularity of this decades old franchise and the love people have for the characters? There will never be another Han Solo i.e. Harrison Ford or Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher) the way we know them. Trying to reignite people’s passion for these classic films and characters is a valiant – and necessary – task that the studios have to do with the dearth of original ideas in Hollywood. Nostalgia is in now as people reminisce about the ‘good ol’ days’ when TV and movies used to be fun, have heart and amazing characters that weren’t all shiny and buff like they are today.


So Rogue One was an amazing story and far better than The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi but that’s also because it didn’t rely on any established characters (apart from Darth Vader, who elevates every Star Wars film). And while Alden Ehrenreich is acceptable in the role, he can never fill those particular shoes effectively. If you watch the movie as if it’s not about Han Solo, then it’s perfectly fine and a great adventure. In fact, I think the movie is really well-made and has enough action and intrigue to keep you interested. It’s probably just expectations that let people down. And the lack of any other ‘well-known’ Star Wars figures in the movie. It isn’t supposed to be like the ‘epic’ films and thank god it doesn’t have the irritating Kylo Ren in it!

Solo has some interesting back-story, great actors and fun action sequences. But it’s just let down by a lead actor that doesn’t have the presence or personality of the character we’re familiar with. The ‘A Star Wars Story’ films aren’t meant to be ‘familiar’, which is what’s great about them. It gives the writers a chance at some originality and creative license. Even though they’re basically rehashing an old tale with characters that have been around for decades.


Considering the production problems (the original two directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord were replaced with Ron Howard), Solo turned out pretty well and looks great. The hype around it having ‘bombed’ may simply be Star Wars fatigue and people realising Disney is simply trying to make a quick buck – or billions – out of stories and characters that they never created. At least they’re trying to do a good job and be faithful to lore. And really, they’re all we have right now in terms of a studio giving us good, quality entertainment.


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