Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)
May 23, 2018 6:42 PM - Subscribe

The story of how Han Solo first met Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, and the Millennium Falcon years before the events of Star Wars: A New Hope.

Heists are enacted, sacrifices are made, rebellions are fomented, shots are fired first, and trust is betrayed.
posted by EndsOfInvention (306 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
 
I thought it was good fun. Love the costume design of all the underworld minions and Enfys Nest in particular. Wish Val and Rio had been in it a bit more. L3 was a laugh. LOTS of references to other EU material (Beckett killed Aurra Sing! Teras Kasi! Darth Maul! Scarif!). Was hoping for a Boba Fett cameo but the closest we got was Mandalorian armour in Dryden's office.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:48 PM on May 23, 2018 [4 favorites]


Oh yeah, and the Imperial recruiting video appears to use the Imperial March as the backing music? So the Imperial March is canon in-universe music now.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:12 AM on May 24, 2018 [20 favorites]




One of the things you might have missed in Rogue One, and may miss again in Solo are 'the decraniated' - people who have had the majority of their heads removed in order to turn them into slaves. In case you didn't see it, Dryden Vos has one serving him in his office.

Oh good. I guess we can look forward to The Human Centipede: A Star Wars Story next. Ick.
posted by turbid dahlia at 5:31 PM on May 24, 2018 [2 favorites]


I really, really enjoyed it! It was a terrible waste of Thandie Newton, though, and I was convinced Gwendolyn Christie was the droid. I'm a little confused about the timeline - is Han supposed to be the same age, approximately, as Darth Vader?

I had a lot of fun, and while it was fan service-y, it all seemed more or less organic. I loved Donald Glover's Lando. It was lovely having Emilia Clarke being both badass and sithy and clever. I had SUPER low expectations for Alden Ehrenreich, but I thought he did a really nice job and I could more or less believe him aging into A New Hope Han, though I've still got no idea how old he's supposed to be.
posted by ChuraChura at 6:03 PM on May 24, 2018 [6 favorites]


But, bu, but... Does he do the Kessel Run?
posted by sammyo at 7:27 PM on May 24, 2018 [1 favorite]


Donald Glover pronouncing “Han” just like Billy Dee did got the biggest smile out of me.
posted by guiseroom at 8:46 PM on May 24, 2018 [26 favorites]


Does he do the Kessel Run?

Yep.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 12:16 AM on May 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


There's a little head tilt with a wink maybe, and a crooked smile that Harrison Han does that I NEVER NOTICED before and omg swoon. Alden Han did that wonderfully! And Glover's Lando is perfect! Very fun watch! I'm always so excited and can't believe I'm watching another one of these movies from my childhood that I can't concentrate and actually read the words at the beginning. So I'll just have to see again!
posted by dog food sugar at 2:25 AM on May 25, 2018 [10 favorites]


Speaking of the beginning, it was interesting that they did some blue-letter intro text, whereas Rogue One had just launched into the film after the A Long Time Ago... I know they said the classic opening crawl will be limited to the Saga films but I wonder if they will settle on a convention for the Story films.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:07 AM on May 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


Yeah I went into this with low expectations and was pleasantly surprised. Most of the awkward references to future events were wedged into the closing stretch and could be completely ignored.
posted by xiw at 5:17 AM on May 25, 2018 [7 favorites]


I liked the moment in the first heist scene when young Han, clambering away from raiders on a high-speed train, falls into the train's compartment and it's full of snakes, thus explaining the space pirate's famous ophidiophobia.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 11:14 AM on May 25, 2018 [21 favorites]


Imperial March as the backing music

Which, if I hear it correctly, was transposed to a major key. Which makes perfect sense-- to them, they're not the baddies.
posted by supercres at 11:39 AM on May 25, 2018 [33 favorites]


Saw it last night, but sleep deprived so I won't go into a deep dive. I enjoyed it, but I definitely need a second viewing. I was sorely disappointed with how limited Val was used and how she was used, as well. The principal actors all did fine, our new Han and Lando did dandy. So....many references in this movie. Dang.

The version of the Imperial March heard in the movie actually came right out of Star Wars: Rebels and was created by that series' composer, Kevin Kiner. It was used in an episode when the Empire was holding "Empire Day," a day to celebrate the Empire. It was a sweet touch to see it used here.
posted by Atreides at 12:20 PM on May 25, 2018 [8 favorites]


I loved it, but it was definitely Fan Service: The Movie. It was particularly fun to compare how much more Glover was playing Williams than Ehrenreich was playing Ford.
posted by Etrigan at 12:24 PM on May 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


In related news, Logan's James Mangold is up to write and direct the Boba Fett movie.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 12:29 PM on May 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


I have to admit, after an hour or so, I was really bored. This is a very well-made, mediocre movie to me--unlike most folks, I thought that Glover's Lando was terrible and flat, and most everyone else was miscast (and the interesting new characters/actors were all killed early on). Of the core main characters, only Chewbacca was really engaging on-screen; I found that everyone else seemed like they were in the most lavish Star Wars fan project ever, woodenly reciting lines written solely to announce feelings or move the action forward.

BUT, I'm glad many are appearing to enjoy it a great deal more than I did! I do like liking things, but just can't muster enthusiasm for this one, which looks like what it is: creative sausage. (And perhaps I'm being too harsh with critical standards, but The Last Jedi was soooooooooo good, perhaps the best of the series, and for me, this one is, like, third-to-last.)
posted by LooseFilter at 1:26 PM on May 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


It was Fan Service: The Movie and apparently I was there for that exact thing, because I loved it. Also apparently all I care about in 2018 is robot liberation narratives and I wasn't expecting to see one here. L3's death made me legit weep. I was very pleasantly surprised by what a great time I had.
posted by potrzebie at 1:38 PM on May 25, 2018 [13 favorites]


Did anyone else think the sound mixing really sucked? I haven't missed so many lines of dialogue since Interstellar...
posted by xiw at 5:16 PM on May 25, 2018 [5 favorites]


I had a fun time; it was good enough to very good. (My only complaint was that there were some scenes where things were just murky; sometimes it served the plot and sometimes it was just kind of irritating.) Far too little of Thandie Newton and I wanted to see more of L3--I was hoping that the bit where her navigational database gets uploaded into the Falcon would end up with her being the soul of the ship, and I don't think that it's too late to go there, hint hint. (Also, looking up the actress, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, reminded me that I haven't watched Fleabag yet. Fucking Peak TV, it drives me nuts, sometimes.) Alden Ehrenreich was pretty good as Han; I was a little startled to realize that he was the cowboy actor from Hail Caesar! who was badly miscast in a comedy of manners. But the character that I'm most interested in seeing again, aside from Lando, of course, is Emilia Clarke's Qi'ra, as long as it's not just a standard-issue redemption arc.

Also, the numerous franchise references weren't too bad (although I think that we could have gotten by with just one reference to Jabba); most of all, I'm glad that, in the end, Han shot first.
posted by Halloween Jack at 7:17 PM on May 25, 2018 [6 favorites]


I wanted to see more of L3--I was hoping that the bit where her navigational database gets uploaded into the Falcon would end up with her being the soul of the ship, and I don't think that it's too late to go there, hint hint.

I think this may have been a nod to franchise lore (it may have been established in one of the Brian Daley Han Solo books, I'm not sure) that the Millennium Falcon's nav computer has multiple droid brains linked into it for faster hyperspace calculations. Which explains why Threepio is tasked with "negotiating" with the hyperdrive in Empire Strikes Back -- he's not just giving it command codes, he's literally wheedling it into doing its job. Maybe he's arguing with L3, or some kind of machine hive mind that includes her as a member.
posted by Strange Interlude at 7:28 PM on May 25, 2018 [8 favorites]


I haven't missed so many lines of dialogue since Interstellar...

Now that you mention it, yes, the sound mixing wasn't quite right--I thought it might have only been the theater I was in. Which reminds me that I just hated the music for Solo, it was a mish-mash of coolish-sounding cuts and the only good music was either the sections lifted from the original trilogy scores, or Williams' new themes he contributed.

For me, John Williams set the bar terrifically high for Star Wars films not just because the music itself is really great and beautifully made, but also because it's compositionally integrated into the film in a way most comparable to, e.g., Wagner's music dramas. Williams' music is a basic aspect of each (numbered) SW movie, one that is fundamental to why any of them work as well as they do, and the music for this movie doesn't do that.

I don't know if this is due more to the production upheaval and schedule rather than any shortcoming on composer John Powell's part or not (Michael Giacchino would have done a lot differently if he'd had more than a month for Rogue One*), but the music in Solo is not an essential part of the storytelling at all, and that lack was very apparent to me through the length of the film.

(I do love that they added a music-score-only version of TLJ video release, it's a really interesting way to watch that film if you haven't done so.)

* - "We were literally planning a vacation when I got the call. At the time, it left me with literally four-and-a-half weeks to write, so it was one of those decisions where you’re like, okay, well.... And I was talking to my brother about it. He goes, ‘Oh, come on. You’ve been writing this score since you were 10! You can do this.'"
posted by LooseFilter at 7:47 PM on May 25, 2018 [8 favorites]


It was a lot of fun. Ron Howard knows how to direct a movie and apparently knows how to rescue a movie better than Joss Whedon. I was sort of looking for any weird changes in tone or style due to the director swap and didn't really detect any.

The cast is great and the actions scenes were pretty good, especially the train heist and I want to see a Qi'ra movie now.
posted by octothorpe at 9:33 PM on May 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


Qi'ra has her own episode of Forces of Destiny now.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 9:54 PM on May 25, 2018 [2 favorites]


Imperial March as the backing music
Which, if I hear it correctly, was transposed to a major key. Which makes perfect sense-- to them, they're not the baddies.


The piece, "Glory to the Empire", first showed up as the music for the Empire Day parade in the Star Wars Rebels episode "Empire Day". And I am such a geek.
posted by happyroach at 10:18 PM on May 25, 2018 [7 favorites]


Which explains why Threepio is tasked with "negotiating" with the hyperdrive in Empire Strikes Back -- he's not just giving it command codes, he's literally wheedling it into doing its job.

When Threepio says the Falcon's computer uses a peculiar dialect, he's presumably talking about L3 saying "arse".
posted by EndsOfInvention at 3:30 AM on May 26, 2018 [13 favorites]


I'm getting the sense that droids in the Star Wars universe acquire personality traits as they age, so if what you want is a perfectly compliant droid, you erase its memory on a regular basis. If you go a long time between erasures or just never erase its memory at all, you end up with droids like R2D2 or L3, who are just as ornery as can be and can't be controlled.
posted by wabbittwax at 9:19 AM on May 26, 2018 [9 favorites]


I'm getting the sense that droids in the Star Wars universe acquire personality traits as they age, so if what you want is a perfectly compliant droid, you erase its memory on a regular basis.

This is actually the explanation! I thought it was just true in the old expanded universe, where of course they went into much more detail with it (4-LOM was enough of an independent being that he had Force sensitivity at one point!), but it looks like they've kept that bit in the new canon.

The treatment of droids in Star Wars is extremely dark. Like those decraniated slaves are horrifying but that happens all the time to droids with the push of a button, even the good guys do it casually.
posted by jason_steakums at 9:47 AM on May 26, 2018 [20 favorites]


I am of two minds about it: on one side, it is refreshing to see a Star War that isn't the rebels against the empire for the umpteenth time, and this to me feels like there is a larger world that we have just taken our first steps in*. At the same time, this felt more disposable than anything else. If this were a two-parter in the maybe-maybe-not-coming Star Wars tv series, I would enjoy it, maybe mention it to fellow viewers the next day, and then forget about it. As a feature film, it seems a bit like I just paid 12.50 to see an episode of a tv show on a big screen.

*Yeah, I said it.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 11:20 AM on May 26, 2018


As much as I want to be a lightsaber-wielding Jedi, at the same time I always want to see more of the "low" part of Star Wars, and this movie scratched that itch really well. It was fun, it had good heists, the story was reasonably well constructed, Han shot first at the end. It did a lot of quality world-building, and there's room for that in movies.

One thing I picked up on was how desperate the Empire was for manpower. After we see the hilariously clunky "Join the Empire" video, the recruiting officer picks up a kid with absolutely no credentials and signs him up - even making up a last name so he can be recruited.
posted by graymouser at 3:55 PM on May 26, 2018 [12 favorites]


I was struck at how much better the effects looked compared to the last two films I'd seen: Avengers and Deadpool. There wasn't any of that muddy smeary look that CGI fight scenes seem to have in a lot of these films. Also the train heist was one of the better staged and edited action sequences that I've seen in a while.
posted by octothorpe at 4:04 PM on May 26, 2018 [7 favorites]


Oh, dear, my husband and I thought this was dreadful and humorless. Lando and Chewie were the only characters with any charisma. How could a Han Solo movie not be fun?! But this wasn't.

My 4 year old enjoyed it though.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:52 PM on May 26, 2018 [2 favorites]


It felt awfully by-the-numbers to me, with Ehrenreich coming off a bit more hustler-looking-for-sugar-daddy-to-buy-him-a-ship than rogue and scoundrel. I did enjoy Glover (half-expected a cape wrangler credit at the end), considered the ending with Woody Harrelson's character solidly respectable, and found Paul Bettany's character sufficiently creepy.

I'm no expert, but the timeline seems quite odd to me. Maul died (movie canon, anyway) when Anakin Skywalker was like eight! Han being more than ten years older than the dude whose daughter he married seems...a little off-putting, and also not really possible. So we're supposed to infer all that crazy extended-universe stuff, and also that Palpatine literally doesn't care that he has an ex-apprentice running around independent and using the Force?
posted by praemunire at 12:21 AM on May 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


Darth Maul survived being cut in half in the Phantom Menace and appeared in The Clone Wars and Rebels series.
posted by octothorpe at 5:40 AM on May 27, 2018 [5 favorites]


Are we . . . supposed to know that? They couldn't give us a few lines of context? What a baffling choice.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 9:11 AM on May 27, 2018 [14 favorites]


Bad news for potential sequels: Solo appears to have had the worst opening weekend for any Star Wars movie, period. Yes, including the prequels.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:23 AM on May 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


We were at a matinee yesterday and it was nearly empty - I counted about 25 people in a theater that seats well over a hundred comfortably. One thing that seems to have happened is that Memorial Day weekend has slacked off as a major box office driver after the mid-aughts. Another is that I think Solo hit Star Wars fatigue among people who aren't die-hard fans: this is the fourth movie in the franchise since 2015, when there had been none since the animated Clone Wars movie in 2008, and only one every 3 years during the original and prequel trilogy eras. And most people don't want a Han Solo movie without Harrison Ford. It's a shame, because I think it had all the bones of a solid summer movie.

Interest will hopefully recover by Episode 9, and maybe they'll learn that without a year-long gap, they aren't whetting people's appetites sufficiently for these films.
posted by graymouser at 9:44 AM on May 27, 2018 [5 favorites]


Halloween Jack: "Bad news for potential sequels: Solo appears to have had the worst opening weekend for any Star Wars movie, period. Yes, including the prequels."

Well according to the comments after that article it's all the fault of Kathleen Kennedy for "putting all that sjw crap" in Star Wars.
posted by octothorpe at 10:22 AM on May 27, 2018


We were at a matinee yesterday and it was nearly empty

The theater we were at on Friday was busy but my sister texted me a picture from the theater where she was seeing it with her grandson and they were the only people there.
posted by octothorpe at 10:30 AM on May 27, 2018


I'm struck by the fact that this felt like a movie that was meant to placate old school fans: serious tone, tie-ins to the EU, more generally grown-up sensibility. Like the opposite of the Last Jedi. But despite the complaints about the Last Jedi, it was actually commercially successful. I think people would be here for this movie if it was enjoyable. Most of the reactions I've seen on FB are damning it with faint praise. "It's probably my least favorite since the prequels, but . . ."
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 10:36 AM on May 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


I reasonably qualify as an old-school fan. I've seen all nine of the previous major movies in theaters. I've read maybe four tie-in novels. I've played a Bounty Hunter in the tabletop roleplaying game. I never watched the cartoon or played the online games or knew anything at all about the extended universe stuff, but I think I'm fannish enough by most standards.

And when it came to this one I just ... didn't care. I haven't seen it, and don't really have plans to, unless maybe it's available when I'm on a long airplane trip or something. I don't care about young Han Solo. I have no interest in that story.

Maybe it's because the series already tried to sell me on young Darth Vader, and that turned out to be a steaming pile of crap. Maybe it's because I haven't unreservedly enjoyed any of the recent movies, either (although I thought Rogue One was pretty good in spite of its flaws), so they haven't built up a huge cache of goodwill in me that will entice me to gamble on one I'm iffy about. Or maybe it's because I genuinely do not have any interest whatsoever in learning Han Solo's backstory.

The droid character sounds like fun, but I don't think that's enough to get me into a theater.
posted by kyrademon at 11:27 AM on May 27, 2018


I loved how the Falcon got her brain and I'm not saying I want them to pull a "hey, the Falcon can talk now" in the next movie but I'm not saying I don't either
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:26 PM on May 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


Well it made a new fan out of me, saw half of the emperor strikes back as a teenager, and watched this as a huge Donald Glover fan. I had absorbed enough Star Wars info over the years that it mostly made sense, and I did google before going to see if I needed any of the other films for backstory. I found it a fun heist story with interesting characters. What should I watch next?
posted by ellieBOA at 12:26 PM on May 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


Well according to the comments after that article it's all the fault of Kathleen Kennedy for "putting all that sjw crap" in Star Wars.

Right, of course. Which is why both TLJ and Rogue One pulled in over a billion each, but the spin-off film with the dudeliest dude in the franchise is tanking. That makes sense.
posted by Halloween Jack at 1:09 PM on May 27, 2018 [16 favorites]


I'm not really much of a Star Wars guy, so I expect this to go over poorly with the same type of fans who hated The Last Jedi -- because I enjoyed that one much more than I expected, and I felt the same way about Solo. I guess it didn't feel that Star Wars-y, which...I didn't see as a bug. I will say I was also confused about the inclusion of Darth Maul, and wondered if his presence foreshadowed something for future main-story movies; that we should have known he was still alive because of an animated show probably most viewers haven't seen is an odd presumption to have made, in my opinion.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 3:55 PM on May 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


Just saw this, UK Sunday latest showing, pretty much a full house. Had heinously low expectations, and actually enjoyed this a whole lot, despite spending the last ten minutes as I imagine many will desperately working out timelines to figure out what the heck Darth Maul was doing. I swear I tried with Rebels, I just couldn't get into it.

Anyhow, great ensemble performances, really did dig him as Ham by the end, still enough good female roles to enrage the knobs hopefully, and the box office stuff is interesting. Feel like this one may just do fine over the slightly longer term as word of mouth spreads news of the at-least-not-disaster, but however it works out it'll be interesting to see what Disney considers a success for this. Will happily watch the next one if it does happen.
posted by ominous_paws at 3:59 PM on May 27, 2018 [4 favorites]


"Ham". You know what, leave it in.
posted by ominous_paws at 4:01 PM on May 27, 2018 [17 favorites]


eBOA, I'd do A New Hope, then Empire, then Google "star wars chainsaw order" and see how much further you feel like going...
posted by ominous_paws at 4:04 PM on May 27, 2018 [1 favorite]


I loved it.

