Solo: A Star Wars Story – I honestly loved it in spite of myself.

Solo_movieposterorangeWhen Disney announced that the next stand alone film in their Star Wars film schedule would be a young Han Solo movie, I was livid. Harrison Ford is and always will be Han Solo. Full Stop. That’s it. That’s all. No questions. I wasn’t in the least bit interested in seeing someone else play the role.

I’m still not.

I was already unhappy with Disney and their sequel trilogy from The Force Awakens. Oh, the use of story elements/beats from A New Hope didn’t bother me. That part was fine. It made the film feel like it was in universe. No, if you’ve read anything here on my blog, you know that what upset me the most was the misuse of my favorite characters. They acted in ways that were outside of how they would act. Things happened off screen that shaped key decisions and actions that were so far out of who I knew these people to be, and  we were just supposed to accept it. I always hate when plot devices trump characters. (Han wouldn’t have left Leia and Luke would never ever ever ever! have run away from his responsibilities…oh, and he wouldn’t have had a “moment of weakness” and tried to kill his man-baby nephew).

Then came The Last Jedi. I didn’t hate it like other people did, because Mark Hamill really went for it and was just wonderful. The humor was stupid. Admiral Holdo was annoying and unnecessary. Everything she did should have been action given to Akbar. Nothing about the movie surprised me. It followed exactly what I thought they’d set up in the depressing new Trilogy. That isn’t to say I liked it or thought it subverted expectations. It met mine. Mine were low. That was not a good thing. I left the theater feeling released. At this point, I don’t care where the story goes, and don’t plan to see Episode IX. That’s not being vindictive, I just honestly and truly don’t care about what happens next.

That makes me really sad.

But a funny thing happened the last few months, and I ended up going to see Solo: A Star Wars Story on its opening weekend.  After Ron Howard was brought on board as director, and he started to tweet out little things like a shot of the Spice Mine (of Kessel) and the Millennium Falcon and other little fun easter eggs, I started to warm up to the thought of an adventure with Han and Chewie. It’s hard to dislike Ron. I’ve loved his other movies: Willow, Apollo 13, so I knew he could make something I might enjoy.

Then I saw the trailers.

The first one was unremarkable, but subsequent ones started to look fun. I listen to the podcast Rebel Force Radio and as they started to talk more and more about their thoughts on the trailers and I started to get more and more excited. I really needed Solo to help undo the damage that the new sequel trilogy has done to my enjoyment and excited anticipation of Star Wars.

My children are currently done with Star Wars. My daughter thought The Last Jedi was terribly boring, and my son just isn’t into it enough to want to go to the theater to see the latest films. (The MCU is a different story for both of them). So my husband and I took in a matinee on opening weekend. And I found it delightful.

I was very anxious for about the first 5-10 minutes. I feel like I’ve been burned with so much disappointment, that I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about yet another Star Wars movie that let me down. Then there’s the scene Han pulls out a “thermal detonator”. I won’t spoil the details here, but suffice to say that it made me smile, and then I continued to smile for the rest of the movie. The subtle nods to the original trilogy and the prequels were all around. The laughs were subtle. No one was brooding or a hollow shell of their former selves. The double crosses were expected, and the adventure was fun. I absolutely loved Alden as Han and while Lando was all the buzz before the film came out, it’s the Han and Chewie relationship that develops on screen that is the heart of and the most fun part of the movie.

As I left the theater, I couldn’t wait to buy the soundtrack and return to see it a second time. None of my fellow Star Wars friends went out to see Solo in its opening weekend. Their interest in Star Wars has been severely dampened by the depressing The Last Jedi. Honestly, mine is too. But we’re taking it out on the wrong movie. Solo feels like something George Lucas would have made. Ron Howard does a great job of capturing the fun feeling of the original trilogy.

I will be sitting out Episode 9 when it hits theaters next year, but I am happy that I caught Solo: A Star Wars story while it made its first run. I only wish the two times I did go see it could help it in the box office because I want to see another adventure of Han and Chewie.

Advertisements

About that upcoming Han Solo Film…ugh

Backstory: Star Wars was my rock and my refuge during any and all of the dark times. It shaped who I am and my career path. It is what I love. My office is filled with Star Wars memorabilia.  I think you who have read my posts here already know this.

This brings me to Solo: A Star Wars Story. Let me say that this is my emotional response to the film, not the trailer. I have almost no emotional response to the trailer. The best I can say about it is that it looks like a generic science fiction film. This is a response to the existence of the film itself. I don’t care who they cast as Han in this film, Harrison Ford will always be Han for me. I loved reading the backstory (now Legends) books that came out in the 80s precisely because I could see Han as I knew him in my head while reading the stories. I am not interested in seeing another actor try to take on the role. This film just really needs to not exist. That’s really the beginning and the end of it for me.

I feel like this film is unnecessary (and yes, I know that no film is really necessary). So, I don’t care if it’s good or bad. I don’t care if it’s funny or not. I don’t care if the actor they case is any good or not. I am sure he’s a fine actor. And I love Ron Howard, so I am sure he’s done a fine job directing. I just don’t plan to see it. I know that makes me sound like all of those Star Wars fans that everyone is tired of listening to their rants, but it is how I feel.

I know that with this post, I just continue the negativity that almost all of my Star Wars related posts seem to express these days. I don’t like feeling this way, and I don’t like what the fandom is becoming. We are all angry and some of us express it in different ways.  However, I do hold Disney responsible for their part. Yes, the fans complained to/about George when he made Ep I, II, III (well, I didn’t, I liked them), but with them, he didn’t undo anything that had come before. Nothing about Luke, Han and Leia and their efforts and adventures through Eps IV, V, VI had to change with the events of the prequels. In my opinion, much if not all of Ep VII, VIII so far have been about undoing the past, and that hurts. I think that’s where those of us who are unhappy are coming from.

How funny that I feel this way, when just 5 years ago, I couldn’t give my money away fast enough to acquire Star Wars things. I collected all of the figures, all of the books, all of the things! Flash to now, and I will still buy things with Luke, Han and Leia but I no longer look forward to new Star Wars things coming out and definitely don’t collect merchandise of these new films, and neither do my children.

It is what it is.

MTFBWY