Disney and Lucasfilm seem to be on a roll when it comes to beefing up the Star Wars universe.
After the success of Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, two sequels that introduced us to a slew of new characters while bringing back some familiar faces from the original trilogy, the powers that be decided the next adventure they wanted to expand on should spotlight everyone’s favorite smuggling, swashbuckling spaceship captain, Han Solo.
Solo was a rogue and an anti-hero in the original trilogy, an outlaw who could care less about saving the galaxy and defeating Darth Vader but who found himself roped into the fight thanks to a certain Princess and of course, Luke Skywalker. He met a tragic end in The Force Awakens — no spoilers, but really, by now you should know how that movie ends — but that just freed up Disney to explore the mysterious beginnings of the charming space scoundrel.
Much like Rogue One, Solo: A Star Wars Story takes fans back to the early days of the Resistance, as the Rebel Alliance begins plotting on how to take down the oppressive Empire, but the movie is less about defeating that dark enemy and more about Solo’s journey to becoming a thief and an outlaw. Alden Ehrenreich plays the smooth-talking miscreant with a murky past who teams up with future co-pilot Chewbacca and notorious gambler Lando Calrissian for a daring adventure.
So basically, Solo: A Story Wars Story is a heist film, just set in space, and critics seem to be loving it.
The film’s premiere in Los Angeles last night marked the first screening offered to the press and people couldn’t contain their excitement at seeing such a truly “epic” origin story for one of the greatest heroes in the galaxy.
#Solo was a blast. The Kasdans nail the character of Han Solo. Yes, the story is a series of expected events (Han meets chewie....etc) but none of them happen as expected. Stay away from spoilers, big Marvel-level shit that will make you wonder where Lucasfilm is headed next.— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) May 11, 2018
I like heist movies, I like westerns, I like this cast, I like Star Wars. I enjoyed #Solo A Star Wars story. It looks fantastic, everyone does a fine job, there are some great rewards for the hardcore faithful, if a few too many clobber us over the head callbacks. Woody is my MVP pic.twitter.com/mFOww4NmLY— Ryan J. Downey (@ryandowney) May 11, 2018
Yes, I live and breathe @starwars. I know with each new one, I say it’s the greatest one ever. But #Solo delivers in every way. Funny, suspenseful, emotional, a truly epic origin story. If this film doesn’t make your heart happy, then just give up on watching movies. #kesselrun— Adam F. Goldberg (@adamfgoldberg) May 11, 2018
Alden Ehrenreich is the real deal, Thandie Newton is who I want to be when I grow up, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s L3... well we’ll talk about that later. ???? #SoloAStarWarsStory— Angie J. Han (@ajhan) May 11, 2018
All of this is a bit of a relief to fans of the series after the behind-the-scenes drama the film endured before its premiere. Producer Kathleen Kennedy famously fired directing duo Phil Lord and Chris Miller six month into shooting after being unhappy with their artistic vision. Lord and Miller reportedly had a conflict with Lawrence Kasdan, a writer who worked on the original trilogy with creator George Lucas, while filming in London. Kennedy brought in Ron Howard to finish the film and Howard was reportedly forced to reshoot most of the movie with Kasdan reworking a good deal of the script.
It’s not the first directorial-disagreement that’s occurred on the set of a Star Wars film. Gareth Edwards, the director of the 2016 Rogue One was given the ax shortly after principal photography and Jurassic World’s Colin Trevorrow was brought on to direct 2019’s Episode IX before being dismissed by Kennedy after script-writing trouble. Instead, J.J. Abrams, who worked on The Force Awakens, is returning to help Episode IX and it sounds like Howard’s vision for Solo fit not only Kennedy’s idea of what a good Star Wars story should be but the critics’ and the fans’ as well.