Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) Review

Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

Directed by Ron Howard

Starring: Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, Paul Bettany

Music by John Powell & John Williams

Plot Synopsis: (via IMDb)
During an adventure into a dark criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his future copilot Chewbacca and encounters Lando Calrissian years before joining the Rebellion.


My Opinion:

I saw this at midnight last night. I’m exhausted! But I suppose I better do a quickie review before America gets to see this tonight (is that right?). Because I’m sure everyone is just dying to know my opinion as there’ll be NO other reviews to be found for this movie anywhere. Yeah, the other reviews will be much more detailed than mine. You won’t find that here. I’ll make this very quick and just let you know if I liked the latest Star Wars movie or not.

Yep! I liked it. I really really liked it. Not sure yet if I loved it, but… Maybe. I need to see it again. Here’s how I feel about all the new Star Wars movies (I’ve linked to my full reviews):

ā€¢ The Force Awakens: LOVED it. Easily my favorite of the new ones.
ā€¢ Rogue One: Certainly didn’t hate it but didn’t love it. Liked it okay but, overall, it just didn’t work for me. Felt the least “Star Wars” to me.
ā€¢ The Last Jedi: Wasn’t happy with this at first. It has grown on me. I certainly like it much more than a lot of people seemed to but, depending on what they do with the final film, I could end up liking this one much more or much less. Really hope they do the final film right (I want it to be more like The Force Awakens).

My ranking? I don’t yet know until the final film but it’s currently probably The Force Awakens, then The Last Jedi or Solo (time will tell so I’ll make them a tie at the moment) and then Rogue One. My hubby’s order (HUGE Star Wars nut), if you’re interested, is currently: The Force Awakens, Solo, Rogue One, The Last Jedi. I was surprised he has Solo in second place so far but he did thoroughly enjoy it.

So onto Solo… As most people have said so far, this movie is a lot of fun. There seems to be a big backlash against this movie before people have even seen it. I truly don’t understand that. Is it just because they didn’t like The Last Jedi?? Wow, people are hard to please. I was shocked that the midnight showings for this at my cinema were completely dead. One screen had only six people! I love Star Wars and, no, I really don’t want to see its legacy ruined. Yes, I worry that The Last Jedi has started down that path. But let’s see how they handle the final film. And, in the meantime, let’s spend some time having fun with Han, Chewbacca & Lando since they’re fantastic characters we all love. I also saw a lot of people say “Oh, people are saying Solo is fun. That just means it’s bad”. Huh? Since when did people decide that movies aren’t meant to be fun anymore?! I want movies to be fun. I want to be entertained. Fun doesn’t automatically mean bad.



I think the most important thing to me was that they’d get our most beloved characters right. I think we all had our doubts about Alden Ehrenreich but I think he did a good job. Was he the perfect person for this role? Maybe not. But who could be? Han Solo is one of the most iconic (and coolest) characters of all time. Who can possibly do Han Solo justice?? I had no problem with Ehrenreich – I liked him as Han. And Donald Glover is great as Lando but I think we had already accepted him based on the trailers. He’s cool as f*^k. I loved seeing these two characters meeting and, even as I write this, I’m probably liking this movie even more as I think of young Han, Lando, and Chewbacca all meeting for the first time. I adored all their scenes together.


I thought all the new characters were pretty great as well. I’m not sure that I have any new absolute favorites but it’s very hard to top all of the original trilogy characters. I’m not going to get into the new additions, however, as I wish to remain completely spoiler free. I’ll just say that I liked the history that Han had with Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke), Woody Harrelson and his team of “can they be trusted?” misfits were a joy and the perfect fit to team up with Han & Lando, and the baddies were quite effective – they looked the part and were menacing.


What else can I say? This movie gave me what I wanted. It’ll never top the original trilogy but no new Star Wars movie ever will. I don’t expect that from any of the new movies. I think Ron Howard has done a great job with Solo, especially considering that it was such a troubled production. It stays very faithful to & respectful of the Star Wars legacy and does all the existing characters justice. There are some great “fan service” bits that are a real pleasure but don’t feel at all forced (they aren’t the type you’ll roll your eyes at – they’re just fun). Yeah. Fun! This movie is fun. Fun is good. Fun is what I wanted. It’s okay to have fun sometimes! Solo: A Star Wars Story is a good film and, for me, it’s a welcome addition to the Star Wars universe.

My Rating: 8/10

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I Went To Secret Cinema’s Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back

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For anyone who doesn’t know, Secret Cinema is an event that’s been going on in London for several years now where you go to watch a movie, yes, but you do this while experiencing recreations of events & scenes from that movie’s “world”. I’d heard a little about it but it got more attention than usual last year when they did Back To The Future but had some problems in getting the whole thing ready on time. When they did manage it, though, I saw photos of a recreated Hill Valley and it looked pretty damn amazing. Despite the problems, I wished I’d been able to go. When this year’s movie was announced, Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back, we immediately bought tickets (Ā£75 per adult, in case you’re wondering).