Fun action sequences, likeable/interesting characters and settings, a fantastic cast, a slightly grimmer and less childlike tone, a love story that had more passion than usual for Star Wars...And I thought Ron Howard did a good job with the direction. I thought it looked good, and it looked like the Star Wars universe while still having a notably different (I guess "Han Solo"-type) perspective, what with the desaturated colors and all.

I also think it gave Han Solo's character some more depth, in that it gives me a somewhat different perspective on him in A New Hope/etc -- which I wasn't actually expecting.

I am also always up for seeing Han, Chewy, Lando, the Millennium Falcon...Fan service and all, but I enjoyed it. It felt pretty organic or at least loving to me (rather than just cynical). I mean, Qi'ra and Han making out in Lando's Cape Nook? That's the kind of goofy but well-incorporated "fan service" touch that I really enjoy.

it is refreshing to see a Star War that isn't the rebels against the empire for the umpteenth time, and this to me feels like there is a larger world that we have just taken our first steps in

That's how it felt to me. And I'm interested in that world, too.

I was a giant Star Wars nerd in my youth and Han Solo was always my favorite character...I guess that wasn't just because Harrison Ford was hot, after all. Who knew! :P
posted by rue72 at 6:23 PM on May 27, 2018 [5 favorites]


Maybe in a week or two I'll be able to see it one more time. Unlike the last few SW films, the inclusion of a newborn in my life has quite significantly affected the time I can get away for repeat viewings. ;)

When I went to the first showing available at my local theater, there were maybe 15 to 18 people in the theater with me. In fact, I was shocked when I arrived an hour early and didn't find a line of people waiting to get into the theater. The last three SW films I went to, arriving more than an hour early, had lines waiting for me. And while it still made a lot of money (83 million!), I think Disney/Lucasfilm messed up when it came to Solo. First, by trying to push to reclaim the franchise as a summer film when it'd been handily owning the December release window for the past three years. Second, the promotion for the film was just not as good as the previous films. They failed to make it an event like the other films. As one person pointed out online, they could have had a teaser or anything attached to The Last Jedi but purposefully decided not to get the people excited about Star Wars interested in the next installment when they literally had them as a captive audience. Third, going back to the release date - it was a far more crowded field of movies.

Going back to the movie, I loved the cinematography and look of the film. I will see it again (if I see it in the theater again) in a 2D showing, the 3D I saw it had the screen a bit too dark at times (not to mention, the projection kind of sucked). I couldn't really grasp the score, but I had pre-ordered the soundtrack and...Amazon was kind enough to delay it from Friday to this Tuesday - once I get it, I'll finally have a chance to dig into the music. John Powell did an amazing job in How to Train Your Dragon, so I've been pretty eager to hear it without a dozen other sounds competing with my limited hearing loss.

The use of Thandie Newton was somewhat criminal. I was hyped that they had allegedly given a woman POC a visible role in a SW film ... and then she died in the first act. Newton did rock it for her brief time, though. Qi'ra's character was fine, but for the most part, not that remarkable. She probably became the most interesting in her final ten to fifteen minutes on screen. Donald Glover's Lando won me over. In the trailer, I did feel as if he came across as a bit flat - but in the context of the movie and his additional lines, he subtly played into Billy Dee Williams' Lando. Perhaps my biggest complaint was that I never felt I was sold how emotionally attached he was to L3-3T. In fact, while I've long loved the commentary going on in the SW universe about Droid rights/slavery, I had problems engaging with L3. Unlike when K-2SO died in Rogue One, her figurative death in Solo just didn't really register with me. Maybe on a second viewing? Maybe it had to do with the droid being less anthropomorphic?

Harrison's Beckett was fine, and just that.

I loved the aliens and world building.

Favorite breakout character? Enfys Nest - I want to learn more about her and her gang. That was a nice twist that I appreciated.

Maul - it was a surprise and a delightful one, but gosh, I knew it was going to create A LOT of confusion for fans who stick to the films. Here's a very, very short history of Maul (spoilers for The Clone Wars):

For a number of years after TPM, Maul was presumed dead because, you know, severed in half and fell down a shaft courtesy of Obi-Wan Kenobi. Then we had The Clone Wars and in the second or third season, the decision was made to bring the character back (I think George Lucas gets the credit for officially signing off on it). We discover that Maul's hatred/Dark Side power was strong enough that he survived the severing long enough for a trash scavenger to hook him into a machine (it had spider-like legs) to keep him alive. Unsurprisingly, Maul went a bit crazy due to this. His "resurrection" coincided with the in-universe creation of Savage Oppress (Maul's brother turned into a Dark Side warrior like Maul by request of Count Dooku who wanted his own apprentice). What happened next, unsurprisingly, Oppress finds his brother and because Maul's apprentice and the two set off on their own to take revenge against Chancellor Palpatine, whom Maul had a grudge against. THIS lead eventually to Maul taking over a number of criminal organizations as a means to build up the power and influence to cause the level of trouble he wanted to create. This ticked off Palpatine who takes steps to take Maul out, but basically succeeds in knocking him to the sidelines of insignificance for the rest of the Clone Wars.

And sometime after that event is where we find Maul, still in charge of at least Crimson Dawn. So his surprising cameo makes sense in the canon established by the animated television shows (as well a comic mini series) - but...in no way would anyone who has not ventured down that lane have any idea of his survival. The question then, was this a good idea?

In the best light, I see it as a chance to encourage folks to check out those wonderful things. TCW is a fun, good show, and Maul's story extends beyond it into Rebels. In the worse light, it's just a confusing question that leaves a bad taste at worse, and bewilderment at best, for those seeing him pop up. As a note, Sam Witwer, who voiced the character in the show, apparently was brought in the voice the dialogue at the end.

As is, I think Solo succeeds in part because it survived a major overhaul. That was a major accomplishment. Unfortunately, I think those behind the scenes failed to take the right steps to make the film succeed in a financial sense and I hope they learn from these missteps.
posted by Atreides at 6:34 PM on May 27, 2018 [7 favorites]


I was impressed at the lack of visible seams that you'd think would be there due to the change of directors but it does worry me that this is the second side story in a row where Disney fired the original director and did major reshoots at the last minute. Edwards still got the directing credit for Rogue One but from what I've read, they totally reshot the third act and edited it without his involvement. I'm not sure how you are supposed to attract good directors in the future if you have a history of firing them mid-shoot.
posted by octothorpe at 7:22 PM on May 27, 2018 [3 favorites]


So how long do we have to wait before they reveal that Qi'ra is Rey's mother?
posted by blue_beetle at 7:57 PM on May 27, 2018 [13 favorites]


The theater I saw it in was full, but it was one of those tiny Barcalounger fancyass theaters. I can say that I bought tickets around 10 a.m. ish for a 1:45 show and that's not something you can normally say happens.

I kind of wonder if it's superhero fatigue, because Avengers and Deadpool just came out very recently. I'm super intermittent about actually going to movies so it's amazing that I've even made it to all three within a few weekends of each other. Either way, the timing of the release of this wasn't the best.

As for the movie, it was all right. I did like the acting of Lando and Qi'ra (note: why not just spell it like it's pronounced?) in particular, I thought Han and Beckett did well as well. I did like the characters that didn't last very long, sigh. I liked that we finally saw the Kessel run and the ship poker game (kinda twice). The Crimson Dawn plot was interesting. The bad guy did a good job of being affable/evil/creepy and what was with his face?

Mainly I just wish it had been funnier. I don't think I did more than an occasional light chuckle, and I would have expected a Han/Lando flick to have more funny. That's my one major disappointment with it.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:10 PM on May 27, 2018 [2 favorites]


Darth Maul survived being cut in half in the Phantom Menace and appeared in The Clone Wars and Rebels series.

He fucking what now?
posted by His thoughts were red thoughts at 2:42 AM on May 28, 2018 [15 favorites]


The AVClub has a summary of Darth Maul's post PM life:
In The Clone Wars, it’s revealed that Maul actually survived being cut in half through, uh, being really angry—focusing on his hatred, then using the strength it gave him to stop his bisected body from hurtling down the reactor shaft by grabbing a vent. He then stowed away in a trashcan, so he could escape to a dumpster planet called Lotho Minor. There he ate rats and brooded about being a half-man and listened to nu-metal, maybe, while his rodents and his rage kept him alive, until he could finally get some spider legs to scuttle around on while his mind understandably splintered.

Eventually, Maul’s brother, Savage Opress, found him, got him some fancy new, bipedal legs, and restored Darth Maul to his old self again. The two then cut a terrible swath across the galaxy, a story that plays out in The Clone Wars and Rebels, which share the same, pre-A New Hope timeline as Solo, Rogue One, et al. And now, Darth Maul is back in the movies, no longer just a torso and ready for action!
posted by octothorpe at 5:56 AM on May 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


Savage Opress

Really?

Is it at least pronounced differently? Like "Seh-Vahj Oh-pris"?
posted by FJT at 8:13 AM on May 28, 2018 [4 favorites]


Star Wars names make Harry Potter names look downright subtle.
posted by ChuraChura at 8:59 AM on May 28, 2018 [16 favorites]


Savage Opress

Really?

Is it at least pronounced differently? Like "Seh-Vahj Oh-pris"?


It is pronounced differently, more or less as you've guessed. This does not make it better.
posted by wabbittwax at 9:08 AM on May 28, 2018 [5 favorites]


I just want a Lobot movie. Preferably a musical.
posted by rikschell at 9:51 AM on May 28, 2018 [5 favorites]


I think the fact that this thread conversation is as much about attendance and box office as the movie itself, says a whole lot about the movie. The whole film really is Fan Service: the Movie, and for me is the main reason this movie feels so inconsequential and...fake.

The whole main plot point, that they have to pay back a gangster and do a big, risky heist to do it, is utterly trite, but the big twist, the thing intended to make this tropiest of plot tropes work, is that the stuff they're stealing will blow up unless etc. etc., so there's this huge time pressure for The Big Heist. BUT the additional level of abstraction and super-textual context is that it's all based on a long-standing fan joke about a mistake in the original Star Wars script that seems to use 'parsec' as a unit of time rather than distance, and that's supposed to make it all somehow feel original or interesting.

Essentially, this whole movie is an elaborate response to fan in-jokes, and I guess that's supposed to make all of the dull, paint-by-numbers writing decisions work. It's an apotheosis of participatory fan culture, with a script written from the perspective of a Star Wars fan, rather than, you know, a writer making up a thing. These embedded, fourth-wall-breaking meta-perspectives, that integrate awareness that a creative work is a made-up thing within the real world, can easily, fatally undermine the effectiveness of a work itself, and that's what happened here, I think. Solo is a boring trifle of a movie because it's a giant, tongue-in-cheek fan film, and it treats bits of fan trivia/discussion as really significant (like, Han shooting first is presented as major character growth for him, because he's less naive and more cynical and savvy because he realizes that Woody is a Bad Dude and kills him first). My problem with this movie is that it's not interesting or clever or moving beyond these meta-textual aspects, so I left the theater feeling like there was no there, there.

Solo seems to me to be more a victim of that framing than changes in directors, actually. I'm not surprised that the son of one of the original SW movie writers is the lead author for this movie, and it's a cool idea: make a SW movie about Han Solo's origins that is saturated in true-fan-knowledge. It's exactly the kind of movie so many of us would dream about seeing, back when there were only three Star Wars movies and we thought all of this stuff would forever be speculation--except now we have one of these meta-films that is only completed by the viewer's knowledge and understanding of previous canon and cultural context, and it's just super bland and dull, because they forgot to put an actual, stand-alone, non-meta enjoyable film as the foundation, first.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:56 AM on May 28, 2018 [15 favorites]


This is kind of a minor thing, but how come Han tells the recruiter that he doesn't have a last name, and then later mentions his father to Lando? If he knew his father/parents, you'd think he'd have a surname, or at least have a specific surname in mind that he'd like to adopt. Is that something that has an in-universe explanation that they happen not to bother to go into in the movie (ex: he comes from a culture that doesn't use last names), or was that supposed to be a character choice?

After the movie yesterday, my friend complained that he thought the scene of the recruiter choosing "Solo" for Han was kind of a silly throw-away moment, but I don't really think it was -- I mean, the movie is named "Solo" after all. It's kind of strange for that to be the title if him getting that name is just a throwaway fan service thing. It's honestly even kind of strange for Han to continue to use the name after he's out of the military, unless it has become meaningful for him somehow in the meantime. Although how or why it would become meaningful, I don't know, either?
posted by rue72 at 10:08 AM on May 28, 2018 [10 favorites]


it is refreshing to see a Star War that isn't the rebels against the empire for the umpteenth time, and this to me feels like there is a larger world that we have just taken our first steps in

You know, just to touch on this again because I think it's a fantastic point -- I think one reason that I really enjoyed this movie and always really enjoy Han Solo as a character is that he's in a much different (and in my opinion much more realistic and relatable), moral universe than Luke, Rey, or even Kylo Ren. I like that he's not in an epic Good v Evil fight for his soul.

He's just a fundamentally decent guy who continually compromises himself in order to survive. For apparently his entire life, he continually occupies that liminal space. That's pretty common in real life, but rare for a character, especially for a character in such a black and white moral universe as Star Wars.

I also like that he really struggles with how it feels to continually betray his nobler instincts (while still relentlessly having them). Especially since he betrays those nobler instincts not because he's swept up in an epic about fate and legacy (like Luke) or because of some deep well of angst (like Kylo Ren), but basically just because he's got to make rent. And he has to do it constantly. There's not one moment of truth. There are just relentless decisions to make about how much is too much danger, how much is enough of a payoff, how much is too much cruelty, how much is too much kindness.

There are plenty of other reasons to enjoy Han, not least because he's a swashbuckler and constantly involved in incredibly entertaining heists. But I do like that aspect of the character a lot.

Anyway, given all that, I also thought that the scene when Qi'ra told him that he's a good guy, and he told her that, no, he was a terrible person, turned out to be pretty interesting. The writing for that scene was a pretty paint-by-numbers flirtation, so it was interesting to me that that was not at all how they played it. It came out seeming very sincere, not really teasing or flirtatious at all, I think. It felt like they just really weren't on the same page and were both a bit baffled by that.

For what it's worth, I think they're both right. Within the context of Qi'ra's world and perspective, Han is decent and even idealistic -- which means he isn't really ruthless enough to come along with her on her ascent up that world's hierarchy. His decency is a liability, a secret he can maybe trust with her but that is in general a dangerous weakness to be hidden as best he can. But I think that because Han actually is pretty decent and idealistic, he has relatively high standards for "goodness" and is conscious of continually falling short of them. He's not thinking in terms of how much worse he should be, like Qi'ra is, he's thinking of how much better he should be. He did lose some of his naivete over the course of the movie, which is why he was able to shoot first in his standoff with Beckett. But he's clearly still got plenty, which is why he gives away the Quoaxium.

The new perspective that this movie gives on me on Han in Episodes 4/5/6 is that it gives some new dimension on how it would feel for him to suddenly get thrown into a world of black and white morality, with real White Hats demanding, or at least expecting, that he put on a White Hat, too -- and why that would be disturbing but also pretty tempting to him.

Also, because apparently romance is very important to me in movies (!), I am REALLY interested in his relationship with Qi'ra in comparison to his relationship with Lia, or how one is meant to have informed the other.
posted by rue72 at 11:23 AM on May 28, 2018 [24 favorites]


In the worse light, it's just a confusing question that leaves a bad taste at worse, and bewilderment at best, for those seeing him pop up.

The thing is, despite being portrayed by the excellent Ray Park (IIRC), Maul was kind of a fizzle in the first prequel movie, and never mentioned again in the movies to date. So I feel like the reveal didn't give the audience the "holy shit! Character X is back!!!" frisson that you really want to justify the inevitable confusion. You want "How??? But wow!!!" That's not how I felt, and I even had some dim consciousness that maybe Maul had turned up elsewhere in the EU already.

Also, since the reveal didn't really do anything to alter the viewer's perception of the movie, if there's no sequel, you have this dramatic reveal at the end of your movie that goes nowhere. The fanservice was already achieved by using the name "Crimson Dawn," right? So you use this moment at the end for potentially nothing.
posted by praemunire at 11:40 AM on May 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


The movie is reasonably fun. It's in that middle Disney/Marvel tier. Certainly not as good as Black Panther or The Last Jedi but on par with Ant-Man or Rogue One anyway. I don't have the personal investment in Star Wars to get all het up about its various minor and moderate failings and I'm not enough of a true believer to gloss over them entirely either. So I liked it, but am already forgetting it.

I will say that it doesn't look or feel like it's stitched together from two different visions, so that is good. If you see it in the theater, I don't think you'll feel you've wasted your money. And if you wait for it on video, I don't think you'll be kicking yourself either.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 11:57 AM on May 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


Apparently, the fanservice deep cuts extend to a long-shutdown MMORPG.
posted by tobascodagama at 12:18 PM on May 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


As a note, Sam Witwer, who voiced the character in the show, apparently was brought in the voice the dialogue at the end.

Crashdown, from BSG! Doing a good Serafinowicz imitation.

The bad guy did a good job of being affable/evil/creepy and what was with his face?

I wonder if the scars are not brought up in some background now in the cutting-room floor. FWIW, prior to the Howard reshoots, Drydan Vos was played by Michael Kenneth Williams, who of course has some noteworthy facial scars.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 1:44 PM on May 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


So, I think I qualify as a Star Wars superfan....or at least, I did at one point in my life, and am maybe just a Really Big Fan now.

Anywho, I had zero hype for this movie, knew very little about it going in apart from seeing the first trailer, and had avoided (or not really cared enough) to seek out tidbits and mini-spoilers and all the fun speculation that has been a part of the lead-up for me to every other Star Wars film since TPM. This is the first time since TPM that I have not been at the first possible showing. The fact that I waited until freaking MONDAY to see this is an indication of just how low my expectations were.

And probably in part because of those low expectations, I liked this pretty well! It was pretty fun! I laughed out loud several times! I enjoyed being fan serviced to! I enjoyed being gradually convinced that perhaps yes, this chubby-cheeked and floppy-haired young man could in fact become young Harrison Ford in a few more years!

My theatre was probably 85-90% full on a (holiday) Monday afternoon.

Did I need this movie? No. Is it a neat little addendum that does some nice universe building? Sure. Did it fill me with that sinking disappointment that melts into rage that accompanies installments that don’t live up to the franchise’s history? Nope! Will I see it again? Sure, but (unlike Rogue One) I’m not desperate to.

Mostly, though, my big take away from this was Enfys Nest, and holy god on high if there is not a movie/animated series/novel trilogy devoted to her sometime soon, then I will be a very pouty fangirl.

#CloudRiders4Eva
posted by Dorinda at 2:22 PM on May 28, 2018 [10 favorites]


I went into this with low expectations.

Enjoyable? Sure.

Necessary? Really, really not.

Too many callbacks? 100%.

Also, even as a person who barely followed the production, the fact that it got re-worked after initial filming felt very obvious. Parts, even enjoyable parts, did not entirely fit together as a whole, and some of the film's timeline felt way off. If nothing else, the 3 year gap after the opening does not seem nearly long enough for Qi'ra to be in the position she's in. It kinda felt like their desire to tie her to post-RotS Darth Maul meant they could only push forward the timeline so much in the time gap (since we know how long RotS to ANH is).

