Solo: A Star Wars Story ★★★★

I think Star Wars is in a strange place where people either believe each entry into the series is a masterpiece or "not Star Wars". Big, operatic and emotionally draining movies; stories defined by mysticism, heroes and villains, and the fate of the universe. Solo is notably smaller...different. In some ways bad, in others good. I can see the shamelessness in the very existence of Solo. A movie detailing the origins of the iconic hero wasn't necessary; his story didn't *need* to be told. Lots of the homages to former movies were a bit hokey, and it's obvious that what was once a breathtakingly original and beloved creation at the hands of George Lucas is being...cheapened, in a way, by Disney's expansion of this universe.

But to me, the differences here are refreshing. There's no Skywalkers, no mention of the Force, no grandiose battle for the soul of some young individual set against the fate of the galaxy; it's just a young kid finding his way in a big universe. Now don't get me wrong, I still favor those passionate and epic entries much, much more than Solo. But does that make this a bad movie? I'd say no. This is a well-constructed, exciting and entertaining movie. All the transparent fan-service predictably tugs at my geek-strings, and the movie does enough on it's own merit to warrant it's existence. Ehrenreich, the train scene, the Kessel Run, the Sabacc games, overall creature design, Chewie, the Falcon, the score...all things I'd gladly pay the price of admission for any day. It may not stand with the giants that precede it, but this is a breezy, fun and abundantly satisfying film that will satisfy a broad fanbase. I'd like to see Disney do more small stories like this, just not necessarily on the backs of such famous characters.

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