tek's rating: ½

Solo: A Star Wars Story (PG-13)
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Caution: spoilers.

It begins on Corellia, where a young man named Han (Alden Ehrenreich) and his girlfriend Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) work for a local crime boss. But Han has a plan for the two of them to get off the planet and start a new life. Unfortunately, they get separated at the spaceport, and only Han gets away. He signs up for the Imperial Academy, hoping to become a pilot, and it's then that he's given the surname "Solo". He hopes to someday get a ship of his own and return to Corellia for Qi'ra. But three years pass, and he's now in the Empire's infantry, having been kicked out of the academy "for having a mind of my own". After a battle, he figures out that someone posing as an Imperial officer, Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) is actually a criminal, and Han wants to join him and his team. Instead, Beckett gets Han captured by Imperials and thrown into a dungeon, where he's attacked by Chewbacca. But Han manages to convince Chewie to help him, so the two of them can escape together. After that, they finally manage to join Beckett's crew.

They go on a job to heist a shipment of fuel called coaxium, but the plan fails due to interference from a group of marauders led by Enfys Nest. (For most of the movie, I thought "Enfys Nest" was the name of the group of marauders; it wasn't until much later that I realized that was the name of their leader.) In addition to losing the coaxium, they also lose two members of Beckett's crew. So Beckett, Han, and Chewie return empty-handed to Beckett's boss, Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany). In order to avoid being killed for their failure, they come up with a plan to obtain unrefined coaxium on the planet Kessel, and later take it to another planet to be refined. Han also discovers that Qi'ra is now Dryden's lieutenant, and she's assigned to join them on their mission. She takes them to meet Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover), so they can use his ship, the Millennium Falcon. They also meet Lando's co-pilot, a droid called L3-37 (though she's only ever referred to in the movie as "L3"), who is passionate about advocating for equal rights for droids. (This case is also made by an episode of Pop Culture Detective, which I recommend you check out.)

I guess I don't want to reveal how that mission goes, though I will say there's a twist revelation about the marauders that I quite liked. And the movie has any number of revelations about things that had been mentioned in earlier films (set later than this one). We get to see the famous Kessel run, and Han winning the Falcon from Lando in a game of sabacc, for example. So... the movie has a lot of fun and excitement. And I guess that's all I want to say.

Star Wars index
Star Wars
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Prequel trilogy: The Phantom Menace * Attack of the Clones * Revenge of the Sith
Original trilogy: A New Hope * The Empire Strikes Back * Return of the Jedi
Sequel trilogy: The Force Awakens * The Last Jedi * The Rise of Skywalker
Anthology films: The Clone Wars * Rogue One * Solo

TV: Caravan of Courage * The Battle for Endor * Droids * Ewoks * Clone Wars * The Clone Wars * Rebels * Resistance
Web: Forces of Destiny * The Mandalorian * The Bad Batch * Visions (vol. 2) * The Book of Boba Fett * Obi-Wan Kenobi * Andor