Anyways. Ultimately, it's worth seeing, it's fun, there's definitely some parts that if you look too closely kinda create problems for the rest of canon but if you just gloss over it's a good ride, at least.
posted by tocts at 2:45 PM on May 28, 2018 [2 favorites]


The design of Enfys Nest is definitely someone's clever nod to Jaxxon the big green rabbit guy from the old Marvel Star Wars comics, right? Like I can see how you get from rabbit ears and cartoony big white eyes with black pupils to that helmet. And Jaxxon was in the original Cloud-Riders story.
posted by jason_steakums at 2:50 PM on May 28, 2018


Saw this last night, went in with super-low expectations and... I'm disappointed.
Thought there were some interesting scenes/shots, where a good movie could've gone.. but each time, they took the fanservice/boring path.

Like.. I would've been much more interested in following Qi'ra's story than Han's. Or seeing Han get kicked out of the academy. Or following Han fight his way through that battle to find he's on the wrong side, but.. running away.

Or... any number of other things.
posted by coriolisdave at 3:08 PM on May 28, 2018 [3 favorites]


I went in with zero expectations, since I figured the directorial changes would result in things falling flat, and I always get wary about characters I really like in one context getting put into another. I think I figured the fanservice would swamp the movie, and although there was a lot of it that I didn't need (I never saw Han's blaster as so iconic that there was only one and he was given it during a meaningful moment...)

Instead, I had a pretty great time. It took a little time to get off the ground (literally, I suppose), I didn't actually need to see the Kessel Run, and I wish Thandie Newton had stuck around longer. But I really liked Qi'ra's storyline and the way she realized so quickly that her path and Han's had diverged way past the point of no return. I liked the actor playing Han so much more than I feared I would, and every now and then he'd flash a smile or have a look that was pure Harrison. And I loved Enfyrs Nest so much! Proto-rebellion, right? One small group starting to push back against the Empire. I want to see more of her. The movie is also going to get broken up for parts by fandom and I look forward to seeing what results.
posted by PussKillian at 4:04 PM on May 28, 2018 [6 favorites]


I feel like the context of the Kessel Run writes the entire world into a corner. If the only source of hyperdrive fuel is the Kessel mines, then anything that anyone does to disrupt the economy of Kessel puts everyone else in the universe at risk. Basically, we're looking at Dune in space.
posted by steady-state strawberry at 5:57 PM on May 28, 2018 [6 favorites]


All I knew going in is that Han is going to meet Chewy, Lando, and then do the Kessel Run, and it was great! I had fun. Fanservice succeeded. I liked all the callbacks because they reminded me that this is a lived-in universe that I have experienced for most of my life. I loved L3 and I was super sad that she died, but reading about how they worked her personality into the Falcon as a retcon to something C3P0 said made me super happy.

I also liked that Han really shot first.

My theater was also pretty empty. I think a combination of both Infinity War and Deadpool 2 still being in theaters and the holiday weekend made everyone not super-planned to see this one.
posted by numaner at 6:14 PM on May 28, 2018 [1 favorite]


The design of Enfys Nest is definitely someone's clever nod to Jaxxon the big green rabbit guy from the old Marvel Star Wars comics, right? Like I can see how you get from rabbit ears and cartoony big white eyes with black pupils to that helmet. And Jaxxon was in the original Cloud-Riders story.

Allegedly, there's some shot where you can spot the silhouette of what appears to be a humanoid rabbit with big ears. It's a street scene or what not.
posted by Atreides at 6:20 PM on May 28, 2018


If the only source of hyperdrive fuel is the Kessel mines, then anything that anyone does to disrupt the economy of Kessel puts everyone else in the universe at risk.
I don't think Kessel is the only place the fuel is mined - just that it's the only place where it's mined that they can crack into

I thoroughly enjoyed the Droid Revolution portion of the film - makes me wonder if the writers read the Darths & Droids comic (which has this as an ongoing theme)
posted by coriolisdave at 6:42 PM on May 28, 2018 [6 favorites]


It would have been a lot better, I thought, if it had been maybe 20 minutes shorter. Both the train and (especially) the maelstrom sequences dragged on to long.

On a higher level, it felt like it was trying to be both a Star Wars origin story and a heist movie, and they didn't work together. I would have been fine with cutting straight from "Han escapes his youth on Corellia" to "ten years later, smuggler Han and sidekick Chewbacca are planning a big heist." Enough origin tales already.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:18 PM on May 28, 2018 [5 favorites]


Seconding that Kessel isn't the only source of fuel, just the only one where they can rob enough fuel within a short space of time.

I also liked that Han really shot first.

I get that this is a fan-servicey callback to "Han shot first", but I think they pulled it off well. Beckett says something like "Let me give you one more piece of advice-" and as I was mentally finishing off the sentence with "always shoot first"... Han shot first.

I've been to the midnight opening of every Star Wars film since Attack Of The Clones, and this was the first not to be sold-out (or at least very full). Probably only 30-ish people there. That seems to be a theme judging by what other people have said - the general public are not as hyped about this as they've been for the Saga films, or even for Rogue One. That kind of surprises me because between Rogue One and Solo, Solo seems like it would have the biggest draw; it's about one of the most well-liked characters as opposed to a bunch of new characters in Rogue One.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:30 AM on May 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Solo is the first Star Wars movie that the Star Wars fans I know weren't sure we'd even see in the theater. Han's casting, the first (bad) trailers, and the director change made us all really cautious. And for non-fans, it's hard to see what would set it apart from the action movie crowd and get you to the theater. I'm not surprised it didn't do well.

I did end up seeing it. I quite disliked the score, and some of the dialogue was very bad. But the cast was good to great, the guy playing Han was passable, and most of the fan service stuff worked for me. It got better as it went along and I loved the Kessel Run. Definitely helped that they brought in some Williams score for Han flying the Falcon.
posted by Mavri at 6:59 AM on May 29, 2018


LooseFilter:BUT the additional level of abstraction and super-textual context is that it's all based on a long-standing fan joke about a mistake in the original Star Wars script that seems to use 'parsec' as a unit of time rather than distance, and that's supposed to make it all somehow feel original or interesting.

But as far as I could tell, the joke aspect is completely ignored -- the movie just sticks with Han's time-based definition as though it's the standard (I think Lando is the first to use the word), and that's it. I would have appreciated some back-and-forth where Lando says "What? Maybe you backwards Corellians think a parsec measures time, but in the rest of the galaxy we say..."
posted by InTheYear2017 at 8:13 AM on May 29, 2018


I enjoyed it. I thought Rogue One was better, but I really liked Rogue One.

L3 was a great character and it annoyed me that she was (mostly) killed off. She was a good match for Lando.

I'd be up for an Enfys Nest movie; I want to know more on how the Cloud Riders tie in with Saw Gerrera (since at least one of her gang apparently are running with him in Rogue One) and what spurred/enabled former senators/nobles to form the Rebel Alliance in active opposition to Palpatine.
posted by Foosnark at 8:45 AM on May 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


There's a real rabbit hole to fall down here about how droids are a downtrodden race in this reality, and how it's evident but never really addressed in the movies up until this one. And then this one raises the issue, and kind of glancingly addresses it, but it's sort of a joke, but then it becomes sort of serious, and we don't think about it too much...

what I'm saying is someone smarter than me please write an enormously overdone thinkpiece on this issue. please
posted by ominous_paws at 9:19 AM on May 29, 2018 [7 favorites]


But as far as I could tell, the joke aspect is completely ignored

That's what was strange to me: so much fan-service stuff, all delivered completely deadpan. That can be a good thing, so if you as a viewer don't know the context, reference, or 'meta,' it will all still work for you--but that's my earlier point, my sense is that they forgot to put an interesting, compelling story in there, aside from all the fan stuff. For me, unlike most it seems, I was rolling my eyes pretty hard at all the fan elements (really? the Kessel Run thing is going to be the major plot point?), and was hoping that there would be a good movie there beyond that, but past that stuff I only found a fairly dull, predictable film.

It's like they made delicious ice cream sundae, with a delightful selection of toppings and sauces, but forgot to put the ice cream in first, so I had a bowl of chocolate sauce and whip cream with sprinkles: good, but something important is missing.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:25 AM on May 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


the movie just sticks with Han's time-based definition as though it's the standard

I don't typically sweat the science in Star Wars, but here goes: The movie affirms that parsecs really and truly are a unit of distance in SW, insofar as Han & friends successfully navigate straight through the ridiculous number of hazards (planet-sized debris, monsters, gravity wells) in the middle of the cloudy area instead of taking the long way all the way around them. It takes less time because they're effectively travelling the shorter radius instead of the longer circumference.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:29 AM on May 29, 2018 [12 favorites]


The movie affirms that parsecs really and truly are a unit of distance in SW

And that's the problem. I mean, was that really one of the burning questions that fans wanted answered by a Han Solo origin film? To the degree that the answer (clarification or correction, actually) to one, throwaway line of dialogue from the original 1977 movie is a primary plot point for this movie in 2018? That's writing that's too satisfied with its own cleverness.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:57 AM on May 29, 2018 [1 favorite]


I liked all the callbacks because they reminded me that this is a lived-in universe that I have experienced for most of my life.

I find the divide on this fascinating and confusing, because I have literally the opposite reaction, but have heard both sides from many sources.

For me, the excessive callbacks make the Star Wars universe seem less lived in and more like a theme park. Not a grand, sweeping universe, but a tiny, insular backlot set. In a galaxy with enough planets to require thousands of senate delegations, why is "bantha poodoo" everyone's go-to turn of phrase? For an intergalactic militaristic empire, why are there only like five planets that anyone can mention that are imperial strongholds? In an economy so comically dependent on bounty hunters, why are there only like 2 that can be brought up if the need arises? Etc, etc.

If it was a small handful of references it would be fine, but Solo is just dripping with un-subtle name drops and callbacks. It didn't make me hate the movie (I enjoyed it), but the callbacks for me are nearly the worst part, second only to the insatiable need to establish provenance for every goddamn thing. (Han couldn't just have a last name? Really?)

Related, I'm not really thrilled with how many of these bits of provenance they decided to cram into one movie. Far be it for me to suggest we need another prequel trilogy, but it makes the universe (and Han's place in it) feel very small and barely outside the bounds of what we see in the original trilogy when his origin story basically has every important thing we know about him happen in about a 1 week period of time. There's dozens of stories that could have been told about e.g. how Han met Lando, how Han met Chewie, how Han got his blaster, how Han got the Falcon, how Han ended up headed to Tatooine, etc. We don't get those, though. Instead, literally every one of those has been answered with "on basically his first job as an outlaw he did all these things and I guess has spent the remaining time before we meet him in the Mos Eisley Cantina doing pretty basic smuggling runs for Jabba the Hutt, with nothing really changing in himself, Chewie, or the Falcon."

So yeah. I dunno, I'm mixed. Not a bad movie, but doesn't feel like great stewardship of the character and for me personally makes everything feel smaller and less interesting.
posted by tocts at 10:20 AM on May 29, 2018 [19 favorites]


What's weird to me, thinking about it further, is that the movie felt so mechanical despite pretty much every character having a decent dollop of charisma, even the CGI one, with the possible exception of Qi'ra, who seemed more one-note. That usually elevates a heist film. The plot did drag, but there weren't moments where I was like, "Man, I just don't care about what happens to this character." Maybe there just wasn't enough interaction and interesting dynamics amongst the characters. Han and Beckett did have more of a rapport, and I think that's why I found their little story probably the most satisfying (if not, you know, deeply innovative).
posted by praemunire at 10:53 AM on May 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


And that's the problem. I mean, was that really one of the burning questions that fans wanted answered by a Han Solo origin film?

No, and I don't think the Kasdans were specifically trying to clear up anyone's confusion over units of measure. It's just a background implication of the scene, which on its own was a perfectly fine way to show off Han's aptitude for seat-of-the-pants flying in high pressure situations. The nerd stuff is in there for the people who have fun picking that stuff apart, but the rest plays as a pretty fun action scene for everyone else, totally in the spirit of the franchise.
posted by Strange Interlude at 11:07 AM on May 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


It's like they made delicious ice cream sundae, with a delightful selection of toppings and sauces, but forgot to put the ice cream in first, so I had a bowl of chocolate sauce and whip cream with sprinkles: good, but something important is missing.

For what it's worth, it didn't feel like that to me -- to me, it felt like a fun, modern western set in space. It's also not every movie that can make enslavement and the wearing away of people's souls under systemic oppression a major theme, and still keep it feeling like a lighthearted caper.

Also, this may just be me, but I thought Han's emotional arc had real resonance. The big bad for him wasn't evil like it is for Rey (or Kylo Ren, really), it's want. And the temptation to indulge in his nobler instincts is dangerous because it's bad for business. He had to learn that the hard way, like most people in real life -- I thought that was interesting. And I also think Solo as Han's coming of age story pairs really well with A New Hope, in that this story is even more interesting as a counterpoint to Luke Skywalker's. I haven't rewatched A New Hope yet, but I'm hoping to do that reasonably soon, to compare/contrast.

Anyway, on kind of a different topic: all I heard about this movie before it came out was about how terrible it was going to be. My ex always repeated the Reddit party line like he'd invented it himself, and he had ~so much scoffing to do~ even months before this movie was released. I don't know why so many people were set on not liking it before seeing it, and so so SO insistent that it was not "cool" -- and not cool to be excited for it or to like it or even to see it -- but they were.

Honestly, I suspect that this movie being branded even pre-release as "uncool" has to do with all the "controversy" over The Last Jedi and the so-called girlification of Star Wars. This is the first movie coming out after The Last Jedi, and so for a lot of bros it's their first real chance to scoff at how Star Wars is obviously for losers with at least some cover for the misogyny that IMO that attitude is ultimately springing from. ("Losers," aka, women). I'm not saying that people analyzing and critiquing the actual movie have this problem, I'm saying that's where I think a lot of the terrible pre-release hype and subsequent box office issues are coming from.

I think that also may have been an aspect of where the directorial challenges were initially coming from, too. Apparently, the first directors were trying to remake this in the mold of Guardians of the Galaxy, and that doesn't really fit with the sincerity and simplicity of Star Wars, and so they were having A LOT of trouble reconciling that. Ron Howard apparently came in and just shot things straightforwardly, and that's how we got the Solo we ultimately got. Personally, I think that part of why the first directors were trying so hard to fix what ain't broke was probably because they were taking the complaints about The Last Jedi too much too heart and didn't quite believe that the Star Wars vibe or model or whatever actually *isn't* currently broken and in need of fixing. I don't think that's all that was going on with them, I think some of it was based on how they saw the characters and the kind of improvisational/snarky vibe they wanted because of that, but I do think that the complaints about The Last Jedi have had a serious impact on how Solo was and is being perceived by the zeitgeist and maybe even by its own producers/directors.

This isn't a perfect movie, but I also think that its struggles in terms of the box office are not a reflection of it in particular so much as a reflection of where Star Wars is in the zeitgeist right now, struggling as it is against being labeled as too "feminized" and therefore being derided in a way it wasn't before.
posted by rue72 at 11:11 AM on May 29, 2018 [7 favorites]


"on basically his first job as an outlaw he did all these things and I guess has spent the remaining time before we meet him in the Mos Eisley Cantina doing pretty basic smuggling runs for Jabba the Hutt, with nothing really changing in himself, Chewie, or the Falcon."

well, I don't disagree with your points here, but how many people have you met whose proudest let-me-tell-you-about-the-time-I-etc moments all fell within a fairly brief period of their early lives, before they went on to get a regular job and basically got stuck in a rut that lasted ten years or more?
posted by prize bull octorok at 11:13 AM on May 29, 2018 [18 favorites]


Fiction isn't real life.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:17 AM on May 29, 2018


À la recherche du temps perdu is, pretty much.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:41 AM on May 29, 2018


I think this film is kind of stuck in a cul-de-sac, because this film directly explains how Han came to be in Ep 4, and not the much more currently relevant (to us) question of what happened between Return and Force Awakens.

And I think in a small way, TFA kind of contributes to this feeling as even if we know how he came to be in Solo, that information cannot be used to affect plot points involving Han in the future, because Han is dead. The only way this movie might be relevant to the new trilogy is if Q'ira or maybe Lando appear in them for some reason. (Or Han comes back, I guess.)

I also wonder if R1 contributed to this as audience members maybe felt a little jarring that everyone they spend a movie getting to know dies and are never mentioned ever again.

That said, I enjoyed the film, yet still agree that the way Han develops into Han feels compressed into a week's worth of adventures.
posted by FJT at 12:19 PM on May 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


And I think in a small way, TFA kind of contributes to this feeling as even if we know how he came to be in Solo, that information cannot be used to affect plot points involving Han in the future, because Han is dead.

That's a good point. It's also funny to think that the prequels were similar in terms of Anakin -- we get his backstory via the prequels years and years after seeing him die in Return of the Jedi. I think Anakin is relevant in the later movies, though, because of how his story reverberates through the lives of his children. Maybe Han's arc will be (thematically) relevant in terms of Kylo Ren's?

Though honestly, even though Kylo Ren killed the man, I don't have much of a sense of what their character arcs (or even the characters themselves) have to do with one another.
posted by rue72 at 12:51 PM on May 29, 2018 [3 favorites]


It was Fan Service: The Movie and apparently I was there for that exact thing

Yeah I think this was me too. We literally only went to this movie because we were walking by the theater with money in our pocket and a free evening. So, I saw it in a one-screen smalltown theater that was about half full of people, mostly teenagers and hardcore nerds. And one of the things that was fun was that during the callback stuff on-screen, everyone in the audience clapped (even the teenagers) and it just made me happy, both because I could then "get" some of the jokes that may have evaded me but also because it was clear there was a whole new generation of nerds who liked some of the same stuff I did and were moving along with it, it wasn't just my moribund old-people culture stuff. We enjoyed it, it was a fun romp.

That said me and my guy had a divide over Qi'ra. I was like "Han LEFT, she has to do what she's gotta do" in terms of the way it all ended. And he was like "But he came BACK, he was always planning to come back...." so that was interesting, our different takes on that.

I found the plot generally good, agree some of the opener heist scene stuff could have been shorter even though it was dramatic. Was impressed with Harrelson and the new-Han I thought did a respectable job getting Ford's mannerisms down pretty well. A lot of his facial expression stuff was straight out of the earlier movies and it was clear that they worked on his hair and posture a decent amount. Loved Glover's Lando. Wished there had been more Newton and the Enfys Nest character who I was surprised to have not seen in anything before.
posted by jessamyn at 1:05 PM on May 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


I think of myself as a Star Wars fan, but not a fanatic - watched all the movies, blotted the Prequels from my mind (no, not even with Machete order), enjoyed the new movies, but never got into the Extended Universe or even the Rebels / Clone Wars shows.

I went in without any real expectations, and I liked it. I liked it a lot.

So I think the Fan Service: The Movie people are picking up on things that are not so obvious (or jarring) to more casual fans. I mean, I got Sabac (but not that game! It was the next one where he won the Falcon "fair and square"), and the dice, and the Kessel run (in 12 parsecs, not 14!), and Han shooting first, and the Tatooine reference, and "I hate you / I know", and Darth Maul - but none of those felt excessively heavy handed. Meanwhile, I didn't get Teras Kasi or Aurra Sing (but did catch the throwaway reference to hiring Bossc).

