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Monday, November 23, 2020

Solo: A Star Wars Story Through Non-Fan Eyes

So far on my quest to give the Star Wars saga a second chance and attempt to understand why fans love it so much, I’ve reviewed the original movie, then back tracked a little to review Rogue One, which technically happens immediately before A New Hope but works better, or as best as can be expected, when watched immediately after it. And now, I’m doing another flashback before I continue the original trilogy.

Full explanation of my ranking system is here. Summary: C is average, A/B is recommended, D is badly made, F is something to avoid.

Solo: A Star Wars Story

Rating: C+

I was at first planning to continue on with The Empire Strikes Back, but decided from what little I knew about Solo that I should do it next. This is because the best place to look at Han Solo’s backstory seemed to me to be very soon after he’s introduced and is still fresh in our minds, but before we explore more of his future. Seeing who he once was may shed a light on what he does later.

Whether that worked or not, I’ll decide later, after I’ve watched a few more films.

As far as this film, though, it moves at a pretty good clip for most of the movie, but gets kind of draggy in the middle. In case anyone was wondering, the way I decide how sluggish or tedious a movie is, is to wait until I ask myself “How much more of this do I have to sit through?” This happened for Solo at the 40-minute mark and again at the halfway mark, but didn’t feel that way at all at the 30-minute mark.

What was noticeable at the beginning, though, was that most of the shots were shadowy or hazy. Not a very good look, visually. But even when the film switched to brighter scenes with more color, none of the shots were all that memorable, except maybe the train heist and the Kessel run… and that, unfortunately, didn’t look like space. A very bad thing to happen in a space movie.

On the upside, despite the movie’s focus on lowlifes and antiheroes, it had a bit more humor and spirit in places than Rogue One. It also didn’t seem to have as many awkward references to other Star Wars elements; references were certainly there, but they seem to be worked into the story better and not just fan service. I decided that the high points were more than enough to make up for the draggy bits and so-so visuals, making the movie slightly above average.

Next Up: OK, back to the main story…

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