As a long time Star Wars fan I reacted to the announcement of Solo with skepticism and worry. Like many fans I’m under the belief that we don’t need backstories for anything! But when the first trailer for Solo aired my mind was pleasantly changed.
It took one thing:
Click. Click. Bwwooooshh…
What I saw in that trailer was Han’s relationship to the Falcon, and I knew that even if Han wasn’t portrayed right, the Falcon would still be treated as a character in of itself! The Falcon would get the respect it deserved. It was no long Han’s backstory that I was interested in, it was the Falcon’s. Now I wanted to know how it changed hands from Lando to Han and I was thoroughly excited.
Something I love in scifi is the characterization of the vehicles. Your ship is as much a character as the rest of the crew, it can be said for Star Wars, Star Trek, Alien, Firefly. And if you can name at least three ships in Scifi you know what I mean. The Slave I, Nostromo, Serenity, etc…
Corelia, Kessel, Maw
For the first time in a while, a Star Wars movie has given us new locations that aren’t “one biome” or a boring tree or desert planet. And! Solo draws from the expanded universe source material with immense respect. We are finally able to see the industrial monster that is Corelia, to see the unique, and fabled mines of Kessel, and the legendary Kessel run introducing new fans to the Maw.
When I realized we were actually going to get to see the Kessel Run I was over the moon! I’d already done my research, I knew it meant Han was going to have to take a shortcut, but it had something so much more special in store for us. Frickin’ Cthulu itself, and the best Millennium Falcon moments on screen! I love a good explosion when a movie offers one, and the fuel injection moment would make Michael Bay weep! I was shouting out in the theater for joy!
The crown jewel of why Solo is an excellent Star Wars movie is the soundtrack! For the first time since these new Star Wars movies have been coming out, a soundtrack has left an impact on me. This is something I really value in movies. If I go buy the soundtrack afterwards or at least look it up, that means not just the visuals and the story stayed with me, but the emotions that movie carried.
You can say what you want about this being an underwhelming summer blockbuster, I was floored when I realized John Powell composed the soundtrack for Solo. So that’s why I was watching it thinking, “Oh my gosh, this music is awesome!” Because they got the master behind How To Train Your Dragon doing the score! John Powell is one of my all time favorite composers!
A Star Wars Story
I’m still guarded about the future spin-off movies. Rogue-One was monumentally terrible, and left no impact on the story of Star Wars as a whole, aside from negatively changing our perceptions on beloved characters. I will reject any future movies that CGI in deceased on de-aged actors. I hated Darth Vader in R-1, the antags were lame, the characters were bland, and by the time the big final scene came around, I didn’t freaking care. The only thing I’m mildly invested in is the fanart I can find shipping the blind guy and his seeing eye dog. (I care so little, I’m not going to look up their names.)
With The Last Jedi generally hated even though I rather like it, I issue a warning to future Star Wars movies. Give me these three things:
- Male leads
- More droids
- No Colored Hair
The Diversity “Issue”
If you’re desperate for more diversity, allow me to send you to Wookiepedia for the immense array of alien species, (many of whom are humanoid) and have lots of fun colors like Red, Orange, Blue, Green, and rainbow, not just ten different shades of brown that we can see on earth.
Do a little research on the Twi-Lek species, if you want to do a story on oppression, subjugation, and rising from their societal place in the galaxy, read up on their history. This is a species that was regularly enslaved and shown to be enslaved in multiple Star Wars media (Return of the Jedi, and The Clone Wars series). But Twi-leks were also trained to be Jedi, they had skilled pilots like Hera, and in the Expanded Universe there was a Twi-Lek named Nolaa Tarkona who fought against the protagonists and humans in general because she believed the humans oppressed all alien races. It’s quite applicable to our times.
I love my Star Wars girls, I love all my strong women… but I live for the guy characters, and the new movies are giving us no compelling male characters. As a straight girl there’s nobody on screen I can have the hots for, and even if I was into girls, none of them are really all that attractive. I mean what are my options? pasty-white, brown hair. Thanks, Rey, Jyn, Qi-ra, Leia, and Padme!
But in all seriousness, what is really important in our lead characters for the story to move along? And can we be okay with a male lead in an anthology primarily about war?It’s alright to drive war story with a male lead. It’s alright to have a female love interest. It’s alright to have a damsel in distress.
Leia and Padme were both damsels in distress. But you know what they did? The picked up Blasters, told the dudes to quit bickering and they got stuff done. With no political commentary or subliminal messaging. Leia and Padme didn’t put their dudes down for sometimes having their heads in the sand. They were supportive and soft like real women, but also badass and bad-guy-busting like space women. These things are okay.
This is the best new Star Wars movie because it has a male lead, respect to the source material, a personified ship, a snarky-droid, no significant love interest, all the diversity, and a killer soundtrack.
I want to complain about L3 and the agenda written into her character, but in the end I’m okay with it because she finds her purpose, has some snarky one-liners, dies, and then becomes a part of the Falcon, and I just love the idea of the Falcon having a snarky computer that R2 has to argue with later on in the trilogy.
I want to complain about Qi-ra but I can’t because she’s not a real love interest, she’s a stand-in for Leia, and she an Antagonist! which I love. A pretty grey character to join our midst like, Maul, Ventress, and Ahsoka. She’s bland and pointless, but hey she’s Daenerys Targaryen so all hail Khaleesi the Mother of Dragons.
I found the heist team was a little bland, but that CGI rolly-polly monkey guy was the life of the crew and I loved him.
Overall, I feel like Solo is the best new Star Wars, it has that musical masterpiece that the other movies are lacking, I was able to look past the new actor for Han and this actor did a good job portraying him. It was fun, it was fast, and I’ll be watching it again.