It seemed impossible that Solo: A Star Wars Story would hit its May release date back when directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired during production last summer, but Lucasfilm pulled it off. Ron Howard quickly stepped in and retains sole directing credit on the finished product, and now fans can see the second-ever Star Wars anthology movie for themselves.
The film originated years ago with an idea by Lawrence Kasdan, the screenwriter behind Empire Strikes Back. He had always wanted to tell a Han Solo origin story and George Lucas agreed the film was worth making, and while Kasdan began working on the script with his son Jonathan Kasdan a few years back, he had to hit pause for a bit when J.J. Abrams brought him in to help co-write The Force Awakens.
But despite the stops and starts, Solo now exists, with Alden Ehrenreich in the lead role of a film that is very intent on serving fans left and right. This is a movie packed with references to the original trilogy (and beyond), nods to Star Wars lore, and Easter Eggs only the most knowledgeable of Star Wars fans will pick up on. I have a feeling that those who were dismayed by Rian Johnson’s aggressive push away from the past with The Last Jedi will be far more comforted and satisfied by the familiar and somewhat safe take that Solo offers.
Solo is quite a bit of fun and an enjoyable ride, with standout performances from Phoebe Waller-Bridge as L3 and Emilia Clarke as Q’ira, but this is the first film of this new Lucasfilm era where you can feel the shagginess behind the scenes. Some of the story doesn’t make a ton of sense, and some scenes are a bit incongruous with others, but ultimately this is a movie concerned mainly with giving audiences a good time, and it delivers on that front. And shoutout to MVP Bradford Young, who offers up maybe the most visually striking Star Wars movie ever made.
But enough of my rambling. Matt Goldberg’s review is on the site, but we want to hear from you. What did you think of Solo? Given all the behind-the-scenes turmoil, did it turn out OK? Did you still find yourself wishing you’d have seen Lord and Miller’s version? Does Ehrenreich get the job done as the new Han Solo? Sound off in the comments below.