Solo: A Star Wars Story ★★★

It is so fucked that we didn't get to see Lord & Miller's version of this movie.

Most of my issues with Solo– the bad script of hacked-together cliches, the dull jokes and obligatory franchise-winks, the terrible editing that hides the poor close-up direction, the complete lack of subtlety or care in the way the story's delivered– I don't see them happening from Lord & Miller. Maybe that's my own rosy imagination, but what we got was so boilerplate that I wish Disney left it with the guys whose biggest criticism was "they take risks."

Ron Howard made... a very competent movie! The large action pieces (an early war scene, the train heist, the Kessel spice mines, this one incredible, almost-Lovecraftian flying sequence) rule. There are single shots in this movie (Qi'ra's last shot feels like a nod to Casablanca) that will stick with me. But... this was released in the summer for a reason, right? It's pure fluff. It adds nothing to the universe. If anything, it affirmed how good The Force Awakens & The Last Jedi were by showing me what neo-Lucasfilm mediocrity looks like. It doesn't need to exist, but why shouldn't it?

That said, my most controversial opinion about this movie is that it expands Star Wars into a place I like: where it's no longer only a precious, untouchable cultural landmark, but an extremely malleable universe that serves as a location for fun, space adventure stories. I didn't grow up with Star Wars. I'm not fatigued from more of it, I'm excited. I'm just starting to love it, and that love won't fade just because they gotta break up a string of home runs with the occasional... bunt to first base.

I just hope they try and swing for the fences once in a while. (Like, gimme that James Mangold Boba Fett space western right now. Straight to the veins, please.)

Stray thoughts:
• When I saw this at the premiere, the entire audience was BLOWN AWAY by [surprising reveal] in Qi'ra's final scene. In this viewing, no one cared. At all. And the theater was nearly empty. Opening night. Woof.
• The editing on this movie drove me nuts. There are multiple big sequences that cut straight into the next scene without any space to breathe, like they just knew they wouldn't have to account for the audience clapping.
• Alden Ehrenreich is great. I don't know why people were nervous about him. Donald Glover is very good. The accent was so hard to get used to because I know his voice. Phoebe Waller-Bridge & Thandie Newton are terrific. Really wish their roles were bigger.
It is so fucked that we didn't get to see Lord & Miller's version of this movie.

1. The Last Jedi
2. Empire Strikes Back
3. Return of the Jedi
4. The Force Awakens / A New Hope
6. Rogue One
7. Revenge of the Sith
8. Solo: A Star Wars Story
9. The Phantom Menace (haven't seen it)
10. Attack of the Clones (haven't seen it)

EDIT: just remembered that I fuckin called this joke, THREE YEARS AGO!!!!!

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