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Was it worth the price? I’d say “yes”. It’s a lot of money to pay to watch a movie but, obviously, you aren’t just watching a movie. To fully enjoy this one, I’d say you have to be a pretty die hard Star Wars fan. But… I’m not sure why you’d go to Secret Cinema if you aren’t a huge fan of the movie being shown? Do I like Star Wars? Of course – I love it! The original three are some of my very favorite movies ever. I grew up with them and I’ll always love them (not the prequels!) but I’m not an obsessive fan in the way a lot of Star Wars fans are known to be. Did I go all cosplay or wear a huge homemade Millennium Falcon on my head like one guy who was there? No. I’m far too self-conscious to do stuff like that! Sorry to disappoint anyone who thought I was a bit more fun than I actually am… šŸ˜‰ I’ll talk about my experience now. This will have some SPOILERS for anyone who may have tickets to go see this but I won’t reveal too much…

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I’d say that Secret Cinema is great fun for anyone who really gets into the whole “game” and the role-playing involved. As soon as we bought tickets, we got e-mails about various secret events that have been & are still going on. But that’s classified info so I can’t discuss the details! šŸ˜‰ Every e-mail talks of your “secret mission” and no actual address details are given. You’re not going to London – you’re going to a Galaxy Far, Far Away! Close to the time of your “departure”, you’re e-mailed the location of where your “flight” will take off. A link brings you to a map with just enough real-world details to find the location. But first, we had to stop at the secret shop for SUPPLIES:

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You are NOT required to dress up. However, I took the e-mails seriously & got a little stressed out thinking that we wouldn’t be allowed in without at least having some of the things listed. I chose a character that allowed me to dress in regular, all black clothing (I’m very boring!). It was very hot so I feel sorry for those in full Jedi robes… Once there, you’re given a stamp on your wrist. Look! My arm!

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As this whole thing is top secret, no photos are allowed. So, unfortunately, I have no cool photos to share with you. When you get there, an actor gives you instructions for your mission then you go through an area where your phones are put in a sealed bag. You do get to keep your phone, though, which was nice as I didn’t like the thought of handing my phone over to them. Well, here’s me in my scarf & goggles after the event:

**I’ve deleted it – I don’t keep photos of myself on here for long** šŸ˜‰

(Hopefully you’re all still here after that…). Here’s my one big SPOILER but this has been mentioned in enough articles now that I can say they’ve recreated….
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Tatooine!

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WOW! And…. WTF? Shouldn’t it be Hoth? This isn’t A New Hope! Oh well – I hate being cold anyway. šŸ˜‰ There were plenty of actors all dressed up and acting out scenes as you walked around. Some talked to you but you didn’t have to get too involved if, like me, you’re not totally comfortable with all that.

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After a while on Tatooine, we moved onto the next stage of the mission. This is still a big secret but it was very well done & I enjoyed this bit a lot.

THEN………. We watched the movie!!!!!

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It’s funny – it had already been a long night full of so much entertainment that I kind of kept forgetting we’d all be watching the movie at the end of it. I have to say it was a long evening and I was exhausted by the end of it. They say no kids under 8 are allowed but we saw a few kids who were definitely not 8, which was disappointing as we have a six-year-old who would’ve LOVED the whole experience. But it’s a very long night for young ones…

The entertainment didn’t end when the movie began as several key scenes were acted out while they played on screen. It was fun watching this movie in a room full of (1,500!) massive Star Wars fans and hearing what bits got the biggest reactions. The biggest cheer was when we see Han Solo for the first time. Everyone loves Han! Luke & Yoda got cheers and, luckily, so did Leia (after a wolf-whistle). Darth Vader of course got a boo.

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One of the biggest reactions, though, was from the female fans during the kiss scene. I’m happy to report that at least 40% of the people at Secret Cinema were FEMALE! Possibly even 45%. So…. Time to stop ignoring us female geeks, world! Time to start making Princess Leia toys easily available for our daughters, dammit!! (Okay – I’ve ranted enough about that in the past. I’ll move on!). Speaking of Leia & kissing, the reaction to her kissing Luke was pretty hilarious and there was of course one shout of “They’re gonna regret that later!”.

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If anyone is at all interested, tickets for Secret Cinema are apparently still available for some of the week nights. I’d definitely recommend this to those who are massive Star Wars fans but, if you’re just a casual fan, I’d say you wouldn’t really appreciate it. I probably enjoyed it slightly less than the cosplay/role-playing types of people but I found the scene reenactments a lot of fun and I really enjoyed the “world” they created. Maybe someday I’ll make more of an effort and dress up as Bespin Leia – that’s always been my favorite look & hairdo:

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Thanks for reading, everyone! Have a great weekend & may the force be with you. šŸ™‚

Oh… I suppose I should rate this like my movie reviews!

My Secret Cinema Rating: 8/10

My Star Wars: Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back Movie Rating: 10/10

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My Top Ten Movie Crushes

CPD: Top Ten Thursdays! Should I try to do one of these every Thursday? I’m not great with commitment. I do have a new feature for Fridays, though, the first of which I’ll post tomorrow. šŸ™‚

Now – Counting down from ten, these are My Top Ten Movie Character Crushes: (Obviously, mostly from my teen years) šŸ˜‰

10. TIE: Dwayne Hicks in Aliens & Jude in Across The Universe

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9. Josh in Clueless

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8. Tristan Ludlow in Legends Of The Fall

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7. Gordie Lachance in Stand By Me

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6. Chris Chambers in Stand By Me

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5. Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything

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4. Han Solo in Star Wars

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3. Mark Hunter (Hard Harry) in Pump Up The Volume

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2. Kyle Reese in The Terminator

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1. Jake Ryan in Sixteen Candles

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Where’s Chris Hemsworth? Well, he’s not yet really done a character I’ve had a crush on. But his general hotness is certainly appreciated. Give me Rush Hems followed by The Cabin In The Woods Hems. šŸ™‚

Movie Crushes

Take these movie characters, mix them together, maybe try a Weird Science-style experiment, and I’m pretty sure you’ll end up with the perfect guy. Failing that, I’ll just take Jake Ryan – he’s perfect as is. šŸ™‚ Oh, and not any specific character of his but can I please add the chocolate-brown eyes of Jim Sturgess?

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