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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Solo: A Star Wars story (will contain spoilers)

    I'm doing what we did for TLJ here. The other thread will be free to discuss Star Wars generally and will be free of the more recent spoilers, and then there'll be this thread here to discuss the new movie in as much detail as you like. In a few months time we'll merge the two.

    It has already been seen by some people, at various festivals and things. Early reports sound overwhelmingly positive, with a few criticisms in parts.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  2. #2
    Feeling Minnesota Powder's Avatar
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    i have not read anything on the movie yet, but I had to watch the trailer prior to A.I.W., but I have my tickets for next Thursday. I hope it's good....

  3. #3
    LOP Freebirds Buddy Roberts SirSam's Avatar
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    Comes out Thursday next week here in Australia. Reviews look good and it will be cool to see something that is truly just a stand alone story in the Star Wars universe.

  4. #4
    Feeling Minnesota Powder's Avatar
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    I just got back from seeing Solo, and I have to say that it was bland. Don't get me wrong, it was a good entertaining movie with tons of references to the original trilogy, but it felt like a made for TV movie. It did not feel like a "big" movie. It felt small.

  5. #5
    Author of 101 WWE Matches To See Before You Die Samuel 'Plan's Avatar
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    Bland is the perfect review. I went to see it late last night and while there were elements to it and parts of the story I enjoyed, for the most part I was distinctly underwhelmed. I can totally see what Power means by calling it TV-movie like. Dare I say this is another instance of studio interference ultimately destroying a film because of the resultant need to blend two distinct creative visions?

    On the downside, I didn't mind the simple and old fashioned adventure story, but I did think the writing was uncharacteristically poor for the Kasdans. Why introduce one set of characters in the first twenty minutes only to kill them all off for next to no effect (because we never get to know them, and because their deaths do not inform a single minute of the film thereafter)? Then to introduce us to a whole other set of characters thereafter, with whom we follow for the rest of the story...it was just weird.

    I also thought it sucked how Han was basically a sidekick in his own film, and to various people. I never once felt like he was the driving force behind anything, but just reaction to what more important people were doing around him. Then there's the inherent issue with this and any other character-centric film set before the OT: the action had zero tension, because you know Han, Chewie, Lando and the Falcon are all going to survive regardless. The rest of the characters I didn't care enough about (primarily because everyone in the film excepting Han and Chewie were basically bad guys).

    Lando's droid irritated the hell out of me every second it was on screen as well. Shrill, unfunny and annoying, I was pleased to see it get killed off relatively quickly. I'd watch Jar Jar over that droid any day.

    Maul's cameo had me scratching my head more than anything - how it marries to where he is at the end of Clone Wars and where he is when we meet him again in Rebels best get explained with something pronto, because otherwise it's going to bug the hell out of me!

    My biggest gripe, though, was the soundtrack. The OST to Rogue One did well to do its own thing but heavily invoke the spirit of John Williams and, by extension, Star Wars. Solo's soundtrack - with the exception of the Kessel Run sequence - was a hot mess that never seemed to match what was happening on screen and certainly didn't feel like a Star Wars soundtrack. It shocked me how much of the spirit of the franchise was lost as a result - I think it's a major reason as to why it felt so bland, actually.

    But there was also a lot of aspects I really liked. I thought Alden Ehrenreich was absolutely excellent as Han. I felt like I was watching Han but never a Harrison Ford impersonation, so major kudos there. His chemistry with Chewie was great as well. So very impressed. I loved how they had Han and Chewie meet as well, and seeing that relationship start to develop was a lot of fun. I loved the entire Kessel Run sequence, and finally getting to see Han do something other than fly in a straight line or list lazily to the left to prove how good a pilot he really was proved to be very welcome. And we need to take a moment to appreciate Donald Glover's amazing showing as Lando - he felt more Lando than Billy Dee Williams at points! I kind of wish the entire film had been a Han / Lando buddy-up to be quite honest. Great chemistry there.

    I didn't hate it. I didn't love it. I was underwhelmed by it, but I'll be happy to revisit it on blu-ray, if not in any hurry.

    I did think it was telling that it was opening weekend and there were only around 12 people in my showing, though.

  6. #6
    LOP Freebirds Buddy Roberts SirSam's Avatar
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    Great thoughts there Plan and I will side with the main thought here, bland. It was just such a normal movie.

    Was it a bad movie? Absolutely not, it had a fun cast of characters (although the point about introducing that band only to kill them off stands out), an exciting story and some cool action but when I left I felt like I had watched just a generic movie that happened to be set in the Star Wars Universe.

    I'm so used to Star Wars movies being different, they have always had a certain kind of magic about them. Whenever I've left one I have always had so many thoughts buzzing through my head, questions that I wanted to answer, things I wanted to discuss with other fans. That was true when I was a boy watching the OT, a kid/teen watching the prequels and now an adult watching the New Trilogy and Rouge One however I walked out of Solo feeling absolutely nothing. It was like watching a Mission Impossible or Oceans movie, great fun at the time but nothing to really sink my teeth into fan wise or anything that would make it worth a re-watch.

