Jump to content
Peter T Chattaway

Star Wars: Han Solo origin story spin-off

Recommended Posts

Ugh, this may be the first Star Wars movie that I pass on seeing.  At the risk of sounding like a grumpy old curmudgeon, this looks like the predictable outcome of turning films that were special triennial events into yearly commodities.  I shouldn't be surprised, since the folks that crap out The Hunchback of Notre Dame 3 are now in charge.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For some reason that Chaw review leads me to think this film is *also* going to give us a back-story, not just for the Kessel Run, but for the bit in The Empire Strikes Back where Threepio says to Han, "Sir, I don't know where your ship learned to communicate, but it has the most peculiar dialect."

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This movie is a landmark, at least, in that it's the first Star Wars movie since The Phantom Menace that I've decided to just wait for home video before I watch it. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Like Joel, I enjoyed this more than I thought I would.  It was entertaining and had a few genuine laugh lines.  It's still a lot of empty calories, though.  What leaves a bad taste and I ultimately find unacceptable, though, is the way that droid sentience is presented by one of the characters using much of the language employed in the abolitionist, civil rights, and feminist movements - and yet this is played substantially for laughs.    

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Andrew said:

What leaves a bad taste and I ultimately find unacceptable, though, is the way that droid sentience is presented by one of the characters using much of the language employed in the abolitionist, civil rights, and feminist movements - and yet this is played substantially for laughs.   

Yeah, the more I've thought about L3's character and her fate, the more I find the treatment of droids in the film and the employment of a liberative framework for comedic use problematic. Are droids sentient persons capable of love and moral choice, or are they mere machines for utilitarian use by "live" beings? Solo strongly suggests both, which is...confusing. Let's say Lando is truly in love with L3, and that she is capable of love too. What happens to her--being torn apart and "dying," then being uploaded to the Millennium Falcon as its new "brain" (are these the "special modifications" Han made?)--could either be seen as restorative and life-affirming in resurrecting her, but it also suggests that she's mere coding, a mechanical Gnosticism where her body doesn't matter as much as her system. And she's never heard from again on the Falcon, so is she "alive" still in the computer system? Is the Falcon now somehow sentient? Could we hear from L3 in future installments? Should we have heard from her all along?

I'm probably overthinking all this. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Joel Mayward wrote:
: . . . the more I find the treatment of droids in the film and the employment of a liberative framework for comedic use problematic.

Boy, you *are* in academia, aren't you! :)

The treatment of L3 is also annoying inasmuch as it contributes to the constant unnecessary fan-servicing (cf. C-3PO's line in The Empire Strikes Back, "I don't know where your ship learned to communicate, but it has a most peculiar dialect"; well, now we know, I guess...?).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Peter T Chattaway said:

Boy, you *are* in academia, aren't you! :)

I do find myself beginning far too many sentences with "Indeed..." ;) 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be very curious to know how this version differs from the Lord version, aside from the Bettany/Williams switcheroo.  Were the clunky parts (the final act, especially) clunky because they pieced this thing together from two sources, or because Kasdan & Son wrote a clunky script? 

And I really would have loved to have seen the dude who played young Harrison Ford in the Adaline movie play Han in this movie.  He just seemed to have the same knack at wry-ness that Ford has.

There's one line in this film that made me react to it with a huge eye-roll, at the end, when one character says, "You're the good guy".  To me, that tells me the filmmakers didn't understand their characters---at all.  And that, more than anything else, is why I think Solo fails for me.  It doesn't understand its own story.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I didn't have high expectations, and am not devoted to the larger Star Wars mythos, so maybe that's why I just enjoyed Solo and thought it was a perfectly good summer sci-fi action movie. I left the theater smiling, which was fine.

Andrew and Joel Mayward, if you want to find out what happens to a ship's AI in love and embodied (or not), read The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet and its sequel, A Closed and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers. I'm not as enthused about this series as some (there's a third book I haven't read yet), but they do go there. It won't solve the movie's problem, but you can't have everything.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've seen Solo twice. It's proven to be my favourite of the new films (and my favourite after Return of the Jedi and The Empire Strikes Back). One of my friends commented that she didn't like it because it felt cliched, but perhaps that is exactly why I enjoyed it. I think it's because I was disappointed with The Last Jedi - it doesn't offer us the answers we expected (who is Snoke? who are Rey's parents?) but instead departs into new territory. But Solo felt like visiting old friends because we already know Han, Chewbacca, and Lando (and as a "Star Wars Story" movie this familiarity is only accentuated when compared to Rogue One where we are introduced to a cast of characters who we don't have time to connect with). I enjoyed the nods to the past (when Han shoots first at the end people cheered in the theatre). I was impressed with Alden Ehrenreich's performance as a smug smuggler and Donald Glover was terrific. 

Edited by winter shaker

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's amazing, to me, how the very same things that people cite as flaws in this film are cited by others as its strengths. (A filmmaker I respect mentioned on Twitter how awesome it was that the film recycled John Williams' music -- though "recycled" wasn't his word for it -- and I pointed him to that earlier tweet of mine in which I cited the music-recycling as an example of one of the primary reasons this movie *didn't* work for me, and we had a bit of an exchange about that.)

The fact that this film ends with Han shooting first is... remarkable. How many other franchises have scenes like that, in which the new filmmakers are explicitly critiquing a change that the original filmmaker made to his own movie? (And in how many other cases like this is the new filmmaker a close personal friend of the old filmmaker?)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×