Solo (2018) – Ace Mini-Review

Solo: A Star Wars Story
Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover
Written by: Jonathan Kasdan, Lawrence Kasdan
Directed by: Ron Howard
U.S.A., 2018

How good is this movie?

Maybe it’s because I went into it with such low expectations, but I enjoyed Solo: A Star Wars Story way more than I thought I would! It is, in many ways, a How-We-Got-Here film with shout-outs to the earlier movies, but it also tells a story that stands on its own. Unlike some recent films I could mention, it’s not trying too hard to be funny, and the result is that it’s genuinely amusing. Perhaps the most surprising thing, though, is how much I liked the protagonist. I’ve said some pretty mean things about Han Solo in the past, but Alden Ehrenreich’s performance is not just an exaggerated version of the character we met in A New Hope. Instead, he portrays Han as a basically decent guy trying to make his way in a hostile universe. You can see how he might grow into the vain, cynical outlaw we know, but he’s still learning and, in some ways, resisting that role. Even more impressive is how well developed the supporting cast is. Just because it’s Han’s movie doesn’t mean he gets all the best lines, actions, or ideas. He feels more like part of an ensemble where everyone has complex personalities, relationships, and motivations. The film’s one disappointment is its unsatisfyingly ambiguous resolution of Qi’ra’s story, which is a let-down at the end. Even so, it may be the best Star Wars movie of the decade!

How ace is this movie?

Beckett and Val have a romantic relationship. The romance between Han and Qi’ra is also a major part of Han’s story. However, it doesn’t exactly follow the traditional romantic trajectory, and Han’s mentor-protégé relationship with Beckett and bromances with Chewie and Lando are just as important. Most interesting are the hints of tension between Lando and L3, which are ambiguously… romantic? Sexual? Something else? It’s not clear exactly what kind of a romance a droid and a human might have, but such a relationship could quite possibly be considered queer and very possibly ace.

3.5 Stars; 3 Aces


Today is the anniversary of the release of Star Wars – specifically the 42nd anniversary! Have an extra geeky Geek/Towel/Star Wars Day!

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