The main thing hurting this movie, I think, is that it's so soon after The Last Jedi. Didn't we just do a Star Wars movie?

Also, I was hoping Sabac was more complicated than just drawing a better hand. Where's the skill in that?
posted by RedOrGreen at 1:57 PM on May 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


Personally, I think that part of why the first directors were trying so hard to fix what ain't broke was probably because they were taking the complaints about The Last Jedi too much too heart and didn't quite believe that the Star Wars vibe or model or whatever actually *isn't* currently broken and in need of fixing.

FWIW, Ron Howard wrapped filming on Solo in October '17, about two months before The Last Jedi hit theaters. The TLJ backlash didn't really hit until the week of release in late December, so neither Howard nor Lord & Miller could have had any of that in mind while doing their work on Solo, even if they had been informed about plot details in advance of TLJ's release.
posted by Strange Interlude at 2:22 PM on May 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


Also, I was hoping Sabac was more complicated than just drawing a better hand. Where's the skill in that?

IIRC in the old EU sabaac involved electronic cards that could randomly change value, but you could "hold" the values of a limited number in your hand. You wanted to get the closest score to 23 or -23 to win (although there was one hand that beat those - The Idiot's Array: an idiot card, a 2, and a 3). Kind of space-blackjack. I guess new sabaac is more like space-poker (you get some static cards, and place bets), although Wookiepedia still lists the old version. Or maybe there's just a bunch of variants.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:30 PM on May 29, 2018 [2 favorites]


The problem here is that everything in this movie is a known quantity and a callback. Like, almost every single dumb thing. When you describe a character in a sentence, say "Han Solo is a bounty hunter with a heart of gold" I don't need to know where he got his name or why he has a heart of gold.

I really, really, don't need another prequel movie that is just a prequel, that features everything you know about a character fleshed out, and a handful of new characters that are just destined for death (or, I guess, in one case, betrayal).

Just give me a cool story set in this universe! Don't make the Boba Fett movie about how he got his armor. Make it about him hunting down crazy bounties!
posted by graventy at 2:37 PM on May 29, 2018 [11 favorites]


funny that nobody here has mentioned the movie's most blatant act of fanservice, blasting the crystal skull to smithereens
posted by prize bull octorok at 2:46 PM on May 29, 2018 [10 favorites]


but none of those felt excessively heavy handed

My reaction, as an oldster fan, was the inverse: you mean that the whole plot of this movie is based on a fan in-joke? (Solo is starting to feel like the 'what color is this dress' of movies.)

I really, really, don't need another prequel movie that is just a prequel, that features everything you know about a character fleshed out, and a handful of new characters that are just destined for death (or, I guess, in one case, betrayal).

This. I totally get why those who enjoyed this movie did really enjoy it; it just struck me as unexpectedly boring (very well-made boring, but still). The aspect of Ep. IX that I am most anticipating is that, really for the first time since the original film, the story could go anywhere.
posted by LooseFilter at 3:49 PM on May 29, 2018 [5 favorites]


I'm sort of on the fence about the to-prequel-or-not-to-prequel question, but I will say this, which I think is relevant:

The thing that bugged me about Solo, I realized in the bathroom immediately afterward, was how few surprises there were.

Maybe TLJ set the bar too high w/r/t surprises, but OTOH, this is a franchise that has always surfed the wave from one surprise to another. Even the prequel trilogy had surprises—so you can't say this is just a symptom of prequelitis, or at least, not an unavoidable one.

But apart from the Big Bad Reveal at the end*, Solo's surprise quotient was pretty low. I blame myself, partly; I was a SW fanatic back in the West End days, and the film drew heavily on general stuff established back then. I did of course find that delightful—along with the performances, from Young Han Solo Chronicles dude to Evil Stephen Maturin—but I completely sympathize with those who found it boring.

And re: the director shakeup... ya know, Young Han Actor (not gonna try to spell his name) managed very well, I thought, in threading the needle between kind-of-jaded yet still capable of being youthfully exuberant. Better directing and performing there than I had come to expect.

* = I kept myself spoiler-free, but I knew there was a Surprise Established Character Appearance, and as the film went on I started worrying that it might be a Sith who was behind Voss.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 5:25 AM on May 30, 2018 [4 favorites]


CheesesOfBrazil: When you describe a character in a sentence, say "Han Solo is a bounty hunter with a heart of gold" I don't need to know where he got his name or why he has a heart of gold.

I don't totally disagree with this, but my personal bar for which story elements probably shouldn't be "prequelled" is narrower -- anything whose mention/description served a solid purpose in themselves in the original work, evoking a sense of mystery/humor/etc. So for example, it's a very good thing that Bill Watterson never flashed back to the "Noodle Incident" in Calvin and Hobbes because the whole point was that it somehow exceeded any other mischief the character had committed. Likewise with any of the adventures that Watson mentions offhand in Sherlock Holmes stories, whose names tickle the reader's imagination in a way that spelling out their details would not.

So I was less on-board for seeing the fabled Kessel Run than for, say, the non-fabled meeting of Han and Chewbacca. The former was character-flavoring ("the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs" sounds like a thing an outer-spacey hothead would brag about) whereas the latter had never been referenced onscreen (There was no "Remember when we first met, Chewie? It was wild").

In fact, come to think of it, the numbering of the episodes of the original trilogy belongs to that "purpose in itself" category. They were meant to evoke a sense of epic scope, the bookend to the phrase "a long time ago". The choice of "V" for The Empire Strikes Back was quasi-arbitrary and not because Lucas had any sort of outline for a preceding trilogy worked out (despite his occasional remarks suggesting otherwise).

An example of my rule of thumb being broken to (in my opinion) poor effect: the moment in Harry Potter that "explains" the annual retirement of Defense teachers as a literal curse from Voldemort, when tradition worked much better as a narrative device, something that always happens because Of Course It Does.

On the other hand, a major exception, a case where "explaining" something that was dandy on its own actually succeeds very well: The Lord of the Rings provides a massive backstory for The Hobbit's humble ring of invisibility. Even so, Tolkien had to rewrite the original a bit to account for the changes... and that works out cleverly and conveniently because it makes sense for the ring's corruptive nature to cause an unreliable-narrator effect.
posted by InTheYear2017 at 7:41 AM on May 30, 2018 [7 favorites]


I think that's a reasonable way to think about it, yeah. Some things aren't worth putting on screen because they'll never be as good as we imagine them to be when they're a vague reference (e.g. The Kessel Run). Other things, it's OK to explain, but maybe don't do so many in so condensed a time.

The more I've thought about this movie, the more it feels like it wants to both be an origin story (where we see a character's path begin) and a biopic (where a character's entire history is laid out for us). Unfortunately those don't really gel, because it means you get what we got -- a character's start, which then includes nearly everything of their history we know of.
posted by tocts at 9:07 AM on May 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


i didn't go until monday afternoon and the (small) audience reaction was flatter than a bottle of pepsi than has been sitting open for a week, to the point where i think i was the only one laughing

it had a few enjoyable moments but i tend to think most prequels are uniformly terrible because they are so rote, and this one was no exception. it wasn't as bad as i expected, but it wasn't as good as i had hoped

checklist for obligatory "and HERE's how Han got his [blank] moments"

☑ blaster
☑ co-pilot
☑ name
☑ buddy
☑ ship
☑ shoot-first attitude
☑ Kessel Run record
☐ vest
☐ scar
☐ nemesis in Mandalorian armor
☐ striped pantaloons
☐ knowledge about the relative difficulty of wrestling the ears off a gundark

i guess they were saving some for the sequel to the prequel
posted by entropicamericana at 9:13 AM on May 30, 2018 [11 favorites]


I had the idea from Empire and Jedi that Han and Lando were old pals but by the end of this film, they still barely know each other and leave separately. I was hoping for some romping Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser style adventures with the two of them.
posted by octothorpe at 9:14 AM on May 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


It would be a literal capital federal crime for Glover's Lando to go unused after this brief outing so hopefully the sequel to the prequel will include more Han/Lando hijinks. Of course, each such film will have to end with Han screwing Lando over in some way, so that his words of greeting in ESB make sense. I'm okay with this! I welcome years and years of space buddy heist movies!

I mean come on, like we're not going to see the Battle of Taanab on screen
posted by prize bull octorok at 9:19 AM on May 30, 2018 [8 favorites]


checklist for obligatory "and HERE's how Han got his [blank] moments"
☐ vest


It's possible we sorta kinda saw how Han got his outfit, if not the vest specifically -- Dryden Vos was wearing basically a more luxurious/runway version of the outfit Han's wearing when we meet him in A New Hope. To me, it looks like Han is wearing the H&M version of Dryden Vos's designer suit. (Here's a link to a photo of Vos).
posted by rue72 at 9:35 AM on May 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


I think there is that one scene where Chewie literally rips the arms off of someone and Han was like "Hey I was going to wear that jacket" and we're all like THE VEST.
posted by jessamyn at 9:38 AM on May 30, 2018 [24 favorites]


Han and Lando could obviously have tangled several more times after this.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:08 AM on May 30, 2018


☐ striped pantaloons

They don't give out the Corellian Bloodstripe for perfect attendance.
posted by The Tensor at 11:44 AM on May 30, 2018 [12 favorites]


I give this film 3 mehs out of 5. I enjoyed it well enough but it felt like a real waste of an opportunity. Han Solo could have been a much more interesting character. Really it's Qi'ra I came away from the film being interested in. Also I was totally hype for Lando in the movie but he fell kind of flat for me too. Not enough to do, too much of a one dimensional joke.

Can we talk about the lighting? The faces are all so flat and dark, they looked like this and this. So washed out. There's been some discussion that the problem is the quality of projection, but if so judging by the Twitter chatter it's a problem in a lot of venues. I saw it in 2d in a decent theater and FWIW some shots like this one came out OK. So I wonder if it was just the choice to backlight almost everything. The cinematographer knows what he's doing but it sure didn't work for me. I literally couldn't make out Glover's features in some shots.

On the subject of droids, ‘Solo’ Has a Deeply Twisted and Messed Up Moment That No One in the Movie Acknowledges goes into detail on what a shitty end L3-37 meets. She goes from being leader of Droid Liberation to a heroic death to being turned into a navigation database. It's really gross if you think about it. OTOH my read on Star Wars droids is there's a sort of ongoing very grim joke that the droids think they have free will but don't really.
posted by Nelson at 4:14 PM on May 30, 2018 [8 favorites]


I just finished a really complicated SF book--A Closed and Common Orbit, everyone should read it--about the thoughts and feelings of AIs and maybe because of that my read on that interaction was a little different. I thought the hook of it was that she was the one saying "He's always been on love with me" and you're supposed to say "Nah, you are a robot" but after she gets partly blown up, he clearly risks everything to go save at least part of her, proving that she was right all along. Of course her being made into the MFs navigator is not great but it also keeps whatever her "self" is together and able to be ported in to something else. Of course we know that doesn't happen later in the series, but based on the book I was reading, there's a whole range of what might or might not be "What an AI wants" and I think the explanation in that blog post is pretty facile about it. I agree with you tho, there is this constant riff that basically everyone (droids and humans) are enslaved by... something.
posted by jessamyn at 4:32 PM on May 30, 2018 [11 favorites]


well in ESB Threepio says that the ship has a peculiar dialect, not that the ship was begging for the sweet release of memory erasure to free it from the never-ending hell of being forced to serve as a freighter's navigational computer, so
posted by prize bull octorok at 4:40 PM on May 30, 2018 [6 favorites]


I think you could easily look at it as continuing to give L3 life. We don't really know enough about how droids work in universe to judge if it's shitty or not, to my mind.
posted by Chrysostom at 4:56 PM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


Consider R2-D2's introduction in TPM, where they basically treat astromech droids as disposable as a bunch of cheap Allen wrenches from Ikea. By those standards, recycling L3's brain is downright progressive!
posted by prize bull octorok at 5:03 PM on May 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


I just can't get past the fact that her name is "leet".
posted by tobascodagama at 5:08 PM on May 30, 2018 [11 favorites]


For me, the excessive callbacks make the Star Wars universe seem less lived in and more like a theme park. Not a grand, sweeping universe, but a tiny, insular backlot set.

The lived in idea of this world isn't that "why does everyone always go to the same places?", but it's "yeah, those are the places we know because these are all parts of the same story." And fan-service or not, it's hard to tell the overall arc of a character without referencing the same places at different points of the story. Why would you throw in random places the characters have been to that has no relevance to the plot just to make the universe seem bigger? We know these places held events that have consequences later in the timeline. It makes sense that this movie reminds us that those places are important to the overall story of the Skywalkers and the Alliance, which includes Solo.

The "Legends" that got shuttered still holds a great amount of ideals to expand this universe. I wouldn't turn down a good movie from that side of the galaxy, but even the places in those stories tend to overlap with what we know of the main series. Every universe is as sprawling as a writer wants, but you have to ground it in a few places that are important to the plot and the characters. It's like how there are many stories all over Earth, but everyone knows and major characters have been to New York, Paris, Hong Kong, etc.
posted by numaner at 5:13 PM on May 30, 2018 [1 favorite]


i guess they were saving some for the sequel to the prequel

Coming summer 2021: Han and Lando get back together for one more job in Duo: A Star Wars Story.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 6:51 PM on May 30, 2018 [11 favorites]


She goes from being leader of Droid Liberation to a heroic death to being turned into a navigation database.

"A navigation database" is a strange way to say "The soul of the Millennium Fucking Falcon" but ok

Han and Lando get back together for one more job in Duo: A Star Wars Story.

I did get the sense that they were at the very least testing the waters for a Tatooine-based sequel, and that title is genius.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:49 AM on May 31, 2018 [4 favorites]


Han and Lando get back together for one more job in Duo: A Star Wars Story.

If they get Scott Aukerman and Ben Schwartz in on the sequel, it could be a Solo Bolo.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:04 AM on May 31, 2018 [2 favorites]


The soul of the Millennium Fucking Falcon

I'd like to believe that. But they never show us that in the movie. There's no scene of her personality booting up and making some wry crack about how she's got a new and better body and how fulfilled she is. All they show us is that now Han can find the Maelstrom's Crack or whatever.

I'd like to believe that Lando had no other option to save her after bringing her on the ship. But they don't show us that, don't have a single sentence about "shame there's no way to repair this droid." The attempt to rescue her and her Pieta death were nice enough but then we don't see Lando mourn her afterwards. For that matter we never see Beckett really mourn Val either. It's not that kind of movie really, they're in too big a hurry to have the next action sequence. Contrast with Rogue One and the moving scenes with the Space Husbands.

I get it, it's ambiguous. You can see it how you want. I didn't like the way it looked to me.
posted by Nelson at 9:15 AM on May 31, 2018 [12 favorites]


I saw it last weekend and I walked out with basically the sentiment that tocts spelled out so well above:

"literally every one of those [pieces of Han's backstory] has been answered with "on basically his first job as an outlaw he did all these things and I guess has spent the remaining time before we meet him in the Mos Eisley Cantina doing pretty basic smuggling runs for Jabba the Hutt, with nothing really changing in himself, Chewie, or the Falcon."

There is a danger in over-explaining the backstory and I definitely think that Solo fell into that trap. There is no necessary narrative between this film and the beginning of A New Hope, and that is a mistake.

I also found the film's pacing exhausting. From the first shot until basically the last half-hour or so, the story is nearly all action set-pieces, and after a while I was just hoping they would be over soon. By the time that Woody Harrelson's character had to inject the fuel into the thing it felt less like Fan-Service: The Movie and more like Story Problems: The Movie.

I also think that the film did itself a disservice by raising the spectres of various kinds of oppression (droid enslavement; decraniation; and whatever horrible things we are meant to understand Qi'ra has had to do to survive) without engaging with them. I'm not saying that the movie needed to be more grimdark, nor am I saying that, e.g., a droid rights advocate can never be a comic figure, but I felt that the film was glib about raising these issues for shock without grappling with them, and that was a mistake that really soured my enjoyment of the film.
posted by gauche at 9:40 AM on May 31, 2018 [6 favorites]


But they never show us that in the movie.

It goes way beyond the movie for me. When they transferred L3 into the Falcon, I actually thought all the way back to running through my backyard with the massive Millennium Falcon toy over my head, landing on a sand pile (Tatooine) or a muddy puddle (Dagobah) and how great it was that L3 was the one behind all those landings, even though I didn't know it.

I can see your perspective as well, but I think -- for me anyway -- the fan service stuff just has a much deeper resonance given the way I've grown up with these stories.
posted by Rock Steady at 10:06 AM on May 31, 2018 [7 favorites]


I also think that the film did itself a disservice by raising the spectres of various kinds of oppression (droid enslavement; decraniation; and whatever horrible things we are meant to understand Qi'ra has had to do to survive) without engaging with them. I'm not saying that the movie needed to be more grimdark, nor am I saying that, e.g., a droid rights advocate can never be a comic figure, but I felt that the film was glib about raising these issues for shock without grappling with them, and that was a mistake that really soured my enjoyment of the film.

These issues are the things I'd love to see be taken up in a sequel to the film.

Per L3 and the Falcon, it came across to me that it wasn't like the spirit or actual persona of L3 was transferred to the Falcon - so much her memories. It's a gray area, but I don't see it as L3 suddenly becoming aware to find herself trapped in a mainframe in a light freighter.
posted by Atreides at 4:16 PM on May 31, 2018


These issues are the things I'd love to see be taken up in a sequel to the film.

You know what characters would be a great vehicle for exploring the individuality and rights of droids? Bollux and Blue Max.
posted by The Tensor at 10:56 PM on May 31, 2018 [3 favorites]


Of all the stupid Star Wars names I still can't believe they had a droid named "bollocks".
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:48 AM on June 1, 2018 [6 favorites]


a droid named "bollocks"

Never mind him. Here's the blaster pistols.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:44 AM on June 1, 2018 [7 favorites]


I also found it very dark and murky. I thought it was a problem with the projection but apparently it's deliberate:
Perhaps the most noticeable visual element is the new film’s dimness. Cinematographer Bradford Young, who was part of the project when Lord and Miller were involved, has created a visually gritty and almost deliberately ugly world in which Han, Chewie, Han’s love interest, Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke), and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) operate. Young’s other efforts as a director of photography, such as A Most Violent Year and Arrival, also hint at his willingness to use darkness in any shot; unfortunately, in Solo, it’s often a misstep, especially in the first half-hour. Even once the Kessel Run kicks off, inside the Millennium Falcon, the ship isn’t remotely as inviting as in other films just because it can be so hard to see what’s going on.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 7:48 AM on June 1, 2018 [4 favorites]


Counterpoint: It's definitely a problem with the projection, because the large theater chains skimp on equipment maintenance and employ automation instead of trained technicians, and the projector manufacturers misrepresent the true light output of their machines.

When your average movie on Blu-ray looks better on my (not exactly high end) HDTV than it did in theaters, we need to ask ourselves if it's the filmmakers that are at fault, or the exhibitors.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:48 AM on June 1, 2018 [4 favorites]


So dim. That article talks about two specific problems in theaters: dirty projection lenses, and lazy theaters showing a 2d screening through half of a 3d lens. Also bulbs get dimmer as they wear out. Those all sound like plausible sources of a problem. OTOH apparently this film pushes the projector in a way a lot of other movies don't. I saw the last two Star Wars spectacles at the exact same screen and they both seemed fine to me.

