Solo: A Star Wars Story
Scott Hardie: “It was ok.”
Given that The Force Awakens was popular because it honored classic Star Wars, and The Last Jedi was reviled for turning against it, I'm surprised that this movie has become such a (relative) flop, since this might be even more of a love letter to Star Wars fans than Force Awakens was. It spends much of its running time assembling elements from the original films, but it's also stuffed full of references to the TV shows and books and video games that make up the Expanded Universe, converting some of them from apocrypha into canon in the process. (Who ever expected this shit to come up again?) Observant fans should be over the moon with this movie.
It's still flawed, though, possibly because it was so rushed in production. As good as the visual design is, the movie doesn't linger on anything long enough for you to take it in; the movie feels hurried from setpiece to setpiece, as though it has a checklist to cross off as quickly as it can. (Or as if the connecting scenes were eliminated in the rush to remake it as a Ron Howard movie instead of a Lord/Miller movie.) Alden Ehrenreich probably worked his ass off to seem like Harrison Ford, but he still can't pull it off; he feels like "a" Han Solo and not "the" Han Solo. And there's an inescapable sense of needlessness to all of this; do we really need to see how Solo got his blaster and got his ship and got his Wookiee? The backstory provided in the original trilogy's dialogue is sufficient to satisfy our imagination.
I enjoyed much of the movie, and I suspect that (like Last Jedi but for different reasons) it will fare better in the long run, as fans have more time to take it in and appreciate it for what it is. But I still hope Disney makes fewer prequels that repeat information that we already know, and focuses instead on more forward-looking, universe-building stuff.
Scott Hardie: more by Scott
Matthew Preston: Some comments on maybe why this flopped: Disney is focusing on attracting a new generation of Star Wars fans. As a result, our generation (those that grew up with the original trilogy) have lost interest. Rian Johnson essentially drained all the excitement out of me with ep. 8. It's been soul crushing because I now have zero interest in the universe. I didn't see Solo, but maybe will watch it when it's on Netflix. I've gone through just about every stage of grief and acceptance is painful, but necessary. These films are no longer being made for me, and it's time to move on. − June 10, 2018 more by Matthew
Scott Hardie: I'm really sorry that I didn't get to answer this when you wrote it last weekend, because that's one of the saddest things I've read in a long time. :-( I know what a tremendous fan you've been of Star Wars all your life ("all my life!"), so I have a sense of how incredibly hard it must have been to feel so disappointed, and to let go and to grieve the loss. Maybe you'll feel differently in time as the series evolves to serve more different kinds of fans. I waited patiently for one of my youthful loves, Metallica, to stop sucking so much and eventually they returned to form. But even if it doesn't happen, I hope you can still enjoy what you got from the original films. − June 17, 2018 more by Scott