Disney made a complicated decision when it decided to release a movie per year, knowing the possible fatigue that would generate, but it was then that the great invention called Anthology appeared on the table of Bob Iger to save the dishes. Lucasfilm set out to expand the Star Wars universe by venturing riskily from the main plot of the franchise. Something that worked surprisingly well with “Rogue One”, and that now is ready to repeat with one of the most complicated films in the studio “Han Solo: A Star Wars story.”
This spin-off ending with a positive result in reviews and box office will be simply a miracle, one with names and surnames. Ron Howard did the impossible, and in a few weeks, he managed to build a film, which although it does not shine when placed next to his peers, manages to move competently.
The story takes us to the beginning of a young man named Han (Alden Ehrenreich), who survives from pillaging in the filthy streets of Corellia. There with his girlfriend Q’ira (Emilia Clarke), lives day by day escaping the increasingly suffocating control of the empire, a faction in full expansion throughout the galaxy that uses the planet as a shipyard of its fleet. His dreams and ambitions, however, will lead him to embark on a smuggling adventure in which he will meet friends and enemies -some well known in the franchise but primarily he will learn never to trust anyone.
As happened in “Rogue One,” here Lucasfilm returns to distance itself from the main saga, avoiding the classic pass of the yellow letters, to launch the logo directly and jump right into the action. “Han Solo: A History of Star Wars” begins in a fast-paced way, and knows how to maintain tension without ever reaching the climax, but has serious rhythm problems in the valley moments.
Despite the previous films of the studio (2 hours), has a very irregular rhythm with which the protagonist is not able to deal. It is true that Ron Howard has managed to make a story that although it does not stand out for its originality, it does entertain, but it is an empty diversion. There is no interest in knowing beyond what one sees at that moment, and the narration does not invite one to immerse oneself in the plot.
We are facing a story that is difficult to connect and whose plot is extremely complicated to locate in the timeline that makes up the entire film saga. In the third act, we are witnessing an interesting cameo that will undoubtedly unleash many doubts and theories of the direction that this new path proposed by Disney could take.
The way in which the movie is being built makes it difficult to convince us quickly that Alden Ehrenreich really got completely into Han Solo’s shoes. Donald Glover, with just four appearances, captures one of the best performances of his career. Lando gives off charisma, shines on the screen, and the other characters seem to move at their own pace. All except L3-37, a pilot android with strong character and strong feminist values.
Little can be said about Woody Harrelson and Thandie Newton. Neither one giving life to the mercenary Becket, and neither the other to his partner Val, end up fitting completely into the story. This section of the film is presented more as a procedure for what will come later, than as something valuable in itself. It’s no wonder that when Han finally meets Chewbacca and begins his life as a smuggler.
In this film, preference is given to a somewhat inconsequential love story between Solo and Qi’ra (Clarke) than to the love/hate relationship between Han and Lando; two characters with a great history full of betrayals, adventures, and friendship, which we witnessed in Episode V and The Return of the Jedi. The characters are not surprising, the story seems to come out of a creative outburst, and the villain is as forgettable. Lucasfilm does not finish to find an antagonist to the height of Kylo Ren or Darth Vader and continues stumbling.
Luckily Lucasfilm had a very special surprise saved for that moment with one of the cameos, not to mention the most important and surprising of the entire franchise. You can not talk much about it without making a spoiler, but it can only be said that it will have many implications for the future deliveries of the Anthology.
In technical terms, Kathleen Kennedy’s studio is still a perfectly oiled machine. Although this time there were no lightsabers, ILM had the challenge of recreating a handful of new creatures – all of which appear in the film they are – and build several planets never seen before. Corellia is spectacular, and the rest of the locations of the plot, despite being somewhat simpler, are also up to the saga.
In conclusion, “Han Solo: a Star Wars story” is the movie that many expected. An adventure that meets with skillfully fit all the smuggler’s past without falling into contradictions with the original trilogy, and has very Star Wars moments. However, Ron Howard cannot touch the ceiling and remains at half gas if we compare his work with that of the last deliveries. The film, despite striving, constantly falls in condescension with the fandom, and still feels unnecessary. Everything that counts does not add anything to the canon of the franchise. Except for the masterful cameo, the rest will probably evaporate like sand over the months and will be relegated to a “competent” movie, one of the less lucid Star Wars installments.