THX, Dolby Digital, and related sound standards work as a marque of quality for the sound in a movie theater. I assume it's backed up with some occasional calibration and testing. I wonder why a similar program isn't effective for picture quality.
posted by Nelson at 10:10 AM on June 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


I found myself thinking "Oh, thank goodness this wasn't as dim as the last couple were." hashtagshrugemoji
posted by Etrigan at 10:48 AM on June 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


I honestly thought that it was *my* theater.
posted by graventy at 1:53 PM on June 1, 2018


Kylo Ren Reviews Solo: A Star Wars Story (SL Auralnauts)

Hmm, a couple of his criticisms sounds awfully familiar. Is he reading this thread?

Oh and a really interesting YT comment in there:

"Kylo, I can't help but notice that according to this propaganda film, your father grew up as a lonely survivor on a random planet, who is a pilot and can speak alien languages, where he has to work for survival under a boss, and has no name for himself.

I can't help but notice the similarities between your dad and a certain girl you have a crush on. Could that be why you like her so much...? Just saying."

posted by FJT at 7:55 PM on June 1, 2018 [5 favorites]


The New Yorker: 'The Growing Emptiness of the “Star Wars” Universe' by Joshua Rothman
posted by Apocryphon at 8:15 PM on June 1, 2018 [1 favorite]


The design of Enfys Nest is definitely someone's clever nod to Jaxxon the big green rabbit guy from the old Marvel Star Wars comics, right?

The aesthetic of the Enfys Nest gang and the refinery scenes in general just scream Phillipe Druillet to me, and is probably the best thing about this movie.

There's a bunch of things to complain about - the idiotic Kessel run justification being the main one - but the movie mostly worked as far I am concerned. I don't know why people get so excited about Darth Maul showing up; not having ventured outside the movie universe, he looks like just a generic Bad Guy. Palpatine is scheming and devious, Jabba the Hut is obscene, Vader is cruel and inhuman - Maul is... funny looking?
posted by each day we work at 1:07 AM on June 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


I don't know why people get so excited about Darth Maul showing up

Because the last time that we saw him, he was literally cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi, which tends to be the kind of decisively fatal wound that filmmakers use as shorthand for 'this dude is actually dead' (ref: Snoke in TLJ). So it was a bit surprising to see him alive and well, with no in-movie explanation.

Also, it does indeed appear that the whole movie was premised upon "solving" the Kessel Run problem:
One of the most debated and theorized upon conundrums in “Star Wars” is how Han Solo could’ve completed the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs ― as he claims to have done in the original trilogy.

This was one of the problems that writers Lawrence and his son Jonathan Kasdan set out to fix. Lawrence told HuffPost that the sequence that ended up in “Solo” went through “a million changes.”

“It was the hardest sequence in the movie to decide on because we knew we wanted to do it from the get-go,” he said. “But what is [a parsec] exactly? And what makes it as hard as it is? And how long [would it take]? Since a parsec is not a unit of time, it’s a unit of distance. And how do you clarify that thing?”

Like Lawrence noted, a parsec counts for distance, so Han Solo saying he did the Kessel Run ― an 18-parsec route used by smugglers ― in 12 parsecs is sort of like saying I ran a mile-long route in 200 feet.

“It’s a funny problem because it’s one of those throwaway things in the original ‘Star Wars’ that’s very much the essence of what’s so great about ‘Star Wars,’” Jonathan said. “To say, ‘Are you kidding? This is the ship that did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs?’ and no one knows what any part of that sentence means.”

The younger Kasdan acknowledged how iconic the original Harrison Ford line about the Kessel Run was, but clarified: “The challenge of actually making that sentence coherent and making it thrilling is really a big one.”

“It’s one we wrestled with from day one,” he said.
SMH.
posted by LooseFilter at 7:00 AM on June 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


Because the last time that we saw him, he was literally cut in half by Obi-Wan Kenobi, which tends to be the kind of decisively fatal wound that filmmakers use as shorthand for 'this dude is actually dead' (ref: Snoke in TLJ). So it was a bit surprising to see him alive and well, with no in-movie explanation.

It's funny, I think many viewers may not have even noticed this conundrum. While it's true that the existence of the Empire means we know that Solo is for sure happening after the events of the prequels, I think a lot of more casual fans may not have consciously picked up on that, because the movie doesn't spend a ton of time establishing when it happens relative to the parts of the saga.

I'm not saying you have to be a superfan to have noticed, but I think it would be easy for many to be like "oh yeah that guy" and not follow through with "... wait shouldn't he be dead at this point in the timeline?".

Also, it does indeed appear that the whole movie was premised upon "solving" the Kessel Run problem:

Yeesh. Not a shock, but also yeah this is basically the exact thing a lot of people (myself included) were worried about when the project was announced. For all the sins of the prequels, they were at their worst when they hamfistedly attempted to show us on screen how a thing from the original trilogy came to be, but that lesson was apparently lost on Disney this time.
posted by tocts at 7:40 AM on June 2, 2018 [4 favorites]


At least there was nothing about Han's midichlorian count.
posted by Nelson at 8:34 AM on June 2, 2018 [10 favorites]


okay guys what's worse: the solo movie or george lucas's episode iii concept for han1

---
1. he's just a little kid who lives with the wookiees and he's very sad.
posted by entropicamericana at 8:51 AM on June 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


“The challenge of actually making that sentence coherent and making it thrilling is really a big one.”

It's a big one all right.
posted by each day we work at 9:27 AM on June 2, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think many viewers may not have even noticed this conundrum.

Most assuredly (though in my experience most viewers aren't very attentive in general). But if you're a fan of the SW movies to any degree--as in, paid attention to, enjoyed, and perhaps even re-watched them once or twice--then Darth Maul's death is quite memorable. It was a huge, unexpected event in TPM, especially because if you were alive and aware in 1999, that character was everywhere in the marketing for the First New Star Wars Film Since Jedi, all over the merchandising, he was THE NEW DARTH VADER, a Sith Lord we'd never seen! and then SLICE, cut in half at the waist in the first act and little Obi-Wan earns his big Jedi britches. To many viewers, Darth Maul is definitely not a minor, background character to resurrect with no in-movie explanation needed, and in fact for many of us represents the first inkling we got (at that damn midnight premiere showing I waited in line for hours and hours to get tickets for) that maybe George Lucas wasn't so good at making these movies on his own. I'm sure that many are left completely confused when Maul's ugly mug pops up, and for that painful memory (of TPM generally) to surface right at the end of a very mediocre new SW movie was...an unfortunate confluence. Maybe not the best creative choice?

Despite the preceding sentences, I actually don't have any feeling about it beyond my initial confusion during viewing, but it is one more example of how this movie is meta and kind of up its own butt in the wrong ways (for me, IMHO, YMMV).
posted by LooseFilter at 11:56 AM on June 2, 2018 [4 favorites]


I'm not saying you have to be a superfan to have noticed, but I think it would be easy for many to be like "oh yeah that guy" and not follow through with "... wait shouldn't he be dead at this point in the timeline?".

Bizarrely, it's those of us who are not completist superfans but still fans who were probably the most bewildered.

My first reaction when I saw Darth Maul was, wait, exactly how old is Han Solo?

My second reaction, when a friend of mine who had seen Rebels said that Maul had been resurrected twice (?!), was to assume this meant that Qi'ra had decided to join the empire. (This actually makes perfect sense if you assume Qi'ra is lawful but not good -- one bit of head cannon I have is that a lot of people decided the empire was a good idea because the earlier system of petty warlords in the outer systems was even worse.)

Basically, this was a baffling decision on the part of the screenwriters. For a franchise full of sloppy writing (how difficult would it have been for Holdo to tell Poe that she wasn't going to tell him her plan because someone in the resistance was a spy who installed a tracking device on their ship?), having Darth Maul show up unexpectedly requires people to know a ton of backstory before they can even begin to understand what's going on.

(And on the gripping hand, having said that, maybe they intended that as proof to the superfans that they were in fact paying attention to the timeline and, don't worry, everything was under control. I don't believe this, but it might be true.)
posted by steady-state strawberry at 3:51 PM on June 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


That was some good nerd shit.
posted by Artw at 3:56 PM on June 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


This was a good, fun movie!

I don't think it was a very good Star Wars movie though, but I haven't enjoyed any of the recent movies. I will agree that the recent films have had good or great parts to them, but as a whole didn't work.

The guy playing Han seemed so off and was surrounded by a great cast that just acted rings around him. The actor just didn't land for me.

Otherwise, the plot struck me a overly complicated, with entirely too much fan service ridiculousness. Like others, I like the idea of a solo, uh, Solo film, but I didn't feel this particular story needed to be told. But was open to it!

Yet it feels so empty. Han went to war for 3 years, yet it doesn't seem to have affected him much. He's just an already formed character, walking though scenes, as opposed to evolving into the Han Solo we know and love.

Han always struck me as sort of dark, having done some really bad stuff at some point. Nothing too terrible or down only once or twice, but something. But no, we learned he inadvertly helped start the Rebellion? What kinda Disneyfiction BS is that? Geeze.

Oddly enough, almost every other character was much more interesting than Han, would have loved to have seen more of them. And poor Chewie, forever playing second fiddle.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:32 PM on June 2, 2018 [6 favorites]


But no, we learned he inadvertly helped start the Rebellion? What kinda Disneyfiction BS is that?

I don't think we can pin this on Disney, Star Wars fans have been doing this incestuous nonsense just fine on their own for 40 years.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:11 PM on June 2, 2018 [2 favorites]


Would possibly be better if it was the origin of, like, one or two things instead of fifteen.
posted by Artw at 7:38 PM on June 2, 2018 [4 favorites]


Though, oddly, I actually enjoyed the mega, mega fanwank callbacks to Clone Wars and I guess prequel shit.
posted by Artw at 7:39 PM on June 2, 2018


Also, I thought the Kessel Run was some great feat of Han’s.

But it was L3 who found the route and was never mentioned again.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:54 PM on June 2, 2018 [4 favorites]


It's kind of weird that they talk about breaking the Kessel Run puzzle when it's basically the same thing it was in the old expanded universe, just with a few more hazards than a bunch of black holes to navigate between. I don't think that the focus on the Kessel Run thing really harms the movie, there's a lot more to the movie than that and I've got a high tolerance for Star Wars fanwanking itself because that was the genesis of like 90% of the old EU anyways, but it's still weird that it was a big difficult thing. Unless it's more "gee it was really hard to figure out the Kessel Run without giving Kevin J. Anderson and A.C. Crispin story credits and a bunch of money."
posted by jason_steakums at 8:09 PM on June 2, 2018 [4 favorites]




Did you mean this link, artw?
posted by octothorpe at 4:53 AM on June 3, 2018


Jenny Nicholson has weighed in.
posted by tobascodagama at 8:58 AM on June 3, 2018 [2 favorites]


Mind you, Jenny weighs in for 50 minutes! She's funny and insightful but that's a lot of manic pixie delivery to listen to in one setting. FWIW the part about droids and slavery is at 39:40 to 42:30.
posted by Nelson at 9:23 AM on June 3, 2018 [4 favorites]


So, when are we going to get those t-shirts that say, "Killmonger AND IG-88 were right!"?
posted by FJT at 9:44 AM on June 3, 2018 [2 favorites]


If you don't have 50 minutes, you can watch this version of the Solo trailer where the soundtrack has been replaced with "I'm Solo" from the bizarre Star Wars Kinect tie-in game.
posted by tobascodagama at 11:14 AM on June 3, 2018 [3 favorites]


Mind you, Jenny weighs in for 50 minutes! She's funny and insightful but that's a lot of manic pixie delivery to listen to in one setting.

Not super familiar with Jenny, but wow that 50 minutes was like an relentless sarcastic take down of how bad she thought the movie was.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:28 AM on June 3, 2018


Made it in 5 minutes in and gave up. Relentless YouTube snark is exhausting and sheds little to no light on anything.
posted by Artw at 11:41 AM on June 3, 2018 [1 favorite]


I disagree about Jenny, she points out a lot of problems with the film in a way that conveys she watched the film closely, probably more than once, and is a fan. It's a love/hate kind of snark. Jenny's delivery shtick and breathless editing is too much for me to watch much of but I admire her criticism. Ready Player One for girls is the first video of hers I watched. It's pretty sharp parody.
posted by Nelson at 11:59 AM on June 3, 2018 [2 favorites]


I walked out of the theater four hours ago and all I can think about is the tragic end to the giant octopus monster. Where is its home? How did it end up trapped in a deep space toilet? Was it tossed into the gravity well like an unwanted goldfish? Was it on a Finding Nemo-style adventure, perhaps in search of its parents? So. many. questions.
posted by prinado at 8:27 PM on June 3, 2018 [12 favorites]


It gets the capes.
posted by Artw at 8:53 PM on June 3, 2018


I just questioned how such a large animal could obtain the nutrients necessary for survival. Like maybe it was able to eat some of those smashing boulder things, and was trying to eat the Millenium Falcon only because it was annoyance like a troublesome fly.
posted by blueberry at 10:59 PM on June 3, 2018 [2 favorites]


Maybe it eats exogorths.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:32 AM on June 4, 2018 [3 favorites]


Honestly, all i could about was “wasted” calamari.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:21 AM on June 4, 2018


Even 'Star Wars' can flop: 5 lessons learned from 'Solo's lackluster reception (USA Today)
It’s official: Solo: A Star Wars Story has gone rogue.

The spinoff had the lowest opening ($103 million for the four-day Memorial Day weekend) of any Star Wars film since Disney bought Lucasfilm in 2012, ending a hit streak going back to The Force Awakens three years ago. And it’s only mustered $148.9 million after two weeks, disappointing considering it centers on one of the Star Wars galaxy’s biggest icons, the cosmic smuggler Han Solo. There’s a chance the film's entire haul won't even equal Force Awakens’ $248 million debut.
Cutting to the chase, here are the 5 lessons, in their words (with my responses in italics):

1. Don’t burn us out on Star Wars. (Valid)
2. Some untold tales need to stay that way. (Counterpoint: someone can tell the those tales in an engaging way)
3. Get your head out of your past. (Counterpoint: the past is full of rich and varied mines)
4. Make Star Wars an event again (and a Christmas present). (Valid, echoing point #1)
5. Don’t worry about placating everybody. (Valid: TFA made more money than this did, and this movie lacked the "outcry" from pouty men-children)

Doom doom doom! Solo: A Star Wars Story Probably Won't Break Even at the Box Office -- "This move blew the budget up to more than $250 million - an even bigger pricetag than The Force Awakens."
That massive budget meant that Solo needed to be a considerable hit just to break even. But after a lower-than-expected opening weekend, the movie has now grossed just $8 million on Friday, and is set to earn around $28m in its second weekend - less than half of what box office analysts were expecting. That means that Solo is on track to for a $148 million ten-day total. The last spinoff movie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, grossed $155 million in its opening weekend alone.
...
Solo's second weekend numbers are particularly concerning because, aside from the lingering success of Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2, there's no real competition to be blamed.
...
Forbes estimates that in a best case scenario Solo will manage to scrape $210-215 million domestically, making it the lowest-grossing movie in the Star Wars franchise - even without adjusting for inflation.
...
But unlike the Marvel movies, Star Wars doesn't have a strong pull at the Chinese box office, and Disney's franchise entries so far have had an approximate 50-50 split between domestic and international box office. Optimistically, Solo is looking at ending its theatrical run with $400-450 million worldwide.
...
Studios tend to be very secretive about the costs of marketing and distribution, and Disney is no exception, but the general rule of thumb is that in order to break even a movie needs to gross double its production budget at the box office - in Solo's case, at least $500 million.
...
That doesn't mean that Solo will mark a financial loss for Disney; there's still merchandise and home video sales to take into account (though the audience indifference to the movie at the box office will likely be reflected in those figures as well).
Stepping back to look at the "universe" of Star Wars profits: Disney Recoups A Quarter Of $4 Billion Star Wars Purchase Price -- in six years, since the purchase in 2012.
posted by filthy light thief at 1:34 PM on June 4, 2018 [2 favorites]


2. Some untold tales need to stay that way. (Counterpoint: someone can tell the those tales in an engaging way)

And yet this time around they didn't. We saw Han die a year and half ago, we know how his arc ended, there was no clear reason why we needed to see how it started, other than "Han is cool". Which is fine reason, but then tell a good story. As it is, Solo lands like clunker and didn't impart anything anything engaging to an iconic character.

To me, it feels like his last confrontation with Kylo should have been the culmination of something...something learned. Instead, I'm just wondering "Han you always shot first, why stop now? You got killed and the little creep is still alive, murdering people"
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:50 PM on June 4, 2018 [3 favorites]


Han you always shot first, why stop now?

Uhh, because it was his son? I thought it was fascinating to see that Han learned that lesson so early on, but he couldn't put it into action when his progeny was on the line.
posted by Rock Steady at 4:56 PM on June 4, 2018 [5 favorites]


Han as a character who falls for the same shit over and over pretty much works given what we've been given. His hard bitten exterior is a bit of a shell covering the truth that he is a total sucker.
posted by Artw at 5:02 PM on June 4, 2018 [5 favorites]


Brandon Blatcher: We saw Han die a year and half ago, we know how his arc ended, there was no clear reason why we needed to see how it started, other than "Han is cool". Which is fine reason, but then tell a good story. As it is, Solo lands like clunker and didn't impart anything anything engaging to an iconic character.

Were you looking for something that was missing in the plot, or from the actor, or both?

Brandon Blatcher: The guy playing Han seemed so off and was surrounded by a great cast that just acted rings around him. The actor just didn't land for me.

I asked the prior question, because I felt the same way about young whats-his-name! But perhaps I formed the "little wooden boy who wants to be a real boy" mental image after watching him just kind of exist though late-night talk show interviews (it probably wasn't helped by the total lack of audience reaction in that Jimmy Kimmel clip, when Kimmel said "You made a very fine Han Solo, I would say," or maybe he's good at telling boring shark attack stories). Compare and contrast: Donald Glover talks about the thrill of chatting with Billy Dee Williams about Lando, including Glover's "maybes" on Lando's history, only to have Billy Dee say "I don't know, just be charming" -- heck, I fell in love with the actor who played Chewbacca thanks to a Wired Autocomplete Interview with Emilia Clarke, Joonas Suotamo, and Woody Harrelson. Even the droids had more sass and character than Han in this movie.

Oh little wooden boy, you'll be real one day. Maybe, maybe. (Even if you didn't need an acting coach on set, maybe you should have had one?)
posted by filthy light thief at 8:38 PM on June 4, 2018 [3 favorites]


Definitely both. The actor didn't look or carry himself as Han like, IMO and the plot was pretty lackluster in terms of expanding on the character.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:14 AM on June 5, 2018


That Space-Cthulhu thing was dumb: a black hole escape would have been good enough as just one of The Hero's Travails that they get past.
--

Also, I saw the movie in the very end seat of the very front row of a big theater, so I couldn't actually see a lot of the action (and the audio consisted of constant bone-shaking bass and...some other noises). The fight on the fuel train, for example, was a blur to me. So I am genuinely curious: was the leader of that first group of raiders the same as the girl on the planet where the final act takes place? I couldn't see the costume well enough to be sure.
posted by wenestvedt at 10:49 AM on June 5, 2018


Yes, wenestvedt, that was Enfys Nest in both cases.
posted by Rock Steady at 11:01 AM on June 5, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think Anakin is relevant in the later movies, though, because of how his story reverberates through the lives of his children. Maybe Han's arc will be (thematically) relevant in terms of Kylo Ren's?

