(Right before going in to see the movie!)
*PLEASE NOTE: My reactions below DO CONTAIN HUGE SPOILERS and I would highly suggest refraining from reading it if you haven't yet seen the movie.
After hearing from several fans that they described Solo as "fun" it made me worry. Fun isn't bad but I found myself thinking, "That's all?". I definitely did a better job this time around trying to not have any expectations but as soon as reviews were coming in I made sure to keep myself in check even though when it came to the day I was seeing it I felt sick to my stomach hours before the film because of pure excitement. There's just no containing the fire in me for Star Wars!
In my opinion, Solo is so much bigger than just "fun". It's a wonderful action-packed story (with the right amount of humor that is Star Wars appropriate and actually works) about our favorite smuggler and the troubles and adventures he gets himself involved in that end up playing enormous parts in who he is as the Han Solo we all know and love. And believe it or not, Alden Ehrenreich grew on me a lot faster than what I'm seeing most people say. I think he did a great job portraying Han and for the most part I believed him as that character. His voice, because it's much higher-pitched and softer than Harrison Ford's, often threw me off and he could've done with a lot less smiling. Granted, he is somewhat younger than when we meet him in A New Hope (do we have an official time frame?) and even though people do change I still think that it was just a little too much. His humor as well as his mannerisms were great but there was one moment when Lando tosses him his blaster and he does that Han Solo stance and engages in battle and it's so on point that I can't even find the words to describe the authenticity of it. Overall, Alden was wonderful and I'm sorry I doubted him.
(I got a Chewbacca and Han Solo collectible cup and I'm clearly happy about it.)
I'll be honest and tell you that during the first five minutes or so into the movie I was feeling very hesitant about EVERYTHING. Alden. The tone of the film. The creatures. But after that bit of a hiccup I felt like the movie made a quick 180° turn for the better. It also began to have that familiarity of Star Wars whether it was the music, references or Troopers which really helped. The feeling was kind of like that moment when you arrive at a party or an event and everything just feels weird because you're either shy or don't really know anyone but as soon as you engage with someone it just gets better and better.
The name drops in this movie were INTENSE. Scariff, Felucia, Kashyyyk, Tatooine, Dathomir, Zam sisters (WHAT!?), Bossk, Aurra Sing, Big Shot Ganster (Jabba!). The list goes on I'm sure. You can rest assured my eyes either widened or I gasped at all of the references. ALL OF THEM. Were there some you noticed that I didn't list here? Please let me know in a comment below!
The score was absolutely beautiful. There was one track in particular that took my breath away and I think it may have been Han's theme (Edit: The Track is called "Flying with Chewie" and the part I was referring to starts at 2:11). There are most definitely familiar themes which really tied the movie together and made moments like when we were aboard the Falcon feel super magical and new ones that I was equally as excited about.
(My Chewbacca Mystery Mini Figure by Funko tagged along.)
Qi'ra was NOT what I was expecting at all. She was glamorous, cool and could definitely handle herself which I loved. Let me just say though that I 100% grimaced during her first kiss with Han. I am on the Han & Leia train so their relationship has been a difficult one for me to process. However, I handled it much better than I thought I would as the film progressed and I actually ended up liking them together. I was surprised that she chose her lust for power over him and although it was saddening I'm honestly ok with it because Han and Leia were always "meant to be" in my book. Plus, she's kinda cool as a bad girl. Am I right?
Speaking of lust for power. HOLY CRAP! My heart almost came out of my chest and I started sweating uncontrollably when DARTH-FREAKING-MAUL showed up on screen in a hologram (btw, can someone explain why this was the only hologram in all of Star Wars that was in color?). I was so excited that I barely remember anything that was said in that moment so I am super anxious to see it again. But the fact that Ray Park got to reprise his role and Sam Witwer provided the voice made my heart SO full. It HAD to be these two. Did anyone else notice that Qi'ra and Darth Maul both have the same necklace? It's the Crimson Dawn symbol cut in half. I NEED TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THEIR STORY ASAP!
Chewbacca was awesome because he's Chewbacca. The way that he and Han meet could not have been more perfect. In fact, it was one of my favorite scenes from the movie. I love that they fought it out and how Han spoke Shyriiwook to get his attention and break up the fight. It's wonderful seeing them work together and grow closer in the film but I would have liked to see something deeper play out between them. I don't know what that would've looked like. Perhaps one of them rescuing the other? A tender moment? A deeper conversation? I think something like this would've added a lot more weight to their relationship.
(I wore my Han, Chewie and Lando pins by Black Series Rebels to see the movie!)
I thought I was going to prefer Lando over Han leading up to the movie but came out feeling the opposite. I did like Lando but I felt that he just didn't shine as much as I thought he would. And can I just say that when you have THAT many capes you should definitely have more outfit changes. What a tease! I loved the scene when he first meets Han and pronounces his name like he always has. PERFECTION! The scene when L3 gets shot and Lando runs out to save her was extremely dramatic and sad, especially when Chewie ran out to pick up Lando who was still holding what was left of L3 in his arms. I honestly felt choked up even though I felt no attachment to her. I know a lot of people liked the new robot but she just wasn't my favorite. The only thing I liked about her was that she rescued so many innocent droids. My. Heart. Will my thoughts about Lando and L3-37 change after more viewings? Maybe. But for now that's where I'm at.
Beckett was a great character. Often when I see Woody Harrelson films I just think of his characters as Woody Harrelson throughout the entire movie. However, I didn't think of him as Woody in Solo. I only saw Beckett, which was a treat. When Beckett came out of the Falcon in Lando's Skiff Guard disguise I was that ridiculous person and pointed at the screen. No joke. I had no idea him a Val were together in the movie and thought it was really sweet. Since Val died so quickly I really didn't get to form an opinion about her but she had a "get things done" attitude about her that I admired. Rio was also an interesting character but also died so quickly that I sadly barely know what to think besides the fact that he was cute.
Enfys Nest. OH. MY. GOSH. The entrance to this character was fantastic! I mean, I was just super thrilled! She looks cool but she sounds even cooler. Her combat skills are extraordinary. Her swoop bike is rad. Yes, she's just an all around amazing character and I was super stoked about her throughout the movie. But just when I thought that there was going to be an epic showdown, she takes off her mask and reveals that she's a "good guy". This was the only moment in the movie that I was extremely let down. I desperately wanted Enfys to be a villain and I was so sure she was. I was also thrown off by her child-like appearance. Her character was nothing what I was expecting her to be so I just honestly feel let down right now. As you probably know, I was super pumped for Captain Phasma but was also let down by her lack of screen time. Enfys didn't have a lot of screen time either so that along with the fact that she wasn't a baddie just really irked me. What does a girl got to do to get more female villains that are bad asses? Please tell me.
(I'm super stoked because Jason liked the movie!)
Dryden Voss was so much more wicked than I thought he was going to be and it made more sense at the end when we found out who he answered to. MAUL! He was a great character but he wasn't my favorite and no, I definitely don't need the Funko Pop figure. I am, however, interested in his backstory. Where did he get those scars? How often did he interact with Maul? How did he come across Qi'ra?
The lack of Troopers in this movie hurt my heart but I won't hold it against it. I was super stoked about the Range Troopers and, to my knowledge, we only saw them in one scene. ONE!? Apparently I need to stop being stoked for specific characters in Star Wars movies because it so often turns out that the ones I'm the most excited about are the ones with the least amount of screen time.
That's all I can process for now. Overall I think I actually loved it because I can't stop thinking about it and it just makes me really happy. I'll be recording more of my reactions with Force Cult this week so please let me know if you have any thoughts (good or bad and/or questions!