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Tonight I was fortunate enough to join my co-workers at an industry preview showing of Solo at Lucasfilm / Industrial Light and Magic at the Presidio in San Francisco. Not my first time here, but I promise you every visit makes you feel like a child on Christmas.
I was absolutely convinced that this movie was going to be garbage. Some of my co-workers went to Lucasfilm to see a plot overview so they could work on marketing and they all came back underwhelmed. The overall buzz on the internet around Alden Ehrenreich's performance and other little things of the type further squealched my hopes for this film. I was as ho-hum about this movie as you could possibly be for something with the Star Wars name on it.
Boy was I wrong.
Solo was a blast. Not a critically important film, or even a story that needed to be told. But man, it was just SO MUCH FUN. I felt like it was the MCU movie of the Star Wars universe. Heavy on action, one-liners and silly moments, yet endlessly entertaining from start to finish.
Prime has previously said that Star Wars main character is, from certain points of view, the Millennium Falcon. Solo tells the origin story of the Falcon. I love how they treated that ship, as a pristine, Corellian freighter with all the highest technology of the time. Slowly being beat to pieces over the course of the movie. Such a treat to see that ship in such detail.
The acting was such a non-issue for me compared to what I expected. Alden made for an excellent portrayal of a young Han Solo, going through experiences that eventually lead him to become the hardened, trust no one Han we know from the original trilogy. He wasn't perfect, but I think he was casted well.
Donald Glover, however, absolutely NAILED it as Lando. Holy cow. It was as if they went back in time, plucked a young Billy Dee Williams out of his seat, and brought him forward to act in this film. The sound of his voice, his mannerisms, the way he looked and reacted to things.... absolutely perfect casting for young Lando. Watching the way his "friendship" blossoms with Han is so good.
Chewbacca, also, is such a treat in this film. Watching the bond between him and Han form and strengthen is SO GOOD. It's so crazy to see so much depth added to a character that can't even speak in a way that we can understand. Loved it. Chewie is a star in this movie.
Overall I had a blast watching the film. The first 3rd of the film drags a little, but the 2nd and 3rd acts really pick up the pace. Like Rogue One, I enjoyed seeing planets under control of the Empire at the peak of their power. Also, holy balls Darth Maul lives. Are you kidding me. The gasps in the theater.... No one saw that coming.
Really my only complain was the whole implication that Han basically kickstarted and funded the Rebellion. I love the idea that it's something he's never wanted to directly be a part of, but has never truly been able to escape it. But it felt so tongue in cheek at the end of that movie. It was a bit much.
I'm anxious to see it again. There are so many moments for hard core fans (Chewie being defeated by Beckett at Dejarik via the SAME MOVE that R2-D2 gets him with in A New Hope was PERFECT). Good stuff.
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