Solo: A Star Wars Story ★★½

It’s fun enough, I guess.  While the casting of Emilia Clarke (Game of Thrones) and Paul Bettany (Avengers) seems like an indulgence in the genre flavors of the day, Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover, and Alden Ehrenreich fit into this galaxy perfectly (even if the latter comes across more like a young Dennis Quaid than a young Harrison Ford).  And the resolution of the relationship between Solo and his mentor is a dramatically satisfying surprise.

But this second “Star Wars story” to center around a heist gets a half grade off just for bringing a dead character back - allowing the fanboy wish fulfillment of the “Expanded Universe” to infect the more elegant (and more broadly palatable) cinematic universe.  And this gratuitous cameo only underscores the primary weakness of this origin spin-off: the myth building of the original series has taken a back seat to myth embellishment.