Though honestly, even though Kylo Ren killed the man, I don't have much of a sense of what their character arcs (or even the characters themselves) have to do with one another.


My expectation right now is that yes, we will be able to draw parallels between what we learn about Han here and what Kylo Ren does in IX. I think the timing of this movie between The Last Jedi and IX is meant to draw attention to similar characteristics that Han and Ben Solo have in common. To wit:
1. Both are shown to be more naive and trusting than they would like to think they are. Over-emphasis on cynicism is their unevenly applied defense mechanism.
2. Both conflate badness and rebelliousness with toughness necessary to survive.
3. Both stumble into situations with master manipulators operating way above their heads, and have to improvise their way out with varying levels of competence and success.
4. Their goals are more personal and emotional than idealistic or moral.
5. They are not big planners, but react impulsively to opportunities to advance their goals.

They made sure to feature the dice in this film as a signal, so I think it's an indicator we're intended to recognize in the next film. The dice say "Good luck. I'm still with you." It gives new meaning to Luke & Leia leaving them for Ren to find at the end of TLJ. I believe we'll see them used to pass along this same message again in IX.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 11:43 AM on June 5, 2018 [3 favorites]


In case anyone wants to listen, some of the regulars from The Incomparable did a quick-for-them 100-minute episode about the movie here: https://www.theincomparable.com/theincomparable/408/
posted by wenestvedt at 12:09 PM on June 5, 2018


Of course, if Darth Maul can get better after being chopped in half and dropped down a shaft, I don't see why Han Solo can't make a comeback too...
posted by TheophileEscargot at 12:38 PM on June 5, 2018 [1 favorite]


Leia felt it though.

(Also they blew up the planet the hole was on, but the Leia feeling it bit is the bit that seals the deal in Star Wars land. No robot legs for Han.)
posted by Artw at 1:10 PM on June 5, 2018 [3 favorites]


Harrison Ford, like Alec Guinness before him, absolutely hates being in Star Wars now so they're going to have to CGI him for any chance of old Han to return in future movies.
posted by Apocryphon at 5:26 PM on June 5, 2018 [3 favorites]


Harrison Ford hates all things in life, though.
posted by Chrysostom at 5:33 PM on June 5, 2018 [1 favorite]


except flying and weed
posted by entropicamericana at 7:19 PM on June 5, 2018 [1 favorite]


Also turning up in years late sequels looking kind of grumpy about it and everyones happy to see him ever if it's some Von Daniken bullshit or he can't even be bothered to put on a costume and it's got Jared Leto in it.
posted by Artw at 7:32 PM on June 5, 2018 [2 favorites]


Von Daniken bullshit with Shia fucking LaBeouf even... my god, he's worked with both of the assholes-who-are-kind-of-like-that.
posted by Artw at 7:37 PM on June 5, 2018 [1 favorite]


They made sure to feature the dice in this film as a signal, so I think it's an indicator we're intended to recognize in the next film. The dice say "Good luck. I'm still with you." It gives new meaning to Luke & Leia leaving them for Ren to find at the end of TLJ. I believe we'll see them used to pass along this same message again in IX.

I'd argue the opposite. The dice vanished in his hand. His inheritance as a Solo disappearing based on the choices he made to kill his father and confront his uncle. Not to mention, order the execution of all the rebels/resistance members in the mine, knowing his mother was among them (he was also ready to let her be blown to bits in the shuttle convoy on the way to Crait). Last Jedi ended with Kylo Ren losing any of the last vestiges he had to his name and family.

I agree with a lot of the points raised in the USA Today article. I know Disney wants to turn Star Wars into a two films a year franchise, like Marvel, and heaven knows the material is there for it to do so - but it isn't the time yet to do so. People are barely used to having it on an annual basis and had been trained to be excited about it as a December event. I loved having it in December, it was a means for me to visit my family and enjoy a special thing with them.

Anyhoot, for those interested, tickets for Star Wars Celebration Chicago (2019) are now up for sale, covering April 11 through April 15, 2019.
posted by Atreides at 9:31 AM on June 6, 2018 [4 favorites]


Of course, if Darth Maul can get better after being chopped in half and dropped down a shaft, I don't see why Han Solo can't make a comeback too...

My bet is for Mace Windu to appear in the post-credits scene in Episode IX and say to Rey, "You think you're the only one that's trying to fix the Jedi?"
posted by FJT at 2:47 PM on June 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


Maybe he'll show up in Boba Fett and they can finally have their showdown over who is the most cool in concept but actually kind of sucky in terms of appearances on screen Mace killing his dad.
posted by Artw at 3:20 PM on June 6, 2018 [2 favorites]


This take on Tor.com makes me like the film way more. (A low bar to be honest, I felt it lacked the mythic elements I loved in the previous films, my initial response was zzzzzzzzzzzz.) Especially this:

...the core of Solo is actually quite simple: It’s about a kid who once made the terrible mistake of leaving behind a person that he cared about. And this is the throughline that helps re-contextualize Han Solo’s emotional arc throughout the rest of the Star Wars films.

And this interview with Solo actor AldenEhrenreich has this beautiful paragraph:

“The world we live in now, everything is so niche,” he continues. “One of the beautiful things about being a part of Star Wars is that it’s one of those few things that are community- building in that way. Maybe that way of putting it is a little self-important. But it is something we all have a connection to, something everybody knows about. There aren’t that many of those things.” which is still true even if one didn't quite enjoy the film as much as some of the others.
posted by Coaticass at 7:11 PM on June 6, 2018 [5 favorites]


A Star Wars movie without the Force is missing its spiritual element.

Also, the script needed punching up. Not enough original funny lines and too many referencing the older movies.
posted by larrybob at 8:00 PM on June 6, 2018 [1 favorite]


Way too many bits when Lando and L3 aren’t in it.
posted by Artw at 8:03 PM on June 6, 2018 [3 favorites]


...the core of Solo is actually quite simple: It’s about a kid who once made the terrible mistake of leaving behind a person that he cared about. And this is the throughline that helps re-contextualize Han Solo’s emotional arc throughout the rest of the Star Wars films.

But whether it was a mistake is debatable. Kira was fine with him leaving, if it meant he'd get away. There really wasn't much choice.

What's really bizarre is that explanation completely ignores, as the movie did, Han's time in the military. 3 years is a long time, it literally doesn't seem to matter at all. No close pals or scars, physical or otherwise. What morally grey areas did he see and/or do as soldier? Did he leave anyone else behind during his time? How did he survive? There's all these fascinating questions, which are not only never answered, but never even asked.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 6:03 AM on June 7, 2018 [5 favorites]


I sort of assumed he sprang 3 years getting kicked out of the academy, got busted down to whatever regular forces the Mud Troopers are (seems to be SW equivalent of Imperial Guard) and when we see him on Mud Planet that’s his first real deployment because otherwise he’d be dead already.
posted by Artw at 6:06 AM on June 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


I realize that we can't at all map real-world experiences on to the SWverse, but there is absolutely nothing out of the ordinary about spending three years in the military without doing anything particularly noteworthy until your first deployment as a junior soldier.
posted by Etrigan at 6:20 AM on June 7, 2018 [6 favorites]


I sort of assumed he sprang 3 years getting kicked out of the academy, got busted down to whatever regular forces the Mud Troopers are (seems to be SW equivalent of Imperial Guard) and when we see him on Mud Planet that’s his first real deployment because otherwise he’d be dead already.

This was pretty much my assumption, too. He seemed a little bit bewildered by the fighting going on around him, not some multi-tour grizzled Imperial soldier. It dawned on me, he'd have fit right in on a MASH tv show set on that planet.

I think Solo doesn't so much create a character arc for Han that brings him from point A to point B, and B being the character we meet a few years down the road in a cantina; but informs the background of that character and helps explain why Han Solo returns at the last minute to save Luke during the Battle of Yavin. Due to the life that was thrust upon him when he was orphaned, he became a scoundrel and recognized that the law and morals got in the way of surviving - but as Qi'ra points out, he actually never ceased being a good person in the end. Under everything, Han Solo would always make the right, heroic choice. Leia refers to him as a mercenary, but that decision to turn back is no longer a shock, but a confirmation of who he is.
posted by Atreides at 6:33 AM on June 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


There's a segment in this Star Wars podcast (The Scavenger's Hoard) where they discuss the soundtrack with a composer (Christy). She gives some fascinating bits of information about the choral element of the Enfys Nest theme. I'd love further confirmation of this, but she claims that this particular type of Bulgarian choral singing is performed only by women, employing secret techniques that are passed on matrilineally, which echoes Enfys' description of her own origins ("What my mother would have done if she'd survived and still wore the mask").
Link to tumblr post about the Enfys Nest theme by Christy.
posted by Kitty Stardust at 7:17 AM on June 7, 2018 [5 favorites]


A Star Wars movie without the Force is missing its spiritual element.

kid, i've flown from one side of this galaxy to the other, and I've seen a lot of strange stuff, but i've never seen *anything* to make me believe that there's one all-powerful Force controlling everything. 'cause no mystical energy field controls *my* destiny. it's all a lot of simple tricks and nonsense.
posted by entropicamericana at 7:30 AM on June 7, 2018 [19 favorites]


I would have liked to have seen a No Time for Sergeants style story about Han's wacky antics in the military.
posted by octothorpe at 7:36 AM on June 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


as Qi'ra points out, he actually never ceased being a good person in the end.
My partner pointed out — correctly, I think — that this characterization, while a fine choice for this film, takes the punch out of Han’s famous turn at the end of STAR WARS, kind of like how the prequels spoil the “I am your father” moment in EMPIRE.
posted by chrchr at 9:20 AM on June 7, 2018 [8 favorites]


My partner pointed out — correctly, I think — that this characterization, while a fine choice for this film, takes the punch out of Han’s famous turn at the end of STAR WARS...

Yes and no. My general image of Han from the original films, was that he was a hardened, yet smooth talking criminal.

Yet he came back to help in SW, risked himself on Hoth for Luke and was willing to leave Leia alone when he though she loved Luke instead ( still ew). So the core goodness is there, sure. I personally just am not happy with his portrayal in Solo. It makes him less of a character and more of just flat icon. A good, fun icon, but flat character wise, when I was expecting more depth.

I'm not sure Han is good per se, but more along the lines of 'not bad'. If presented with a choice, he'll go good, but he's no boy scout. That's always been part of his charm.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 9:31 AM on June 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


Due to the life that was thrust upon him when he was orphaned, he became a scoundrel and recognized that the law and morals got in the way of surviving

Was he orphaned? I had figured he just wasn't in contact with his parents/family, since when Lando asked him if he was close with his dad, he said "not really," and then he also didn't add anything about his mom when Lando started waxing poetic about his own saintly mother. I also figured there must be bad blood if he knew his dad but still refused to give either of his parents' names as his surname when he got recruited.

I mean, it's left open ended (as far as I know?) and it probably doesn't make a difference either way -- except that I would think that how things ended between him and his parents would probably affect his relationships with Qi'ra, Lea, and Ben.

I mean, he basically left Lea and Ben, didn't he? I haven't seen The Force Awakens since I saw it in the theater, though, so maybe I'm mis-remembering.

He's just an already formed character, walking though scenes, as opposed to evolving into the Han Solo we know and love.

Yes, even though Han is pretty young when this movie starts, I do think that it's hard to know how he became "himself" based on the events here, because he seems to be "himself" from the very beginning. As soon as he tried to bluff with the rock, he seemed more or less like the Han Solo of the later movies.

Although I think it was interesting watching him learn more about betrayal over the course of the movie, his storyline with Beckett didn't quite sit right with me. Given the movie's set up, it seems like Han would have had to have already learned the same lesson that he ostensibly learned from Beckett many times before. When the movie opens, he's trapped in some kind of human trafficking situation -- and then he lies, bribes, and shoots his way out of it, on pain of death. That's a character who I would expect would have a pretty intimate relationship with betrayal and distrust already.

I think that the movie would have made more sense if it were the story of Han learning to be more trusting, not less so. And in some ways, it is. He escapes from the traffickers and his crappy crime planet and then goes off on adventures where he finds people who are fighting against exploitation and enslavement. He joins the fight, even if he can't quite leave his exploitation mindset behind. He reunites with Qi'ra, and even though he can't make things entirely right (about him getting out while she didn't), he does manage a reconciliation. All that is cool IMO. But I think the Beckett storyline is sort of the fly in the ointment and doesn't quite fit.

Anyway, something that I find hard to square is how Han's story in Solo informs his romance with Lea or him being the father of Kylo Ren/Ben Solo. Although thinking about it now, I guess it's interesting that Kylo Ren also drops his parents' name, like I guess Han did.
posted by rue72 at 11:25 AM on June 7, 2018 [2 favorites]


Just a tangent, could anyone hear what Woody Harrelson was saying in his final scene? No one I was with could understand a word.
posted by transient at 12:15 PM on June 7, 2018


What's really bizarre is that explanation completely ignores, as the movie did, Han's time in the military.

Yeah, this is a Star Wars movie that kind of just skips over the "Wars" part.
posted by FJT at 1:45 PM on June 7, 2018


Was he orphaned?

You know, I jumped to this conclusion, but there's no reason why Han could not have simply escaped a terrible family environment.

I'm finally going to see it again this weekend, I've seen that folks enjoy it more a second time around. I'll see if it's so!
posted by Atreides at 9:25 AM on June 8, 2018 [2 favorites]




Also I have the artbook now and it is some good stuff. As ever there's a whole bunch of designs I like even better than the used one.
posted by Artw at 1:17 PM on June 9, 2018 [1 favorite]


The interior of the Millennium Falcon seemed bigger in this movie than in any of the previous ones. It has corridors? Have we ever seen corridors on the MF before? It never seemed like a big enough ship to have corridors before.

Qi'ra (note: why not just spell it like it's pronounced?)

Well, that would be a major character from a different science fiction franchise.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 10:14 PM on June 9, 2018 [4 favorites]


The Cape Room was in the escape boos and was eaten by a spacetopus.
posted by Artw at 10:34 PM on June 9, 2018


The interior of the Millennium Falcon seemed bigger in this movie than in any of the previous ones.

It's well known that the interior sets of the Millennium Falcon don't actually fit in the exterior model. I just assume that Solo just took it a bit further.
posted by happyroach at 12:03 AM on June 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


I liked it, my son liked it, and my daughter liked the opportunity to eat candy and popcorn.
posted by drezdn at 7:11 AM on June 11, 2018


Saw it, enjoyed it, agree with what seems to be the consensus here that it was fun but pretty low on a list of must-see Star Wars movies. Enfys Nest was far and away the most exciting/interesting character in the movie, and deserves her own feature. Don't blow this, Star Wars!

> If he knew his father/parents, you'd think he'd have a surname

Lots of cultures don't have surnames. They're essentially a modern development except for aristocrats, and one of the things that drove their adoption was the need for the state to have unique identifiers for things like military service.

> It would have been a lot better, I thought, if it had been maybe 20 minutes shorter. Both the train and (especially) the maelstrom sequences dragged on to long.

Yup. There was no reason this movie needed to be over two hours long.

> I was like "Han LEFT, she has to do what she's gotta do" in terms of the way it all ended. And he was like "But he came BACK, he was always planning to come back...." so that was interesting, our different takes on that.

You were right and he was wrong. Han was gone, she had no reason to think she'd ever see him again and no way of knowing he'd keep a tight grip on that torch (which in itself is basically silly young-adult stuff, in actuality she'd have been little more than a fond memory after a few months of his new life).

> That Space-Cthulhu thing was dumb: a black hole escape would have been good enough as just one of The Hero's Travails that they get past.

I hated that Space Squid! When I came out of the movie I said "That was fun, but they should have pruned back the love story and eliminated the Space Squid and saved a lot of time."
posted by languagehat at 9:10 AM on June 11, 2018 [5 favorites]


I think if I read correctly, the space squid was added after Ron Howard came in. The belief was that it helped differentiate this version of the Falcon being chased by the Empire through an asteroid field from the last. Given Beckett's humorous comment about his thumbs, I have suspicions that up until space squid, a fair bit of the Maelstrom/Kessel Run may have been from Lord and Miller.

After seeing it for a second time, I came out liking it a little more, but it remains the bottom of the last four new films.

Someone asked what Beckett's last words were...they were basically about how he had really wanted to learn to play that whateverchord. I didn't remember them being so hard to figure out from the first viewing, but actually, he really does mutter them together.

My biggest disappointment still falls on Val/L3. Val was just too wonderful a character, or rather, Thandie Newton blew that role up amazingly, for her to be wasted in just the first act. On top of that, Beckett's punching Solo in the face was about all the emotional response from losing what seemed like a long time lover and friend. Her death, as a result, went from being an emotional moment in the film for a character and for the viewer, to just a necessary plot step to make Beckett more likely to rely on Han and Chewie for the next job.

For L3...I remain unable to really appreciate L3 as a character. I think it's because she feels too much like a comedic prop that's got serious things to say, but constantly undermined because they're supposed to be funny or she's supposed to be funny. L3 was never allowed, in my opinion, to get a deeper characterization like K-2SO in Rogue One. I can't shake the feeling I'm being too critical, though. Never the less, when she's killed, I didn't feel like Lando had expressed enough of a connection with her to respond so dramatically. "I'd swipe her memory banks if not for the valuable navigational charts...." He plays off like someone who see's her and her personality more as an annoyance to put up with for a real gain (navigational routes), but there's never enough there to imply until his panicked response to her death that she's anything more.

As a result, L3's death simply had almost no resonance for me. She died simply to die. Again, I parallel that with K-2SO's death and it's a major difference for me. Meh. I feel bad for not feeling more!
posted by Atreides at 9:28 AM on June 11, 2018 [1 favorite]


As far as I can tell, nobody has posted this yet: Enfys Nest and the True Power of Star Wars, by Rosie Knight. I really like her take on it:
Enfys Nest’s arc is a fantastic subversion and reflection of the classic A New Hope story. In the first Star Wars movie we know that our heroes are in the right and that the Empire is undoubtedly wrong. But to the citizens of the Empire and the Imperial soldiers the Rebels are just terrorists who blow things up in the name of an unclear goal. In Solo: A Star Wars Story, Enfys and the Cloud-Riders are presented to the audience as a ravaging band of pirates who love nothing more than stealing from our band of rogues. We don’t question whether that’s who they really are, as we’re standing by Han and his friends. It’s only when it’s revealed that Enfys and her crew are actually attempting to steal the coaxium for use by the burgeoning Rebellion that we understand that all along we’ve been on the side of the true bad guys. Not just the betrayer Tobias Beckett or the criminal syndicate of the Crimson Dawn, but the rich Empire-affiliated elite who’re desperate to stop the Rebellion at any cost.

Enfys’ addition to Solo cuts to the heart of what truly makes Star Wars special and what moves us–people banding together in the face of unbelievable horrors to make a better life for themselves and those around them. Even standing opposed to insurmountable odds, there’s still a chance for a brighter future.
posted by languagehat at 10:45 AM on June 11, 2018 [11 favorites]


FYI, Ms. Kennedy, I'd take a movie about Enfys Nest - or at least a novel or comic book or ANYTHING.
posted by Atreides at 11:23 AM on June 11, 2018 [5 favorites]


So, just saw this last night, finally.

