Review: Solo - A Star Wars Story a swashbuckling sci-fi adventure for the fans

Solo: Star Wars

Solo: Star Wars - Credit: Archant

It’s been barely six months since the last instalment, yet Solo – A Star Wars Story sees us journey to a galaxy far, far away once more.

This time, renowned director Ron Howard takes the reins for a stand alone prequel story following the exploits of a young Han Solo.

Howard took over deep into the film’s production, after original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were sacked and is rumoured to have re-shot as much as 80 per cent of the film.

However, the final cut bears few hallmarks of this troubled production and is remarkably coherent throughout. This is mostly thanks to an excellent script from Empire Strikes Back writer Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jonathan, which recaptures the spirit of the original trilogy.

The plot follows young Solo’s first forays into the criminal underworld as he joins a group of smugglers led by Woody Harrelson’s Tobias Beckett.

Hired by a shadowy crime syndicate to steal a shipment of coaxiam from the spice mines of Kessel, the group encounters familiar Star Wars characters Lando Calrissian and Chewbacca along the way.

Alden Ehrenreich is perfectly cast as Solo, stepping effortlessly into the shoes of Harrison Ford and embodying the roguish charm synonymous with the character. Donald Glover also sparkles as the smooth talking schemer Calrissian, while Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke takes on the role of Solo’s childhood sweetheart Qi’ra.

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The tone of the film is very well judged. There are plenty of comedic moments, but the humour seems to fit much better than the forced slapstick seen in the previous instalment.

A plethora of familiar alien creatures, together with casual references to the wider universe, will delight longstanding fans, but Howard thankfully avoids too many clunky cameos. Something that blighted the George Lucas directed prequels of the early 2000s.

Solo is a lighter film than many of its predecessors and some may miss the threat and menace that come hand in hand with the franchise’s more mystical side, however the film is undeniably great fun to watch.

Staying true to what makes Star Wars films great, Solo is a swashbuckling sci-fi adventure for the fans, which delivers a welcome blast of Star Wars Nostalgia.