Rating: PG-13, Time: 2hr 15min, Director: Ron Howard, Cast on IMDb
So how did this read as a Star Wars movie?
I think if you've only seen Star Wars once or twice, you wouldn't have much to compare to, but I grew up on Star Wars: A New Hope, so once you go very derivative, then there is kind of a free for all. I did like to see Chewbacca and the Millenium Falcon and get to know more of the back story of Han Solo. There were some minor changes I would make, but I'll save this to the end. The best thing the did is not describe the planets. I hated that in Rogue One.
How does the old and new Han Solo compare?
Is this a fair comparison? Maybe, maybe not. I think looks wise the new Solo has the looks for Han Solo fairly closely, but not perfect. We are looking at a younger version, more idealistic and gullible at this stage in his life. I think they make a decent job of the casting, but these are huge boots to fill as Harrison Ford is simple awesome. The really cool thing we find out in this movie is that Han Solo can actually speak Wookie, which covers the bonding scene when they first meet under dicey circumstances. They allude to his past as living on Corellia, which was a major star destroyer builder planets. I think they did a decent job of this, however I think the planet would be much more orderly than presented if it was under the Imperial thumb leading into a New Hope later. Something didn't ring exactly true in the movie about this character. I think he got some of the mannerisms, but the lines are a bit off for this character.
What did you think of the villain Dryden Vos?
I think this pulls the picture together well. In the film, there are constant escape from multiple bad guys, which leads to a change in one of the key characters that plays out nicely further along in the film. He is this ruthless contraband kind of bank heist guy working for a ruthless organization Crimson Dawn. Han's old girlfriend is allured into this ring and Han is trying to satisfy his debt to Dryden as well as rescue his girlfriend again from a ruthless organization. I really like how well they show the character build of his girlfriend Qi'ra. She really played this part well and shows how a slight turn in destiny can really alter a person's values over time. Her actions directly impact the young Han Solo to become later the older Han Solo of a New Hope.
How did you find the storyline?
I think if you strip out the baggage of comparing to the rest of Star Wars, its a good movie, but not really a tear jerker. So in that sense you don't get the true bonding to some of the cast even though there are several significant character dying here. I mean in Rogue One, you feel how sad the tragedy of getting the Death Star plans are and the huge sacrifice. Here I kind of get the feel of the characters, but the deaths don't resonate exactly. Maybe I'm just a jaded old guy. But I don't think so, since the end of the Avengers really gets you in the heart. Here we can say its a fun movie, but if they decide to film Solo 2 and 3, there will need to be more tradegy. I think the love story will lead that way for Han if they cut the new films right.
What changes would you make?
Again, similar to Rogue One, they call this a "Star Wars story" vs. just Star Wars. That sounds retarded no matter how you spin it. The audience isn't stupid we know Lucas sold the franchise, so just call it Star Wars. This is a Major bug in the naming of the films. I cringe just hearing "Star Wars Story". Every movie ever made is a story. So that is a major Disney executive call that's dumb. Another thing that went astray was the beginning credits. You really miss the credits that roll from 1-6. Its a Lucas thing, but stay true to that. You almost don't know its a Star Wars film at all in that perspective. Another thing that's off is the music. Again, now this is so far removed from the original Millenium Falcon music and music for the Older Han Solo, you can't recognize it. These are all minor stylistic changes that don't impact the movie that much over the long term especially if you never saw any Star Wars, which may be the best way to see the movie. It's a bit dicey as the technology has to look more dates than in New Hope that was filmed in the 70s, but still look cool to a new audience growing up. I think another studio error would be going up against Avengers: Infinity War and Dead Pool 2. They may have spaced it further out from these major blockbusters. Luckily, Solo is appealing to a younger crowd than can get into Deapool 2, but still this smells like a bad release time. Sadly, the special alure of Star Wars has worn off by now for me at least and I wore my hair like Luke Skywalker growing up, so thats kind of sad to think about. Taking it all in, this is Star Wars 10 produced if you exclude the cartoon versions, so you can have some leeway. I get the feeling though we may soon see the end of Star Wars as a series the way things are going.
Have you done any related Star Wars art?
In fact I have. Recently, I started to expand in trying my hand out in realism and dove briefly into painting some of the original New Hope work. In the work below, I painted the scene where Luke finds out about Princess Leia for the first time. Its now available for sale on eBay for $1 only!