    I'm not sure what left it feeling like it didn't have the 'magic' of Star Wars, it could have been the lowering of the stakes from galaxy wide to far more personal, it could have been the removal of the force and the jedi/sith dynamic from the equation or it could have simply been how haphazrdly the Star Wars parts were implemented. However I have gone through old star wars books and video games with all those problems and never left with that feeling before so I'm going to lay it at the feet of the chracters and writing. Apart from Qi'ra the characters didn't feel focused, while the acting was great for them Lando & Han felt more like they were having their backstory boxes checked off than that they were actual living characters whose actions had consequences and the less said about Woody Harrelson's character the better. The appearance of Dath Maul at the end was just weird to me and Plan you are right in saying that they soundtrack is pretty bland compared to any other Star Wars.

    They say that movies are getting more like TV shows, well if this was a TV show it would be episode 6 in a 12 episode season and if this was a colour it would be beige. This wasn't Star Wars killed off, this was Star Wars corpratised.

  7. #7
    LOP Freebirds Buddy Roberts SirSam's Avatar
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    Sorry for the double post but here is a really interesting concept for a review by one of my favourite internet reviewers Jeremy Jahns wrapped up in a meta joke about the divisive internet commentary.

    Basically as you watch each section he introduces the next part and you click if you liked it or not and he then delivers the kind of line that will agree/disagree with you.


  8. #8
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Enjoyed it fine for what it was. It did forget it was meant to be fun at times and as with all Star Wars movies, there's some crummy dialogue in places. Some of them really hurt it and it took a while to recover.

    Interestingly, I did not really think the casting was great on Han. Thought they had someone who looked like him rather than who brought the same kind of screen presence, which I was longing for at times.

    Gun to my head I'd probably choose to watch it again before either of episodes 1 or 2. Saying that I've kind of reached the point where I don't rewatch any of them anymore.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  9. #9
    LOP Freebirds Buddy Roberts SirSam's Avatar
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    Seems like box office has been a bit of a bust with Solo.

    Like with wrestling by no means to I think mass populatiry or money making always equals quality or poor business equals low quality but I think in this case there is a big correlation. For the last few Star Wars movies there has been considerable buzz and lots of people have gone to see it twice or more. I'm guessing that hasn't happened anywhere near as much with Solo and I wonder what it means for the future of at least the Star Wars Stories section of the franchise which have often been plagued with creative tension and problems.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    I don't think it'll end up losing money overall, but there's obviously some rethinking needed in how they time, promote, whatever. They're not blaming franchise fatigue at Disney, I've noticed.

    I'd be taking a good look at that proposed Boba Fett movie if I was in charge, and thinking... maybe not. It's funny because the most unnecessary films - the odd on to a trilogy that was already quite clearly wrapped up and finished, and that had books out there for the hardcore few who really needed to know what happened next - have done very well. I've often thought the future of the franchise on screen needed to be in this kind of story that branches off from the main narrative, and yet they haven't performed as well as the mainline and this probably raises some questions about what they'll do next.


    No time to panic yet, though. If the next one underperforms then there'll be panic.


    One thing that could be an option is to reduce the budget. It worked for Star Trek between TMP and TWOK. Not only does it reduce the pressure at the box office because it's easier to turn a profit but you can end up with something that has a bit more grit to it. Obviously I'm not saying you can take an axe to the budget because these films do probably have to compete with Marvel et al in the days of blockbusters, but trimming down and forcing directors to deal with the challenge has produced good results in the past, and might well do again.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  11. #11
    Feeling Minnesota Powder's Avatar
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    I think it has to do with the movie being Bland. While I enjoyed it, it was clearly not spectacular. Alden Ehrenreich did the bes the could, but for me and many, many others, he was NOT Han Solo. One of the main things was his voice. he did not sound like Han. On the other hand Donald Glover WAS Lando. He spent time with Billy Dee William learning his manner of speech and mannerisms. Ehrenreich just was not convincing.

    The plot had some major inconsistencies.

    Like why did they introduce that Han enlisted in the Imperial Flight Academy? There was absolutely no mention of this in later movies. Han and his attitude in the original trilogy, he would have clearly said at some point that the was formally in the Imperial Flight Academy and he knows how they operate. His ego would have definitely let that slip.

    AND the other point that made me question the writer's choice was why did Han end up partially/initially funding the resistance? When we meet Han in Star Wars he clearly has no love for the Empire, and he also has absolutely no love for the resistance? Why? He practically started them by giving them enough all the money. It doesn't make sense. Again with his ego, Han would have said something along the lines of "The resistance? No way, Those guys are no better. I funded them in their beginnings and then they turned on me as well."

