Earlier this blockbuster season saw a lot of fuss being made about the “failings” of the latest Star Wars story – the one-off chapter which promised to provide an entertaining backstory of Han Solo.
A combination of middling reviews and disappointing box office returns saw Solo exit theaters quicker than you can say “Han Solo made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs.”
Since its release, the less than stellar performance of the film also led to many think pieces and ultimately became a case study of what is wrong with ill-judged franchise or cinematic universe films. It also tested the limits of how much of a good thing is “too much of a good thing” for audiences.
From Jump …
For those who did not follow the production news for the past couple of years, just know that prior to its release, the signs were not exactly promising – production delays, changes in the director’s chairs, multiple re-shoots, etc. never really bode well for any film. In this case, add to that the mixed reception (putting it mildly) of The Last Jedi (which I liked), I suspect that the audience’s collective patience has worn a bit thin. Anything less than ‘perfection’ (a relative term if ever) immediately spells doom for the film.
For a little background/context, as much as I was once OBSESSED with the Star Wars franchise I have to admit over time, I have been less concerned with the overall narrative and how the pieces round out the entire Star Wars universe. The general themes and participants in the story remain important to me, but when I enter the cinema, I am looking at each film on its own merits. The fact that this is a one-off/single installment also helps. So when I left Solo, I felt thoroughly entertained.
By no means is Solo perfect (see my earlier reaction to the previous “Star Wars Story” – Rogue One for more on that), but I would be lying if I did not admit that it scratched the itch of visually presenting the backstory to the legendary (mis)adventures Han (and Lando) referenced in previous Star Wars movies. And while I have not read any of the expansive collection of Star Wars books, I would also assume the film borrowed from that literary universe as well.
The Final Verdict
So, my dear readers – if you did not see the film because of the bad press kept you away from the multiplex, may I suggest that you give Solo a try in the comfort of your own home. You may find yourself pleasantly surprised.