7 Reasons Why “Solo: A Star Wars Story” Is The Best Star Wars Film Since The Original Trilogy


Dun dun dun da dun da dun dun. The nerve inducing tones of the Imperial March could well have accompanied the making of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Awash with issues from the outset, the film suffered many behind the scenes problems.

Not only were original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller fired and replaced with Ron Howard, the film experienced backlash over its casting choices. And after many fans criticised The Last Jedi and the direction of the franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story had a lot to live up to.

Although the film is finding it hard to meet box office expectations, Solo: A Star Wars Story is a fun and thrilling ride of a film that fans should definitely make the effort to go and see. Whether viewed as a standalone, a spinoff or just another number in the franchise – the film is at its core a Star Wars film through and through.

This list looks at some of the reasons that make Solo: A Star Wars Story one of the best Star Wars films since the original trilogy. No doubt there will be many that disagree, but in true Han Solo style the only sentiment that can be said is “Don’t everyone thank me at once.”

  1. It is canon

When Disney acquired Lucasfilm in 2012, they decided to rebrand the expanded universe and complicated series of Star Wars books, video games and comics as ‘Legends’ and take them out of the official movie canon. Official Star Wars canon would now be refocused on the films and in particular the original trilogy.

The original Star Wars trilogy built up a rich lore which has gone on to inform and be the basis of future Star Wars works. When it comes to the character of Han Solo, both fans and filmmakers generally agree upon a number of elements of which make up his backstory and origin. These well-known elements would be come to be considered Solo’s established backstory and canon.

These elements include such things as; that Solo had made the Kessel Run in “less than twelve parsecs,” that he had had a rough upbringing on the planet Corellia, that he had won the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian in a card game and that he had saved an enslaved Wookiee named Chewbacca, to name just a few.

Solo: A Star Wars Story’s writers completely embraced this established lore, or maybe they just respected the fans’ expectations to see this lore played out. Either way, as a result the film shows all these events and more. And frankly, it is brilliant to see these events play out on the big screen. Imagine if Solo: A Star Wars Story had instead shown Solo stealing the Millennium Falcon or meeting Chewie at a bar? They would have been perfectly within their rights to change Solo’s story in whatever way they wanted but they didn’t – no need to execute any extreme Orders in this case, phew!

Solo: A Star Wars Story also features various Easter eggs, all which are deep cut references and nods to the original trilogy and Star Wars canon. Take for example Solo’s golden dice. First featured in A New Hope and then later taking on more significance in The Last Jedi – Solo: A Star Wars Story shows that the dice have always been important to Solo. Overall, the filmmakers behind Solo: A Star Wars Story successfully made sure that the film didn’t rewrite Star Wars history and that it was a film that fans could find much nostalgia and recognition in.

  1. It reminds us that Star Wars is fun

The original trilogy introduced audiences to the Star Wars universe and all the elements that came with it. There was drama, there was action, there was romance, but underneath it all there was always an element of fun. From C-3PO’s prissiness and put-downs to Leia’s deadpan sarcasm, from Yoda’s wisecracks to Solo’s zany one liners, there have been many comedic moments in the Star Wars films.

Recently there has been a bit of doom and gloom surrounding the Star Wars films and fandom. The Last Jedi was released to a mixed reception with many fans unhappy with the direction that the films were taking, and a small percentage of militant fans even causing actor Kelly Marie Tran to leave social media due to their harassment of her. To put it in Star Wars terms, we’re at the end of The Empire Strikes Back and we don’t know how things are going to be resolved.

However, with the release of Solo: A Star Wars Story, fun is officially back on the (Mos Eisley Cantina) menu. Solo: A Star Wars Story takes all best elements of the original trilogy including the element of fun, and puts them into a Star Wars film that doesn’t feel like it could possibly offend anyone. After the grimness of Rogue One and The Last Jedi, Solo: A Star Wars Story is entertaining and enjoyable and it reminds us that Star Wars doesn’t have to turn to the dark side to be great.

  1. It explores some of Sci-Fi’s greatest characters

Frequently cited as one of Sci-Fi’s greatest characters of all time, Han Solo is also one of film’s most beloved characters – which if you told him, he’d surely reply with “I know.” Solo has been highly ranked in various polls. He was voted fourth greatest movie character of all time by Empire magazine, fourteenth greatest film hero by the American Film Institute and most popular Star Wars character from a study of Star Wars fans, to name just a few.

However, one of the great things about Solo: A Star Wars Story is that it not only allows audiences to explore more of the backstory of one iconic sci-fi character, it also shows audiences to explore more of several classic and important Star Wars characters. And for a massively popular and revered franchise such as Star Wars, this is a great thing. Audiences get an insight into where these characters came from and what events may have shaped their lives.

In sci-fi, as in all genres of film, there are a multitude of rich and interesting characters. Some of these characters end up ingrained in popular culture and become influential, but it is not often that audiences are granted more stories with these characters.

If you had told a Star Wars fan twenty years ago that one day they would be able to watch how Solo met Chewie and see Solo fly the Millennium Falcon for the first time, they wouldn’t have believed you. Solo: A Star Wars Story gives us all these amazing moments and more.

  1. It is everything that The Last Jedi wasn’t

So murky are the after effects of The Last Jedi, director of Solo: A Star Wars Story Ron Howard thinks that fans may have been boycotting his film because of it. He said, “Sad to say, some Star Wars fans are snubbing Solo because they’re still upset over Last Jedi. If so, they’re missing out and punishing a good film for something not its fault.”

