August 14, 2018

Winnipeg
18° C, Overcast

Full Forecast

Solo: world's most expensive fan film?

The story is sound, but Star Wars spinoff spends too much time connecting the dots

This second Star Wars spinoff after 2016's Rogue One prequelizes Harrison Ford's charismatic outlaw from episodes IV through VII, Han Solo... the original rogue one.

While a movie very much defined by the world according to George Lucas, the whole thing is reminiscent of a scene in... wait for it... Chaplin starring Robert Downey Jr.

In the scene in question, Chaplin recalls his discovery of the hat and cane he employed to create his Little Tramp character in terms that suggest an almost mystical bestowal by God.

In actuality, of course, they were just random props he happened to grab with no notion as to how they would later define him.

Get the full story.
No credit card required. Cancel anytime.

Join free for 60 days

After that, pay as little as $0.99 per month for the best local news coverage in Manitoba.

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Join free for 60 days

 

Already a subscriber?

Log in

Subscribers Log in below to continue reading,
not a subscriber? Create an account to start a 60 day free trial.

Log in Create your account

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

Your free trial has come to an end.

We hope you have enjoyed your trial! To continue reading, we recommend our Read Now Pay Later membership. Simply add a form of payment and pay only 27¢ per article.

For unlimited access to the best local, national, and international news and much more, try an All Access Digital subscription:

Thank you for supporting the journalism that our community needs!

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

We hope you have enjoyed your free trial!

To continue reading, select a plan below:

Read Now Pay Later

Pay

27¢

per article

  • Commitment-free
  • Cancel anytime
  • Only pay for what you read
  • Refunds available
Continue

All Access Digital

Introductory pricing*

99¢

per month

  • Unlimited online reading and commenting
  • Daily newspaper replica e-Edition
  • News Break - our award-winning iOS app
  • Exclusive perks & discounts
Continue

Mon to Sat Delivery

Pay

$34.36

per month

  • Includes all benefits of All Access Digital
  • 6-day delivery of our award-winning newspaper
Continue

*Introductory pricing schedule for 12 month: $0.99/month plus tax for first 3 months, $5.99/month for months 4 - 6, $10.99/month for months 7 - 9, $13.99/month for months 10 - 12. Standard All Access Digital rate of $16.99/month begins after first year.

This second Star Wars spinoff after 2016's Rogue One prequelizes Harrison Ford's charismatic outlaw from episodes IV through VII, Han Solo... the original rogue one.

Movie review

Click to Expand

Solo: A Star Wars Story
Starring Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke and Donald Glover
Grant Park, Kildonan Place, McGillivray, Polo Park, St. Vital, Towne
PG, 135 minutes
2-1/2 stars out of five

While a movie very much defined by the world according to George Lucas, the whole thing is reminiscent of a scene in... wait for it... Chaplin starring Robert Downey Jr.

In the scene in question, Chaplin recalls his discovery of the hat and cane he employed to create his Little Tramp character in terms that suggest an almost mystical bestowal by God.

In actuality, of course, they were just random props he happened to grab with no notion as to how they would later define him.

Alden Ehrenreich is Han Solo and Joonas Suotamo is Chewbacca in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.</p>

Alden Ehrenreich is Han Solo and Joonas Suotamo is Chewbacca in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Director Ron Howard goes heavy on the canonical approach in telling Han's back story. Howard never fails to hit the momentous-occasion button in scenes that would have otherwise lived only in the imagination: Han meets Chewbacca. Han receives his first blaster. Han fills an empty seat at a gambling table with young Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover). Han sits down behind the controls of the Millennium Falcon. And so on.

One stellar scoundrel

With the universe’s most notorious swaggering smuggler blasting off in his own entry in the Star Wars cinematic canon, here, in no particular order, are 10 of Han Solo’s best lines.

In the Star Wars universe and beyond, few characters are as cherished as everyone’s favourite smuggler and scoundrel, Han Solo.

Was it Harrison Ford’s charismatic portrayal of Solo, and his delivery of umpteen clever bits of dialogue, that has made the character a favourite among fans? That remains to be seen — and with Solo: A Star Wars Story opening this weekend, fans won’t have to wait long to finds out.