Did anyone else yell "GONK! NOOOOOooooo!" when the poor power droid was getting cut to shreds in Clint Howard's Robot Fightin' Cage? No? Just me? OK, then.

Put me in the "incredibly muddy cinematography" camp, at least for the first third of the movie. I was *really* disappointed in the general dullness of most of the scenes until, of course, we got the bright white corridors off the Falcon.

I enjoyed Lando. I am in the minority, apparently, in not liking L3 (and, I'm also in the "are we sure that wasn't Gwen Christie?" camp in re: L3's voice.

It was super fan-wanky. On the fan-wank scale, it was fan-wankier than R1, but not as fan-wanky as Star Trek Into Darkness.
posted by hanov3r at 2:25 PM on June 11, 2018 [3 favorites]


I have to admit, I was confused when Enfys Nest removed her helmet and there was a loooong reaction shot of the main characters staring at her... was I supposed to know who this was? Was this some character from one of the other movies I had forgotten? Some EU character that all the dedicated fans would know but a more casual fan like me wouldn't be aware of?

No, unless I'm missing something, they were surprised that Nest was a woman, which I don't think had previously been established in the movie (and maybe they had even referred to Nest as male). Except the problem there is, after Rey and Jyn Erso and ep. 7-8 Leia and Holdo and Phasma and even Qi'ra in this very movie, not to mention many examples from other franchises, I am no longer surprised when the badass rebel leader turns out to be a woman. Which is good that we've advanced to the point that that's no longer surprising, except it makes it confusing when our heroes treat it as such.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 4:25 AM on June 12, 2018 [2 favorites]


I got the impression that given Enfys' fearsome reputation they were expecting a grizzled old pirate not a relatively young one.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:35 AM on June 12, 2018 [8 favorites]


Bit of an attempted Dread Pirate Roberts thing there that they don’t quite sell.
posted by Artw at 4:53 AM on June 12, 2018


Yah, I do think some of the surprise was how young Enfys was, but also because the movie had some issues with how it handled its female characters...it was also because Enfys was revealed as a young woman.

The droid rights element of the film was hard to navigate because it really leaned into droids having a personal will and desire to do something other than what they were being tasked with. Droids on the terms of free will and as analogues for enslaved people is something that Star Wars has only really been looking at more closely, and perhaps it has to do with our own society's generational adoption of personalities for droids from the original trilogy. For example, Artoo and Threepio definitely have distinct voices, personalities and opinions on what or how to do something. They still operate, generally, from a place of subjugation, but at least cinematically, virtually every other droid is just there, operating in the background, more like programmed robots with some kind of basic AI element to assist it in its efforts.

The weirdest case in the movies was the droid torture scene in Jabba's palace in Return of the Jedi, where we learn it's possible to actually punish a droid. If it a droid was just a robot, it's only capable of behaving under the limitations of its programming. Yet, here we have a droid being tortured, and the underlining point then is either someone thought it brilliant to program a robot to be capable of experiencing pain and suffering or...the droid by its basic make up, regardless of its intended service, is an entity that can experience and do much more than what its simply programmed to do. The fact that you see the droid being tortured (and actually, another one is being torn to pieces as punishment, too), and its intended to reinforce expected behaviorisms, implies that droids have a certain universal level of free will, if it has to be coerced toward certain behaviors.

There's a deeper question, too, in that, do all droids have this same level of sophistication or just droids who have jobs that require this level of autonomy?

Anyways, that question of free will and droids, is an actual theme in a Star Wars Rebels episode, "The Forgotten Droid," in which the rebel astromech, Chopper, challenges an Imperial protocol droid to overcome his programming to act for his own benefit. Also, the one shot, Star Wars: 3-CPO comic that came out after The Force Awakens also addressed the uniqueness of droids and the morality of their subservience to others and their own free will. Part of that has to do with the process of memory wiping, which Lando had threatened to do to L3 in the movie. That process, done regularly enough, will remove most of the "personality" of a droid and make it more like the robot that most people treat them like in the universe. Particularly, both the Empire and the First Order are supposed to memory wipe their droids regularly to prevent personalities from developing. In that instance, how would L3's cries for rebellion had been received? Are we supposed to expect that the Pyke Syndicate, which operated the droids at Kessel did not do this? As a result, it allowed their droids to develop personalities which had the self-realization that the jobs they were tasked to, jobs which they may have most likely been built to perform, were ones they did not want to do under these masters or these conditions?

It's weird.
posted by Atreides at 8:23 AM on June 12, 2018 [3 favorites]


Technically the droids are Japanese peasants, cf Hidden Fortress.
posted by Artw at 8:45 AM on June 12, 2018 [4 favorites]


Don't forget the restraining bolts.

The whole thing where droids inevitably develop a personality unless subjected to frequent memory wipes seems like a pretty blatant fanwank to explain why e.g. R2-D2 and C3-PO have personalities where most Imperial droids don't. Is the idea that the Empire/First Order regularly wipe their droids ever mentioned in a canonical source? (I haven't seen any of the animated series, so it's entirely possible that it has and I just missed it.)

Sticking solely to film canon, I don't remember K2-SO having much to say about how he actually overcame his Imperial programming in Rogue One, and on the other hand BB-9E from TLJ seems to have a whiff of a personality to it despite being a First Order loyalist.
posted by tobascodagama at 9:18 AM on June 12, 2018


TBH I suspect R2 talks like L3-37 all the damn time it’s just in beeps and we don’t hear it.
posted by Artw at 10:08 AM on June 12, 2018 [5 favorites]


The whole thing where droids inevitably develop a personality unless subjected to frequent memory wipes seems like a pretty blatant fanwank to explain why e.g. R2-D2 and C3-PO have personalities where most Imperial droids don't. Is the idea that the Empire/First Order regularly wipe their droids ever mentioned in a canonical source? (I haven't seen any of the animated series, so it's entirely possible that it has and I just missed it.)


Except that Jimmy Smits ordered R2-D2 and C3-PO to be wiped at the end of Ep. 3 but they seem to have retained their personalities.
posted by octothorpe at 10:17 AM on June 12, 2018


Not Artoo. Just Threepio.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:29 AM on June 12, 2018 [3 favorites]


And they both spent 30 years with the Organa family afterward, which is presumably plenty of time to develop personalities again anyway.
posted by tobascodagama at 10:31 AM on June 12, 2018 [2 favorites]


Is the idea that the Empire/First Order regularly wipe their droids ever mentioned in a canonical source?

It is, but off the top of my head, I can't recall specifically where. I want to say it's in one of the reference books, but it could have also been slipped into one of the novels.

Sticking solely to film canon, I don't remember K2-SO having much to say about how he actually overcame his Imperial programming in Rogue One, and on the other hand BB-9E from TLJ seems to have a whiff of a personality to it despite being a First Order loyalist.

I...want to say there's a passing reference to Cassian reprogramming him, at least partially. "I'm a reprogrammed Imperial droid," (what K-2SO tells Jyn - guess what I'm watching over my lunch break?). Cassian also references reprogramming creating K-2SO's personality/mouthiness as a byproduct. That's in the film. There's a one shot comic Star Wars: Cassian & K-2SO, where it actually tells the story of that reprogramming.

TBH I suspect R2 talks like L3-37 all the damn time it’s just in beeps and we don’t hear it.

Even filthier, going off of Luke's reaction to their reunion in The Last Jedi!

Except that Jimmy Smits ordered R2-D2 and C3-PO to be wiped at the end of Ep. 3 but they seem to have retained their personalities.

As prize bull octorok stated, only C-3PO gets his mind wiped (R2 actually kind of laughs in droid speak over this fact) by the order of Bail. The lack of including R2 actually has been the basis for calling him a jerk because he knows everything about Anakin Skywalker/Darth Vader, and never tells Luke about it. It's this type of thing, though, Golden Rod getting wiped, which makes the topic of droid personality/free will batty. In that previous C-3PO comic I mentioned, it's shown that he still has fragments of those memories that were supposed to deleted. But again, unless one is reading the comics (I'd say small minority of fans?) this isn't out there, either. Going back to The Phantom Menace, it does seem a certain element of his personality was programmed in by Anakin from the beginning.
posted by Atreides at 10:37 AM on June 12, 2018 [2 favorites]


Oh, we're not going to consider the prequels canon, are we?
posted by Chrysostom at 11:36 AM on June 12, 2018


of course they are, and it will be a fun day when we can reference them in these discussions without all the perfunctory comments about how terrible all right-thinking people must find them.
posted by prize bull octorok at 12:40 PM on June 12, 2018 [6 favorites]


Solely because of the cartoons.
posted by Artw at 12:46 PM on June 12, 2018 [1 favorite]


You can love the prequels if you like, but they are manifestly inconsistent with the universe portrayed in the original films.
posted by Chrysostom at 12:49 PM on June 12, 2018


Put me down as loving all the Clone Wars/Rebels shoutouts in the movie though could have done with less pointless lightsaber ignitions and more dancing around on robo-chicken legs in it. Fuck it, throw in Savage Opress.
posted by Artw at 12:58 PM on June 12, 2018 [2 favorites]


I disagree, but it's not really about loving the prequels. It's just not necessary to interrupt the flow of conversation to say nothing more substantive than "the prequels are bad, we all agree on this, right?" Let people pick interesting things out of them to discuss. There's plenty there to sift through.
posted by prize bull octorok at 1:04 PM on June 12, 2018 [6 favorites]


Would also accept Darth Maul looking directly at the audience and saying “Ashoka Tano is real”.
posted by Artw at 1:14 PM on June 12, 2018 [6 favorites]


You can love the prequels if you like, but they are manifestly inconsistent with the universe portrayed in the original films.

Like them or not, consistent or not, they are undeniably part of the official canon. You can have whatever headcanon you want, but that's your personal deal.
posted by Rock Steady at 6:19 AM on June 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


i love how fandoms insist that one part of the thing with the laser swords, space wizards, and ftl travel (official canon) is more real than the other part (head canon)
posted by entropicamericana at 8:50 AM on June 13, 2018


indeed, it is to laugh! but nobody here said that.
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:15 AM on June 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


Yeah, canon does not mean real. It means "the story". Some things are part of the official story, and other things are part of your personal interpretation of the story. It's all make believe though.
posted by Rock Steady at 12:29 PM on June 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


Is the idea that the Empire/First Order regularly wipe their droids ever mentioned in a canonical source?

The first time I remember the "regular droid memory wipes" thing being mentioned was in a '90s-era EU novel (I thought it was The New Rebellion, but Wookieepedia says it's in Heir to the Empire), where it's mentioned that R2-D2 and Luke's X-Wing are super-effective together—nearly counterpart level—because Luke never wipes Artoo's memory.
posted by The Tensor at 5:38 PM on June 13, 2018 [2 favorites]


Whoah, the Corellian hounds that chase Han and Qi'ra were literally dogs in costumes.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 8:12 AM on June 14, 2018 [8 favorites]


The space squid next to a black hole was a pretty clear Scylla and Charybdis reference.
posted by Apocryphon at 10:11 AM on June 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


Whoah, the Corellian hounds that chase Han and Qi'ra were literally dogs in costumes.

I was so...pleasantly surprised by this news.
posted by Atreides at 1:16 PM on June 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


Finally caught the movie last night, and for a movie that has only Forrest Gump levels of connection to the greater Star Wars saga, it's definitely the most lore-heavy. I think for Han's character arc, the movie needed to show Han's idealism getting buried beneath layers of cynicism and survival, but the movie only really squeezed that in at the end.

Loved L3, did not love what happened to L3.

One moment I don't think I've seen anyone mention is that Qi'Ra looks really hurt when Han assume's she's the one who betrayed them to Vos. I feel like that played a big part in her running off in the end.

I think they should've found a better way to reveal Lando's immaculate tricked-out Falcon than having it impounded in a junkyard. I know it's a callback (forward?) to calling it a piece of junk, but I'd prefer if they had it somewhere cleaner to contrast the reveals here and in ANH more.

So, what do you suppose Lando pickpocketed off of Han when they hugged in Empire Strikes Back?
posted by ckape at 9:12 PM on June 18, 2018 [1 favorite]


Perhaps a very small cape?
posted by Chrysostom at 6:43 AM on June 19, 2018


The Star Wars Story films are reportedly on hold, while the new film/TV serieses (Rian Johnson, Weiss & Benioff, animated, live-action) are still go.
posted by Rock Steady at 7:28 AM on June 21, 2018


lol
posted by entropicamericana at 7:50 AM on June 21, 2018


It gives me a somewhat different perspective on him in A New Hope/etc --

Yeah, that's a bug rather than a feature for me. I don't want a new perspective on Han; I like the old perspective that's been there for 40 years, the perspective that made me enjoy the character in the first place. It ain't broke, so I don't feel the need to fix it.

And the canonicity of Maul’s survival doesn't make it less stupid.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 8:19 AM on June 21, 2018 [1 favorite]


I'm only just going through Clone Wars, but I have seen Rebels, and I was pretty excited about his appearance. One of the things that Maul and Ahsoka (and Rebels generally) bring to Star Wars is the idea of Force users who are neither Jedi nor Sith. Maul's foresaken the Sith and wants to bring them down as much as any Jedi, but he's still a bad guy. And Tano leaves the Jedi order after seeing its shortcomings but doesn't suddenly turn Sith. (I said it on the blue, but I'll say it again: make the Ahsoka Tano / Sabine Wren movie and take my money.) So while I agree, it's kind of ludicrious that Maul survived being cut in half because of sheer gumption hate. But he's a great character in the cartoon series and so I was pretty excited by it. And then when he ordered Qi'ra to come to Dathomir, that was even better, because hey, bring on the Night Sisters.

Anyway, I'm late to this. I thought Solo was okay. Not great. I didn't feel like the character arc was very strong. Some of the articles upthread might make me reconsider, but his whole secretly funding the birth of the rebellion seemed to undermine his arc in A New Hope where he's a scoundrel who eventually comes around. I didn't think was a great movie but it was an entertaining enough way to kill a couple hours, and I enjoyed Enfys Nest and Lando and L3 (though I'm uncomfortable with her essentially being silenced into becoming the Falcon's Garmin). Enjoyed the cartoon call-backs. But Han (the character) was pretty flat to me. Didn't care about Woody, but I liked his gang. In the end, making a movie to justify the Kessel Run gaffe was probably not the best use of a prequel. Now I'm going to go watch some more of Clone Wars.
posted by synecdoche at 6:11 PM on June 21, 2018 [3 favorites]


Update on the stand alone films...claim is now not that they're all canceled, but just being more strongly considered and what not.
posted by Atreides at 9:26 AM on June 25, 2018 [1 favorite]


I saw this in the way I said I would, in the budget theater near my Mom's house.

It's fine! I liked the design of the things and the comical levels of double-crossings.

It's the most Extended Universe-y of the movies so far and I was surprised the star and writer of Fleabag, my favorite misanthropic show was the voice of my favorite misanthropic robot revolutionary. The bigger problem is that Emilia Clarke is just ...flat and has no chemistry with anyone I wonder if it's an effect of literally filming the movie twice but she seems pretty wooden in other roles. Bettany is great at just being weird, he's such a sensitive, emotional murderer.

I was pretty engaged throughout but like, it's funny, this is exactly the movie moaning online weridos about how Social Justice Warriors have ruined movie would want: Everyone plays basically the same characters, there's no major upsets to canon or tone, there's a BUNCH of fan-service callbacks and forwards and it;s all to make the main guy more relatable. Like why would you have a problem with this, this is literally for deep dive fans fans of Star Wars in a VERY conventional movie structure and narrative ?
posted by The Whelk at 12:29 AM on June 30, 2018 [7 favorites]


Like this movie is basically the opposite of the Last Jedi which basically reversed all the Star Wars assumptions and also had everyone's plan fail and yet those Dudes still dislike it?
posted by The Whelk at 12:33 AM on June 30, 2018 [3 favorites]


Almost as if there's something else going on...
posted by Artw at 7:25 AM on June 30, 2018 [5 favorites]


The toxic fanboys are fixated on Kathleen Kennedy and are going to hate anything that she produces.
posted by octothorpe at 7:50 AM on June 30, 2018 [2 favorites]


Just saw this over the weekend (it came out much more recently here) and I was kind of struck by the sheer amount of fan pandering, but also how instead of being delivered with a wink, it was more like the movie was just staring at us, unblinking, with its tired, weary eyes

are you happy now, it pleads

here is another thing you, the audience, will recognize, it adds, its air of desperation rapidly becoming more apparent
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:12 PM on July 1, 2018 [11 favorites]


The toxic fanboys are fixated on Kathleen Kennedy and are going to hate anything that she produces.

Which leads me to wonder if these turds have even bothered checking her IMDB page, or have any residual memory of seeing her name in the credits of some of their favorite movies of the past 35+ years. It's not like she just teleported in from Planet Lady and has been working to destroy everything they love. She literally helped build most of it. There's such an ignorant ahistoricity to their complaints, on top of all the barely concealed racism and sexism.
posted by Strange Interlude at 9:13 PM on July 1, 2018 [8 favorites]


If you read Film Twitter, they have a 1001 reasons why Kennedy deserves no credit for the amazing films that she produced because she was just riding on Spielberg's coattails or some such nonsense.
posted by octothorpe at 4:40 AM on July 2, 2018


I would be careful to differentiate between Film Twitter and Toxic Fanboy Twitter in this regard. Most of the takes I see from film critics and creatives on various tiers, i.e. people who watch and write about a lot of different kinds of movies, and generally have more of an open mind when their favorite franchises throw curveballs, are more or less favorable towards Kennedy's handling of the franchise since 2015.

Most of the ire towards Kennedy/Disney seems to come from amateur film bloggers and podcasters who specialize in reblogging other film sites' big scoops for click-through ad revenue, which suggests to me that part of the "controversy" could be these guys intentionally shit-stirring for clickbait purposes. But then you have the people who read this "journalism" uncritically and adopt the dumbassed opinions as their own, and the problem balloons from there.
posted by Strange Interlude at 10:57 AM on July 2, 2018


Well it shows up in normal film twitter because any mention of Star Wars by a film critic brings out instant attacks in the replies from the idiots railing about Kennedy and here "SJW agenda" and such.
posted by octothorpe at 12:11 PM on July 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


True, but I stopped reading the replies on Twitter a long time ago. I follow the people I follow to get their bite-sized thoughts on things, not to read the gibbering randos @ing them.
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:08 AM on July 3, 2018


But then you have the people who read this "journalism" uncritically and adopt the dumbassed opinions as their own, and the problem balloons from there.

come on man, that belongs in the politics thread, don't be giving me traumatic flashbacks to Nov 2016
posted by numaner at 11:27 PM on July 3, 2018


Which leads me to wonder if these turds have even bothered checking her IMDB page, or have any residual memory of seeing her name in the credits of some of their favorite movies of the past 35+ years.

I don’t think I am a turd, but it occurred to me I had never read Kathleen Kennedy’s IMDB page. She does indeed have an impressive track record with a score or more of iconic films to her credit.

