‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Review

Solo: A Star Wars Story: Why it's Guardians of the Galaxy-meets-Dune

"It took a while", Suotamo told ABC NEWS.

Suotomo offically took over the Chewbacca role in "Star Wars: The Last Jedi".

"Solo: A Star Wars Story" hits theaters Friday and the latest installment of the "Star Wars" franchise shows the much-anticipated first meeting between Han Solo and sidekick Chewbacca, played by former Penn State basketball player Joonas Suotamo. Audiences first saw the now-famous robot in 1977's Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope, and he's appeared in every film since from key roles in the Skywalker saga films, to a brief cameo in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. Solo's backstory has always remained vague in the other Star Wars films, and it's interesting to imagine exactly what kind of rapscallionery he may have been up to before - but when it comes down to it, I find myself having very little interest in seeing him whizz around giant CGI beasts and being betrayed three, four or five times by characters I know will have no bearing on the greater timeline. It even reveals how Solo got his unusual name, although we can only guess why he slings a golden pair of dice over the rearview mirror of his Speeder, like a sci-fi version of a Fifties greaser.

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Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) grows up a hustler, forever stealing things and pulling low-level grifts to survive. It gets the job done and offers more than a few good laughs and plot twists. Love any popular character long enough, and the movie industry will eventually serve them up to you again with a different face - just ask any James Bond, Doctor Who, Superman, or Batman fan. An opening text note informs us that "it is a lawless time" in the galaxy far, far away. That means anything could happen, and does, which makes for a nice change from the usual "blowing up the Death Star" routine. He also says fans can expect plenty of surprises. That said, there are a couple of scenes toward the end of Solo that feel like they serve the same goal in the film-one pays off a loose end from earlier in the movie, and another sets up potential entries in the franchise's future with these characters. The movie's inky look is perhaps created to hide Ehrenreich's lack of resemblance to Ford - or maybe it's just to evoke The Empire Strikes Back, the darkest and most popular film of the original Star Wars trilogy. For much of the film, Han believes the biggest threat form Crimson Dawn to be crime boss Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany), who is running Beckett; however, both Beckett and Han's childhood friend Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) continuously warn Han that even someone like Dryden Vos answers to someone. After all, it worked for Patrick Stewart and James McAvoy in X-Men: Days of Future Past, Ford seems happier to indulge the Star Wars world these days and when we spoke to him in 2015 he wasn't sure if he was done with the character for good.

I'd like to tell you that Solo: A Star Wars Story is an unpolished mess, but it's not.

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