With the universe’s most notorious swaggering smuggler blasting off in his own entry in the Star Wars cinematic canon, here, in no particular order, are 10 of Han Solo’s best lines.

 

“Look, your worshipfulness, let’s get one thing straight. I take orders from just one person: me.”

After rescuing Princess Leia on the Death Star, Han reacts to being told what to do.

 

“Laugh it up, fuzzball” and “Who’s scruffy looking?”

Han responds to Leia calling him a “stuck-up, half-witted, scruffy-looking nerf herder," and voices his displeasure after Chewbacca chuckles at one of Leia’s insult's

 

“Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, farm boy.”

Pursued by the Empire, Han puts Luke Skywalker in his place as they try to escape.

 

“Great, kid — don’t get cocky.”

Luke is quickly silenced after celebrating shooting down an attacking Tie fighter.

 

“Never tell me the odds.”

Han reacts to C-3PO’s calculation while piloting the Millennium Falcon through an asteroid field.

 

“I can arrange that. He could use a good kiss!”

Han responds to Leia’s exclamation that she’d rather kiss a wookie than kiss him.

 

“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid.”

Han downplays the force’s effectiveness as Luke learns from Obi-Wan Kenobi.

 

“You’re all clear, kid. Now let’s blow this thing and go home!”

Having sent Darth Vader’s Tie fighter careening through space, Solo encourages Luke to destroy the Death Star.

 

“I know.”

Solo responds to Princess Leia’s “I love you” as he’s about to be frozen in carbonite.

It's intended as a big, sustained sop to Star Wars fans, of course. But when it comes to carrying the narrative forward, all these cues tend to suck the air out of the pod. At times, it feels like we're watching the world's most expensive fan film.

It's a shame because the story itself — by Lawrence Kasdan and Jon Kasdan — is sound. We meet Han (Alden Ehrenreich) as a young man rebelling at his lot in a den of juvenile thieves working for a giant water bug named Lady Proxima, but let's call her Space Fagin.

He attempts an escape with his one true love, fellow foundling Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke), but instead finds himself doing military service for the Empire in an attempt to realize his dream of becoming the best pilot in the galaxy.

That doesn't appeal, so Han deserts to take up with a master thief named Beckett (Woody Harrelson) to help hijack a shipment of super space fuel at the behest of a crime syndicate middle-management blackguard named Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany). 

Alden Ehrenreich is Han Solo and Joonas Suotamo is Chewbacca in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.</p>

Alden Ehrenreich is Han Solo and Joonas Suotamo is Chewbacca in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

When he's not treating Han Solo's origin tale like a Bible story, Howard takes pains to frame this adventure as an amped-up western, with its saloons, showdowns and poker-table intrigue.

It pays off in a centrepiece sequence that's basically a train robbery — except the train travels both above and below the tracks, making for a fun new twist on the train robbery clichés.

Ehrenreich does servicable work, but he's no Harrison Ford. Emilia Clarke plays her character a little too enigmatic for her own good: It's hard to rouse much feeling for this blank slate.

For Donald Glover's sake, one wishes the character of Lando was more fun. It doesn't help that he's saddled with an activist droid forever complaining about robot rights. In a franchise that aims for timelessness, a woke cybernaut is very 2018.

Solo sets itself up for a sequel, and one anticipates more of the same referential stuff in the next instalment including, presumably, a meet-up with a certain blobby kingpin on Tattooine. 

But if there had to be Star Wars spinoffs, one respects the direction taken by Rogue One, which spun a new story out of whole cloth instead of one long exercise in filling in the narrative blanks and connecting the dots. 

randall.king@freepress.mb.ca Twitter: @FreepKing

Alden Ehrenreich is Han Solo and Joonas Suotamo is Chewbacca in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.</p>

Alden Ehrenreich is Han Solo and Joonas Suotamo is Chewbacca in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Randall King

Randall King
Reporter

In a way, Randall King was born into the entertainment beat.

Read full biography

You can comment on most stories on The Winnipeg Free Press website. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press print or digital subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to The Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective January 2015.