This is a first for the saga, two Star Wars films were released less than 6 months apart. Who would have believed it 5 years ago? What could have caused riots just a few years ago, however, aroused enormous mistrust from fans. It must be said that since its announcement, Disney has communicated very little about its new film. This lack of enthusiasm on the part of its sponsor, associated with the fact that it is a spin-off without real stakes (not to mention the rumors of a terribly chaotic shoot) let fear the worst. You might as well kill the suspense right away: Solo: A Star Wars Story isn't a bad movie. It's honest entertainment that conscientiously fulfills its specifications, but without really trying to go further.
What could be more iconic about Star Wars once you've told the story of the Skywalker family and explained in great detail the making of the Dark Star? The secondary characters remain, and Han Solo is by far the most popular. Lucas Film therefore decided to create an origin story about the most famous smuggler. Spoiler-free, we will discover how Han Solo escapes from the infamous streets of his home planet, Corellia, meets Chewbacca, falls in love with the Millennium Falcon and forges his legend with the legendary Kessel Raid, of which he boasts so much during the first trilogy. Ha, and there's also a pretense love story that's supposed to underpin it all. But it is completely anecdotal.
A perfectly respected specification, perhaps too much
And after more than two hours of film, we must recognize that if we stick to the script, the Lucas Film teams did well. I went to see Solo: A Star Wars Story with a really bad feeling and as a Star Wars fan I came out overall satisfied. Ron Howard understood what was the essence of a Star Wars movie. He took the perfect little modern Star Wars specification, put boxes on each of the lines, and checked them off.
City chases and desolate planets? Check. They are also sufficiently well staged to hold the viewer in suspense. A funny droid? Its good. A bit of humour ? There are few, but Ron Howard did not abuse it and it is often well integrated. Scenes of ground combat with the blaster? Also check. They are not bad, but I think I will have forgotten them tomorrow. Space sequences that show all the talent of Han and Chewbacca as pilots? He checked the small cross, and for once they are frankly satisfactory.
In short, if you want a pure Star Wars show, Solo does not disappoint, there is everything you can expect in terms of action and the whole is perfectly paced so you never get bored. However, this is not always enough and Solo suffers from some half-embarrassing, half-painful sequences that we never thought to see again after the second trilogy. Starting with sequences of artificial emotions as much as possible (in particular a famous scene on Kessel, which will make the creators of memes happy) or certain dialogues linked to the idyll between Han Solo and Qi'Ra, cutesy and often useless. This is a typical problem of the series, the progression of the plot, when it goes through the dialogues between the characters, often suffers from a heavy staging.
Some epic lack of breath
The actors, by the way, aren't really to blame in this. Alden Ehrenreich's performance in Han Solo is in this respect quite honorable. Without having the presence of a Harrison Ford on the screen, the young actor understood well what made the style and the casualness of the mythical smuggler, and seems rather at ease in his role, even in his mimicry. On the other hand, I am much less convinced by Emilia Clarke (Qi'Ra) whose presence seems commanded by the sole desire to integrate a love story that we do not care about (and which also seems to have no consequences) .
If there is one thing that we cannot fault Solo: A Star Wars Story, it is its great respect for the Star Wars universe. If you are a minimum fan, you will still be able to recognize characters, robots, ships and weapons that refer to the past of the series. The winks are numerous and not too supported and we really feel that Ron Howard, a good lover of the saga, has worked well on the lore of the series.
But if he knows perfectly how to exploit the mythology of the series, he does not invent anything and above all, does not add much. Okay, so you'll get some answers about the smuggler's past and how he forged his legend. But Solo: A Star Wars Story doesn't have the emphasis of a Star Wars VII or VIII or as many stakes as Rogue One. We watch the film with pleasure, but we come out with the feeling of having witnessed a minor event. It's still a shame for a saga that has always wanted to be epic.
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