Any time one of these standalone STAR WARS STORY films opens it’s always met with a slew of criticism from devout fans who will inevitably never be satisfied with anything except the original STAR WARS trilogy. That being said, while SOLO definitely wasn’t ROGUE ONE and certainly wasn’t THE LAST JEDI, it was a fun, summer popcorn movie. It’s lead actor, Alden Ehrenreich definitely proved that someone other than Harrison Ford could embody the essence of the galaxy’s favorite smuggler, Han Solo, and he did it in a way that showed a lighter and almost more optimistic Han than what we’re used to. I had the opportunity to see the film this past Monday night during an advanced screening. Here’s what I thought about SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Everything we learn about Han Solo in SOLO_ A STAR WARS STORY

Where is Han Solo from?

During STAR WARS: A NEW HOPE Han mentions that he’s from Corellia but what we don’t know is what that exactly looks like. Corellia is an industrial planet that’s under the control of the Empire and the primary form of employment on the planet, other than piracy and smuggling, are building ships for the Empire. When we first see Han in SOLO, he’s escaping people because he’s stolen a very important resource in ship building. More about that later. The planet is dark, dirty and Han is definitely working for someone who is very bad.

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Was Princess Leia the only woman Han fell in love with?

I wouldn’t call this a spoiler because I think it’s fairly obvious that there’s something going on between Han and Qi’ra (played by Emilia Clarke and pronounced the same way I say my daughter, Keira’s, name). The two grew up together on the streets of Corellia and both have a very special place in each other’s hearts. At the end of the film Qi’ra makes a statement about Han’s character, who he is at his innermost being, that that, right there is why we all love Han Solo. Be looking for it. That’s all I’m going to say about that, okay?

Everything we learn about Han Solo in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

Emilia Clarke is Qi’ra and Alden Ehrenreich is Han Solo in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Who is Han Solo’s family?

We don’t know. What you will find out is where Han Solo’s last name comes from.

How does Han Solo meet Chewbacca?

This is perhaps one of the best part of the film; yes, that’s right, we finally get to see these two unlikely friends meet and the circumstances are well, grim. Watching the friendship form between Han and Chewie was definitely a highlight for me while I snacked on my popcorn. There are a few key moments too during the film that really confirm why the pair are so incredibly close and loyal to each other. It’s endearing.

Everything we learn about Han Solo in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

Alden Ehrenreich is Han Solo and Joonas Suotamo is Chewbacca in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

What is the Kessel Run?

It’s Han’s bragging rights, you know, he always mentions how the Millennium Falcon did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs. It was a long-held record and it’s what makes the Millennium Falcon the fastest ship in the galaxy. Guess what, you may or may not get to witness that moment in this film.

Everything we learn about Han Solo in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

The Millenium Falcon in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Can Alden Ehrenreich play Han Solo?

Yes, he can and he does it well with this boyish cockiness that we all love about Harrison Ford’s Han Solo, only Ehrenreich is able to be more hopeful than Ford could be. The way the film is set up, I believe that Han Solo is in his early to mid 20’s. He’s an orphan from an industrial, bleak planet but he has hope and he’s a survivalist. Ehrenreich is handsome, like Ford, and like Ford’s Solo, Ehrenreich is able to be even more attractive because of the confidence he exudes. That’s what we love about Han Solo, that and his loyalty. He’s a good guy, despite how he tries to play all sides, showing no loyalty, he is at his heart a good guy.

Everything we learn about Han Solo in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

Alden Ehrenreich is Han Solo in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

How does Han Solo meet Lando Calrissian?

You’ll see how it all unfolds but I’ll tell you that Han Solo and his crew, well, actually it’s Tobias Beckett’s (Woody Harrelson) crew that Han Solo is part of, need a super fast ship. Qi’ra knows where to find one. I bet you can fill in the rest of the story before you see the film. I will say that Lando’s droid L3 is amazing. She’s this feisty, equal rights activist droid who steals every single scene she’s in and the actress that plays her is equally as charming. Oh and yes, we do get to see him win the Millennium Falcon from Lando.

Everything we learn about Han Solo in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY

Donald Glover is Lando Calrissian and Phoebe Waller-Bridge is L3-37 in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY.

Side note, you have to watch this interview the actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge gives describing the audition process for L3-37.

Is SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY essential to the STAR WARS plot line?

Honestly, no it isn’t. It’s fun and a great start to the summer movie season but I don’t think that the average STAR WARS fan will miss anything if they skip this film. That being said, if you love STAR WARS and you love Han Solo, this is the film to get to know his backstory since the Han Solo we know in the original trilogy never shared much about where he came from. Princess Leia actually said that there was more mystery about where Han came from and how he was brought up than she was ever able to uncover. It’s nice to be able to piece together the puzzle for this beloved character.

There’s no mention of the Force which makes sense because the scene is set within the galaxy’s smuggling industry. It’s about war and the victims of war, resources and how entities battle it out over who owns what, and while we know that the Empire is an evil governing authority in the STAR WARS’ story, it’s only magnified by the kind of situation that Han and his friends find themselves in. I liked that we got to see a non-Force side of this story and it added depth not only to Han’s character but to the galaxy it all takes place in.

Don’t wait to see the film and as always if you’re taking your kids and you’re hesitant, see the film first. I will be taking my 9.5 year old son to see the film and he’s seen all of the STAR WARS movies to date. I will say that there’s more kissing in this film than others so if your kids are disgusted by that just know that’s part of the story. I personally loved it but I’m a hopeless romantic.

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SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY opens in theatres everywhere on May 25th!


Also check out these STAR WARS Movies in order before you see the film if you’re unfamiliar with the STAR WARS films.