Not only is Howard correct on that count and fans are doing themselves a disservice by boycotting the film, but Solo: A Star Wars Story ended up being everything that The Last Jedi wasn’t and should certainly be seen and enjoyed by fans.

Within hours of its release, The Last Jedi was the subject of mass derision with fans flooding review sites with negative ratings. The Last Jedi suffered from a myriad of problems, so many that it would take too long to list them all here. However to touch on a few, it had plot holes so big that Solo would have no trouble flying the Millennium Falcon through them, it mishandled central characters, it rewrote canon and it completely misused humour (yo momma joke anyone?).

And above all that, well it was all a bit serious and grim wasn’t it? Solo: A Star Wars Story couldn’t be further from that. Yes there are definitely some sad moments and it has got its fair share of peril but mostly Solo: A Star Wars Story is just fun. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and the result is a great experience and a great Star Wars film.

  1. It expands the Star Wars universe

One standout feature of Solo: A Star Wars Story is the masterful way in which it uses world-building to give audiences a glimpse of more of a galaxy far, far away. We get to see new planets and new factions, along with seeing more of classic characters and completely new ones. Previous films have been very much focused on the Jedi and Sith saga and the battle between the Empire and the Rebellion.

As well as world-building, Solo: A Star Wars Story expands the Star Wars universe by broadening several of the characters and their stories. It also fills an important gap in the Star Wars timeline, being set between the events of Revenge of the Sith and A New Hope.

Although Solo: a Star Wars Story may be dealing with the origin story of a character we feel that we already know and thus not feel like as much as an expansion as the other new films are, it does set in motion an interesting concept – could audiences be treated to more spinoffs and more origin stories? With rumours of a Fett spinoff in the works, Solo: A Star Wars Story may be the first of many expansions of the Star Wars universe.

  1. Great casting

When news first broke that a Han Solo film was going to be made, fans immediate reaction was who is going to take on the iconic role? Recasting the role which was made famous by acting legend Harrison Ford was no easy task and Lucasfilm went through a long and arduous casting process in search of the right actor, reportedly auditioning over two thousand actors for the role. Eventually the role went to relative unknown Alden Ehrenreich.

Many were unhappy with the choice of Ehrenreich and fans feared the worst when reports surfaced saying that Ehrenreich’s acting was so bad that the studio had to bring an acting coach in to help him with his performance. Though it is commonplace to have an acting coach on set, many saw this as proof that Ehrenreich wasn’t up to the job. Subsequently it turned out that these rumours were falsified, still the pressure was very much on for Ehrenreich.

However, with the release of the film’s first trailer, opinion began to change. It looked like Ehrenreich might be the correct choice after all. And when the Solo: A Star Wars Story finally hit theatres, it was confirmed – Ehrenreich was brilliantly cast as a young Han Solo.

Ultimately it came down to Ehrenreich being able to make the part his own whilst still honouring the popular character that Ford had already established. But it was never about Ehrenreich being the perfect carbon copy of Ford, it was about him embodying Solo’s qualities, attitude and spirit, which he does perfectly.

Both original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, and Ron Howard who ended up taking over the project agreed that they never wanted an actor who completely resembled Ford, really what they most wanted was for an actor to successfully convey the spirit of the character.

Miller said, “An impression of Harrison Ford would have felt like an extended Saturday Night Live sketch. We wanted someone who could evoke the spirit of the iconic performance we all remember while bringing something new and fresh.”

And while Ehrenreich makes a great young Solo, he is also well supported by a strong cast. Some of which are also recastings. For example Donald Glover is recast as a young Lando Calrissian, and again he perfectly embodies the spirit of the character rather than just being an impression of the already well known character. Overall, Solo: A Star Wars Story boasts a cast that not only help make it a great film, but a great Star Wars film.

  1. It is a film for the fans

No other franchise in the universe (expanded or otherwise) has fans as dedicated, loyal and enthusiastic as Star Wars fans. And fans have been handsomely rewarded with the arrival of Solo: A Star Wars Story. The film has taken one of the franchise’s most popular characters and given fans the backstory they always wanted.

Not only that but Solo: A Star Wars Story also expands the Star Wars universe, adding new characters and world building in a way that only enriches fans’ experiences. In a survey, thousands of fans were asked which character that they would like to see get their own spinoff, and Han Solo was chosen as the outright winner. In this way, Solo: A Star Wars Story feels like a love letter to the fans.

The film also represents an intersection between generations; fans that saw the original trilogy in theatres and fell in love with the character can now see this new film with their children and introduce them to that same character. This fact is made more poignant by that fact that the film was written by father and son team, Lawrence and Jon Kasdan.

Solo: A Star Wars Story may play on fans’ nostalgia, but a bit of nostalgia is never a bad thing. It is pure, unfiltered Star Wars and doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. Solo: A Star Wars Story has all the qualities of Star Wars at its best and has the look and feel of a proper Star Wars film – and fans couldn’t ask for much more. After all what are the odds of Episode IX catering to the fans as much as Solo: A Star Wars Story has? As Han himself might say, “Never tell me the odds!”

Author Bio: Cara McWilliam-Richardson is a writer with a passion for films and filmmaking. She has written several screenplays, and is currently working on her first novel. Her favourite genre to write is fantasy and science fiction.

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