    Those two points are revisionist history and change the Solo character. Everything we knew about Han was that he was a smuggler, and a clear independent only out for Himself, Chewy and money. But in this movie, he was an Imperial and sort of founder of the resistance. It makes him less outlaw, and that changes the way that people view him.

  12. #12
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    The flight academy thing has been a part of Han's backstory for as long as I can remember - it's definitely Lucas-written, even if it wasn't in the original movies. I suspect it's in there for the superfans.

    As to the other point... I assumed they were building off the tendency in the original three movies for Han to fly into the rescue when he could just leave, or to lead dangerous assaults for the rebels, do heroic things, etc. Essentially I think it was always slightly implied that Han is less outlaw and more 'good' than he thinks he is, and they decided to really make that the core of the film. It was a bit heavy-handed but I don't think it was inconsistent with the later films, especially if you imagine that all the stuff in between with Jabba would probably have made him tougher still, harder to reach.


    But yeah, just because I don't think it was inconsistent doesn't mean I think it was good. It was fine. Quite diverting. No better than that. I seem to remember liking some of the Solo books more, though I was a lot younger then.
    Last edited by Prime Time; 06-01-2018 at 08:11 AM.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  13. #13
    Feeling Minnesota Powder's Avatar
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    However, all the books prior to Disney buying Lucasfilm are no longer cannon. So unfortunately, none of that can be taken into account.

  14. #14
    Super Moderator Prime Time's Avatar
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    Canon. Not cannon. That's a big gun.

    Which bit, the Solo books? Yeah, I know that. And to be honest I just glanced at a plot summary of the first one and it doesn't sound great, so I don't think it holds up. I'm more bothered about the better books being junked out, the Solo stuff.... eh, who's really that bothered. They were fun at the time though.

    If you mean the Solo backstory... I mean that wasn't just in books, that was sort of written into everything that I can remember. Character guides, games, novelizations, you name it. From what I understand, Han was always written with the idea that he was an ex-Imperial Pilot that was too unruly to fit in. It was, in a way, another point of distinction between the rigidness of the Empire and the freedom of the Republic/Rebellion. And it's quite clearly a Lucas idea because it appeared so early, and so widely in the Universe. So it's not a surprise to see it included, really.

    "The worst moron is the one too stupid to realise they're a moron."

  15. #15
    The Brain
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    I feel like people were down on Solo long before it came out, for one reason or another. I think that had more to do with a lower than normal box office than the actual quality of the film, though word of mouth/reviews could still have had some effect.

  16. #16
    LOP Freebirds Buddy Roberts SirSam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mizfan View Post
    I feel like people were down on Solo long before it came out, for one reason or another. I think that had more to do with a lower than normal box office than the actual quality of the film, though word of mouth/reviews could still have had some effect.
    Replace the word Solo with any WWE PPV and you are probably right. Isn't it sad that modern fan culture has done this. I know it isn't the case for every Star Wars movie and Solo is genuinely pretty poor but it is still sd that the people who once loves something the most can become so disenfranchised.

    As to thee plot inconsistencies, I think the most agregious is him helping whatever faction of the resistance that was. I do agree that he is generally a better guy than he pretends to be but it should have rated a mention, particularly early on when he is bragging to Luke and Obi Wan or at least to Princess Leia.

  17. #17
    I don't think there's any way it's poor. It's just never any better than OK.

  18. #18
    The Brain
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    Yeah, poor is way too strong for me. Honestly I had a lot of fun with it, it wasn't amazing but I was able to just relax and have a good time with it.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Slightly late to the party, as it disappears from theatres near me tomorrow, so thought I'd watch it today.

    I liked it, but don't love it. I agree with most of the sentiment here, a little bland. But enjoyable enough. Favourite moment was anything involving Lando. Worst was probably Qi'ra. Didn't relate to her in the slightest and was annoyed at not hearing anything about how she got to where she was 3 years later. It's just setting up for a sequel...

  20. #20
    LOP Freebirds Buddy Roberts SirSam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gooner View Post
    Worst was probably Qi'ra. Didn't relate to her in the slightest and was annoyed at not hearing anything about how she got to where she was 3 years later. It's just setting up for a sequel...
    That is interesting, I thought she was one of the best characters in it. She gave Solo freedom and as a result had to become a pragmatist putting up a facade of cold in difference to everyone simply to protect herself.

    I thought it was pretty clearly implied that she basically prostituted herself to the crime lord dude to gain his favour. Because it is Disney they aren't going to go into detail with that but to me it seemed clear.

  21. #21
    Senior Member Gooner's Avatar
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    Mmm, not so much for me, especially as right at the end she basically took over the reigns. I gathered that was part of it, the prostitution side of it, but because nothing was mentioned, and that scene where she says that Han didn't want to know what she had done, I felt there was more than that.

    Maybe it's just me, but that character annoyed me the most. While unfair, it may just be also that Emilia Clark is slightly typecast. Can't help but think of Daenerys when I see her on screen.

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