Friday, June 15, 2018

Movie Review: “Solo: A Star Wars Story” Reviewed by Buford Picklefeather

Riding out the gentle waters left behind from the wave of the most divisive “Star Wars” movie ever
made – “The Last Jedi”  the latest anthology film, “Solo: A Star Wars Story”, was entrusted with healing the wounds of die-hard and casual fans alike. This challenge seemed all the more unattainable when “Solo’s” directors, best known for their box office smash hit, “The Lego Movie,”  left production of this film due to their creative differences. Longtime fans became all the more skeptical when word came back that actor Alden Ehrenreich, bestowed with the “Solo” moniker, was receiving on-set acting lessons; and that rather than being released in mid-December, as its post Disney predecessors, it would be receiving the traditional Lucas-era May 25th release date.

However, there was one small grain of hope that this film may be worthwhile: Lawrence Kasdan. Kasdan was the writer responsible for “The Empire Strikes Back” and the original “Indiana Jones” film and “Raiders of the Lost Ark.” He answered the writing call from then producer George Lucas in 2012.

The finished product, directed by Ron Howard, took the proper cues set in place from Kasdan and J.J. Abrams efforts in force awakens, and flourished with them. The art direction felt real, specific and inspired, with no divide between the original trilogy and the present. The characters all felt as though they had a back story and a purpose for being who they were and being where they were at that time; while setting themselves up for the consequences of their actions in later films.

There was a perfect balance of whole heartedly invited humor, conviction and action with astonishing performances from Donald Glover taking the reins from Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian and Woody Harrelson as “Solo’s” mentor. Like “Rogue One,” Solo makes for the perfect idealized prequel to the original trilogy. Despite “Solo” currently making less domestically than anticipated, the combination of every facet of the creativity working seamlessly together will contribute to the longevity of the film beyond its theatrical release and leaving its mark in what is now the vast Star Wars Universe.

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