(WARNING: Spoilers for “The Force Awakens” and “The last Jedi” ahead)
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” will be be soaring into theaters at the end of May, and it will bring the history of Han Solo with it. I’m not sure how to feel about that.
Fans have had mixed reactions to the revival of the beloved Star Wars film franchise over the past few years. While recent additions to the family like”The Force Awakens,” “The Last Jedi” and the prequel “Rouge One” were met with excitement, the latest Star Wars movie has some pretty big shoes to fill.
Tickets for the film opened in time for fan holiday May 4 (“May The 4th Be With You”) and the presales have reportedly doubled the record for the Marvel juggernaut “Black Panther,” making it the second highest preseller of this year. Will it be able to maintain this momentum? Well, that’s a good question. Having a star-studded cast in its arsenal certainly gives this film a leg up.
Alden Ehrenreich (“Beautiful Creatures,” “Hail Cesar”) will portray our favorite smuggler, Han Solo, in his early years. The 28-year-old actor will be joined by familiar names that include Woody Harrelson (“True Detective,” “Hunger Games”) Donald Glover (“Atlanta,” “The Community”), Emilia Clarke (“Game of Thrones,” “Me Before You”) and Paul Bettany (Marvel “Avengers” franchise). The impressive cast does not seem to be enough to stop the film from coming under heavy fire from fans. I will admit to having only seen two or three of Ehrenreich’s films in the past. While I thought he was rather wonderful in those roles, I have a difficult time picturing him as Han Solo.
Harrison Ford is and will forever be Han Solo. There is no doubt about that. Audiences were shocked when Han was killed by his son, Kylo Ren/Ben Solo (Adam Driver) at the end of “The Force Awakens.” It isn’t completely surprising that the death of such a beloved character would be followed be a prequel. However, I can’t help but wonder if the film will have trouble finding the right balance between the original Star Wars films and the gleaming new additions.
The trailer is packed with exciting action. The film will introduce Han to other beloved favorites including Chewbacca and Solo’s legendary cruiser, the Millennium Falcon, though the scenes with the characters, Ehrenreich in particular, feel a bit dry and the dialogue seems dull. To be fair, these are only clips and trailers. I do have high hopes for this movie and what it will bring to the table. The Star Wars cinematic universe is expanding at light-speed, and “Solo: A Star Wars Story” may just take us all by surprise.