The Flintstones tho.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:41 PM on July 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


(To be clear, it's not the never having read KK's IMDB that makes anyone a turd per se, it's the loudly calling for her ouster for ignorant reasons that may or may not [but yeah definitely probably] have to do with her being a woman. I honestly wouldn't expect Joe Blow Moviegoer to have any particular awareness of her career, but I think it's fair to expect a little more research out of folks who go to the trouble of drafting fan petitions and whatnot.)
posted by Strange Interlude at 6:56 AM on July 5, 2018 [1 favorite]


I thought the movie was fine. I was entertained. But I mostly liked it as a light, SciFi adventure/heist story. But I felt most of the attempts to do a bunch of Star Wars Just So Stories ("How The Smuggler Got His Blaster," "How The Wookie Got His Bandolier") fell flat.

But the biggest problem was that I just didn't think Han was a very interesting character, and even managed to make Han in the original Star Wars a less interesting character as well.

Han in Star Wars is a cynical dude who has been through a lot of shit and run a lot of scams with Chewie and the Falcon. He's definitely not the type to give up a sweet payday that could erase the bounty on his head for some idealistic Rebellion nonsense.

Except now we know that he already did exactly that a few years ago at the end of the one brief adventure he appears to have had with Chewie and the Falcon before meeting Luke.

I counted at least four times that characters in the movie had to tell us that "Wow! Han is an impressive pilot / great infiltrator / good person" because the writers were (rightly, I think) afraid his actions weren't selling it. I think throwing the rock through the window was the most clever/amusing/surprising thing Han did in the whole movie.
posted by straight at 12:16 AM on July 14, 2018


One exception to my disappointment with all the Star Wars references is that I disagree with the people who think the desire to explain the whole "under 12 parsecs" thing hurt the plot. It's hard to come up with ways fresh ways for a space pilot to save the day with his flying skill, and I think having this weird constraint was good for creativity.

I really liked the idea of "The shortest safe route known for the Kessel Run is 20 parsecs? Well I just made it through a crazy dangerous route that was only 12 parsecs. (With the help of our dear departed navigational droid.)" And I thought it was a good way for Han to do some heroic piloting that wasn't just fancy combat maneuvers.
posted by straight at 12:36 AM on July 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


I was confused when Enfys Nest removed her helmet and there was a loooong reaction shot of the main characters staring at her...

This was one of my biggest eyerolls of the whole movie. The Powerful Sinister Villain Enfrys Nest takes of the mask to reveal ... An attractive young woman? Waitaminute, look at how sweet and pretty she is! She must not be evil after all!
posted by straight at 12:41 AM on July 14, 2018


There was an interesting nugget in Nick Lowe's "Mutant Popcorn" movie review column in the latest Interzone. He points out that in the published "Star Wars: A New Hope" script, after Han Solo's line about the Kessel Run, the direction is: "Ben reacts to Solo's stupid attempt to impress them with obvious misinformation."

The point of parsecs as a unit of time is that the Kessel Run is random bullshit that Han Solo is making up on the spot.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 11:21 AM on July 14, 2018 [6 favorites]


I always assumed he meant "parsecs per [unit of time measurement,]" but it does make more sense that he was just making shit up to impress the rubes.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 6:34 AM on July 15, 2018


Finally saw this at the cheap theatre as something to do with the kids as the summer winds down and we're looking for things to do. I had no huge desire to see it, because I didn't feel it necessary to learn anything about Han that I didn't already know.

It was fun and exactly the movie I thought it would be. We learned absolutely nothing new about Han or the universe, but they executed all the fan service faithfully. In other words, it was an fine way to kill a Friday afternoon of the long weekend; we were entertained if nothing else.

Glad to read that other people found the visuals dark and muddy; it was very noticeable to me, and I was trying to figure out of it was just poor equipment in the projection booth, or the movie itself.

So Rogue One had K2, Solo give us L3, will the next "Star Wars Story" give us M4? I also find it interesting that I consider the most interesting characters of both "Story" films to be the droids.

The Maul reveal seemed....pointless? Like, I knew vaguely that he had survived somehow, but it seems weird to have him here. That said, I did start working on ideas for Maul: Half the Man I Used to Be - A Star Wars Story on the way home. So give me a shout, KK! (Maybe we can make it a musical?)
posted by nubs at 5:27 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


I also find it interesting that I consider the most interesting characters of both "Story" films to be the droids.

If one takes all the films together as one big story, it seems to me that R2D2 is the real protagonist.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:53 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


I seem to recall at one point that Lucas used to describe the films as following the misadventures of two droids getting caught up in the major events of the galaxy.

But I prefer the idea that R2 is the secret leader of of Resistance.
posted by nubs at 6:26 PM on August 31, 2018 [1 favorite]


So Rogue One had K2, Solo give us L3, will the next "Star Wars Story" give us M4?

I never noticed this! Heh.

We can best approximately call R2 (and droids) the Hobbits of the Star Wars franchise; witnesses to everything and able to relate this story down for the future.
posted by Atreides at 6:55 AM on September 4, 2018


We can best approximately call R2 (and droids) the Hobbits of the Star Wars franchise; witnesses to everything and able to relate this story down for the future.

Very similar, with the exception that the Hobbits are also pivotal to the outcome of the story they are witnessing; Frodo and Sam are ringbearers, Merry instrumental in slaying the Witch King, and Pippin saves Faramir. The droids of Star Wars have not (yet) risen to such heights.
posted by nubs at 9:11 AM on September 4, 2018


dude R2 saves everybody's ass like twenty times per movie
posted by prize bull octorok at 10:03 AM on September 4, 2018 [3 favorites]


Look, until R2 tosses a ring into Mt Doom/throws the evil emperor into the chasm, I'm not counting it.
posted by nubs at 10:39 AM on September 4, 2018 [1 favorite]


R2 remains the only Star Wars character to have had on-screen sex.
posted by Artw at 10:44 AM on September 4, 2018 [2 favorites]


I seem to recall at one point that Lucas used to describe the films as following the misadventures of two droids getting caught up in the major events of the galaxy.

That's very much part of the story Lucas took from Hidden Fortress. Two hapless peasants getting mixed up with major events.
posted by happyroach at 11:12 AM on September 4, 2018


I finally got to see it, after hearing how bad it was for the past 4 months... Frankly, it's pretty fun, with good characters and action scenes. What it does lack - and Rogue One also suffered from this - is the sort of "iconic" stuff that the main SW movies are famous for. Even the much-maligned prequels have plenty of this (Padmé's costumes, the pod race, Darth Maul's face etc.). Episodes 7 & 9 are a little more sparse in that respect, but they still have a lot of goodies (Rey's outfit, Kylo's lightsaber, the crystal foxes...). But Solo is in full recycling mode: we get many icons from the previous movies, callbacks to previous icons (the space jellyfish vs the space worm from ESB, Lady Proxima vs Jabba the Hutt), but nothing that stands out or is really memorable by itself, which is a pity because I found the artwork fantastic.
posted by elgilito at 5:27 AM on September 10, 2018 [1 favorite]


I totally agree, Solo has gotten a lot of unnecessary flack. It has its problems (VAL, BECKETT, ETC, ARGH), but it is a fun and enjoyable movie. I look forward to watching it for the third time when it finally comes out on blu-ray.

I'd posit that Rogue One, while definitely built on nostalgia and icons developed from A New Hope, and the original trilogy, reframed them in ways to be iconic unto itself. The solar eclipse of the Death Star right before it and after the destruction of Jedha City, the star destroyer hovering over the city, and of course, everything else. Solo, did not do nearly as good a job in terms of making original iconic aspects its own, and I agree with you there. Both film scores work in the same degree, R1's score by Michael Giaccino is obviously influenced by Williams' music, but has a lot of originality and things, like a violin solo, that are brand new. John Powell, meanwhile, also influenced, doesn't explore the boundaries his opportunity nearly as much. I like Powell's score, but there aren't nearly as catchy and unique moments to it that stand out for me as Giaccino's.

So yah, I agree!
posted by Atreides at 9:35 AM on September 10, 2018


Solo would be a really kickass couple of episodes of some Rebels type series and so earned my heart that way.
posted by Artw at 9:45 AM on September 10, 2018


What it does lack - and Rogue One also suffered from this - is the sort of "iconic" stuff that the main SW movies are famous for...But Solo is in full recycling mode: we get many icons from the previous movies, callbacks to previous icons

This is why I wish the Star Wars Stories would just pick up and go tell us some story about some random nobody on the Rim we've never heard of before; surely we can do a story about the Resistance to the Empire (or the Empire moving in and setting up shop) on some distant planet that has no Skywalkers, no Solos, no Death Stars, etc - but some new stuff, new wonders for us to see.

I would still love to see a French Resistance style picture set in the Star Wars universe (Army of Shadows or the like); in addition to providing a chance to explore new settings and new characters, this is also a chance for the Star Wars universe to experiment with different storytelling types & techniques (which they did with a certain extent in Rogue One. Here's a video that explains that idea more.)
posted by nubs at 10:02 AM on September 11, 2018 [3 favorites]


Nice little clip on Youtube about how they used massive video screens around the in-studio vehicle/spaceship cockpits, so that the actors could see and react to what would normally be added in post-production. The wrap-around screen in front of the Millennium Falcon cockpit looks particularly awesome.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:23 AM on September 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


I really appreciate whomever thought this up. I believe they've done it other recent films with the cool aspect being that it a) gives actors something to actually focus on and b) creates light and reflections to bounce off the prop/SPACE FIGHTER/PLANE).
posted by Atreides at 9:49 AM on September 13, 2018 [2 favorites]


Some interesting notes (zoomable image) on the writing of Solo, by Jon Kasdan.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:50 AM on September 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


Heads up, there are multiple tweets, with 52 points.
posted by Pronoiac at 8:41 AM on September 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


They're worth a read, be it from learning what made the transition from the previous directors to Ron Howard to disagreements between Kasdan and his father (having the opening chase be on foot versus in a speeder). Incidentally, as I've started reading the novelization, some of these ideas that are mentioned in the notes made it into the book - such as hiding in an eel barrel to escape the bad guys, and what not.

Point that I'm relieved to see: original idea was for the White Worms to be some kind of weird vampiric group of aliens. So basically, space vampires. The original directors changed them into actual worms, but kept the incompatibility with sunlight. I mean, just imagine Han saying, "Yeah, back when I hung with a group of vampires on Corellia as a kid...." Erm. :x
posted by Atreides at 11:16 AM on September 14, 2018


"Han pulling the eel out of his pants" is a sentence that feels like it escaped from some slash fiction...
posted by nubs at 1:12 PM on September 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


That River Phoenix reference is cute and all, but I'm glad it didn't make it into this movie. There comes a point when you're winking so much at the audience that you blind yourself and trip and faceplant.
posted by CheesesOfBrazil at 6:56 AM on September 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


I just read Most Wanted, a YA novel on Han and Q'ira, and now I'm about a quarter into the novelization for Solo, and since my brain is sleep deprived scrambled, I can't remember which, but one of them does go for the injury on the chin (i.e., Ford's scar). Thankfully, they just note the injury and move on, not dwelling on it, "Oh, this will definitely scar for life, right here on my chin, blah blah blah."
posted by Atreides at 10:52 AM on September 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


The cut scenes of Han Solo's Imperial Navy career.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 1:37 AM on October 4, 2018 [4 favorites]


This movie started to lose me almost instantly. It lurched from scene to scene. I'm really tired of origin stories. Does the terrible Rocket Raccoon rip-off need to have so much screen time? I'm not supposed to be glad that he was killed off. Chewbacca intro was rushed and hollow, and no hint about what a great mechanic he was. Lando was rushed as well. Not sure why we need to sacrifice character development in exchange for two heist stories. Han is not a thief, he's a smuggler, and not a very good one. Han's arc was almost identical to the original, when it should have been the opposite. Han has zero respect for the Rebellion. Ugh. The droid was way too over the top. Every line doesn't need to be a loud and empty joke. Dark Side ending was tacked on and corny. We don't need Darth Maul here, but since they couldn't create a new character that wasn't shit, I guess it's OK. Scenes would start out with promise, then trip and lurch to the next. Space scenes were boring. Why do we need a giant space squid? No Boba Fett. That shit writes itself, guys! Chat about fathers that goes absolutely nowhere. Predictable, hollow bad guy duct taped onto a good actor. Musical score completely useless and never once generates an emotional response. Stupid super fuel crisis. Keep it simple!
posted by Brocktoon at 5:22 AM on October 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


The cut scenes of Han Solo's Imperial Navy career.

I absolutely think this is a bit of connective tissue that should have been there, and I like it as a scene, but I can totally see why they dropped it - pace reasons, bit too similar to what was before and after. I almost think they should have blitzed through all the set up scenes in a series of very fast Edgar Wright style cuts.
posted by Artw at 1:34 PM on October 7, 2018


I read Stoker's Lair of the White Worm after seeing the 1988 movie of the same name (which has one of the best songs ever). They both have their flaws, but IMO flaws are a necessary element of weird fiction.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 2:23 PM on October 7, 2018 [3 favorites]


(It really is a great song in an underrated movie)
posted by Artw at 3:26 PM on October 7, 2018 [1 favorite]


I think the overarching problem is that they went for an origin story, when what they should have done is just have some of his earlier crazy adventures.
posted by Chrysostom at 7:13 PM on October 7, 2018 [5 favorites]


Honestly I feel like it’s natural home would be some arc on some animated show where it could be both!?

But still? Enjoyed what we got.
posted by Artw at 10:10 PM on October 7, 2018


I definitely would tune in for a tv show that followed up the first film. Given the money they're throwing at The Mandalorian, they could definitely keep up the production values.

Han's arc was almost identical to the original, when it should have been the opposite. Han has zero respect for the Rebellion.

It does go opposite. He's given an offer to join the nascent rebellion because they need leaders and fighters like himself; he turns it down. Here's the thing, Luke makes nearly the exact same offer to Han just before the Battle of Yavin; but this time, Han accepts and returns to help the rebels out. Part of Han's journey in the film was his evolution from street urchin, trying to survive, to become the scoundrel we meet. He likes to believe he can become the bad guy, despite Q'ira telling him otherwise, but also, I don't think Han at the beginning of the film would have shot Beckett first, either. His character did evolve, but not into the fully formed Han we meet in Mos Eisley a decade later or so.

Chat about fathers that goes absolutely nowhere.

This was mostly to inform the character backgrounds. More so, Han being attracted to Beckett as a potential pseudo-father figure is important toward his said firing first later.

Musical score completely useless and never once generates an emotional response.

My first time through, I wasn't thrilled with the score. Though, the more I listen to it, the more I've come to appreciate it. The Star Wars theme flourish when Han and Chewie meet the Falcon for the first time? Nice. Enfys Nest's theme? Love it. The singing at party was unique and probably the best sung entry in the entire franchise (it doesn't have much to go against - i.e., ugh, Jedi Rock in ROTJ). The music also used to underscore Q'ira's own decision making and what not, adds a good impact to her departure for Dathomir, leaving Han behind.
posted by Atreides at 7:51 AM on October 8, 2018


The singing at party was unique and probably the best sung entry in the entire franchise (it doesn't have much to go against - i.e., ugh, Jedi Rock in ROTJ)

It still doesn't beat "Lapti Nek" (the Sy Snootles disco-diva number that "Jedi Rocks" replaced) as far as I'm concerned. I just realized that there are kids who are old enough to vote who have very likely never seen the Rebo Band in all of its glory, and it makes me weep.
posted by Strange Interlude at 8:39 AM on October 8, 2018 [5 favorites]


Every song replaced in ROTJ was replaced by a substandard verison. -_-
posted by Atreides at 9:04 AM on October 8, 2018 [3 favorites]


P.S. Since the original front page post on Resistance has closed, I've put in a request for the show to be available for Fanfare. It's off to a great start!
posted by Atreides at 9:05 AM on October 8, 2018


This is kind of a minor thing, but how come Han tells the recruiter that he doesn't have a last name, and then later mentions his father to Lando...

Han is a liar and a crook. He's a shoot-first kinda guy when under the gun. He is a decent man in unfortunate circumstances.

OK, this is about the finest sci-fi movie you're ever going to see, with amazing characters in jaw-dropping backgrounds and ships in flight and general SFX... THIS is the prequel we deserved all along. It's a William Gibsonesque Cyberpunk heist-gone-wrong plot, only we also get Chewbacca to turn it into a superhero movie.

Fan-favorite characters drop like flies. The movie is unmerciful, yet... Chewbacca. And Han defeats two no-kidding Sith with quick thinking. The only sin of the film is that the actor tasked with Younger Han does not have the effortless charisma of Harrison Ford. Take away that, and this is about the finest homage to the original trilogy you are ever gonna see.

THEY TRIED TO ROB A TRAIN! A SPACE TRAIN! AND MESSED UP! SO GOOOD!

Matinee Western tropes. A very inclusive cast. Nice.
posted by Slap*Happy at 8:21 PM on November 22, 2018 [6 favorites]


I didn't catch until quite a few watches that Lando pronounces "Han" incorrectly for years just to rib Han for mispronouncing "Sabacc".
posted by jason_steakums at 8:42 AM on December 2, 2018 [3 favorites]


The Han mispronunciation is fantastic and one of the nice touches that Donald Glover used to assume the role of Lando. I wish this film would have done better to spawn another with the same actors.

IN OTHER NEWS COMPLETELY RELATED TO HOW DISNEY BOTCHED ADVERTISING/PROMOTING THIS FILM:

They forgot to submit John Powell's score for Solo on time for consideration to the Oscars.
posted by Atreides at 1:53 PM on December 11, 2018 [1 favorite]


They should have brought in Michael Mann to write and direct.
posted by valkane at 11:13 PM on January 9


Everyone who has seen Spider-Verse has got to be wondering what could have been had Disney not lost its nerve.
posted by Artw at 11:29 PM on January 9 [1 favorite]


Into The Solo-verse, featuring alternate-dimension Han Solos (noir Solo, cartoon pig Solo, and anime Solo piloting a Chewbacca mech)?
posted by EndsOfInvention at 2:11 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Into The Solo-verse, featuring alternate-dimension Han Solos (noir Solo, cartoon pig Solo, and anime Solo piloting a Chewbacca mech)?

There have been Star Wars versions over the years enough to make this work (minus maybe the variations in visual identity, which have been reasonably consistent):
- Original Trilogy Solo
- Force Awakens Old Smuggler Solo
- Anti-Corporate '70s Solo
- '80s Newspaper Strip Solo
- Original Marvel Run Comics Solo
- '90s Novelized Young Han Solo (feat. alternate origin story)
- '90s Married-to-Leia-Comics-Solo (feat. a non-Kylo son)
- Helping Build The New Republic Citizen Solo
- Distraught At Chewbacca's Death Solo
- Solo: A Star Wars Story Han Solo

...to name a few.
posted by cjelli at 6:16 AM on January 10


Throw Indiana Jones in there too
posted by EndsOfInvention at 6:52 AM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Related
posted by EndsOfInvention at 7:24 AM on January 10


Into The Solo-verse, featuring alternate-dimension Han Solos (noir Solo, cartoon pig Solo, and anime Solo piloting a Chewbacca mech)?
posted by EndsOfInvention


god dammit it's Hans Solo
posted by the phlegmatic king at 9:10 AM on January 10 [3 favorites]


god dammit it's Hans Solo

Pretty sure it would be Hans Multi.
posted by hanov3r at 2:01 PM on January 10 [8 favorites]


Needs this guy
posted by Artw at 9:48 AM on January 11 [3 favorites]




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