Solo: A Star Wars Story ★★★★★

Ok. So, the first time I saw this, I went in expecting it to be a train wreck. I knew the whole troubled production woes by heart and have never liked Ron Howard’s films. I went in having steeled my 35 year love of Star Wars emotions against the very real possibility that the latest entry in the cinematic canon would be a colossal piece of shit. It looked weird and behaved unlike any SW film before it, but I guardedly had to admit it was pretty damn entertaining.  

Watching at home, on glorious 4K disc, with all my trepidatious expectations abated and sated, let me just say: aside from Revenge of the Sith, this film is the best Star Wars movie since the original trilogy. Visually, this is a weirdly beautiful and hypnotically atmospheric picture. It truly looks unlike any other Star Wars film and while often quite dark, it is also gorgeously, romantically inky. It’s aesthetic really does evince an unknown galaxy, long long ago and far far away. 

The production and costume design is beyond brilliant. The world building beyond compare. It’s all of a piece with SW lore, but offers infinite new avenues for sci-fi eye candy. The two big set pieces just rock. As hard as anything in Star Wars ever. The train heist and the Kessel run are simply fucking awesome. 

The characters are all great and the performances all strong. L3 is my new favorite droid in Star Wars history. Lots of people like to bitch about her being an “SJW”, but fuck off. She’s great. I’ve complained about SJW’s in the past. Fuck me. The world is different now. Things are changing and need to change. I need to change. Maybe one of the best things about this movie is that it doesn’t try to present Han Solo as some savior of anything. He’s just a lovestruck doofus with a loyal dog. 

Solo: A Star Wars Story isn’t about the fate of the galaxy. It’s about what it means to die alone. It’s about trusting your fellow man. It’s about love and naïveté and learning how the world really works and living to fight another day. It’s a beautifully made film with a ton of heart and humor and I fucking love it.

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