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RTÉ Guide - - Movie Guide -

Solo: a Star Wars Story (Lu­cas­film)

There was a lot of pres­sure on this one. Af­ter all, the first

Star Wars spin-off, Rogue One, was very de­cent; Han Solo is a beloved screen char­ac­ter; and Ron Howard had to come off the bench to di­rect when LEGO movie di­rec­tors, Phil Lord and Christo­pher Miller, ex­ited the project. As it turned out, the Os­car-win­ning director proved him­self to be a ca­pa­ble pair of hands. In this ori­gins yarn, penned by the Kas­dans, we first en­counter young Han on the planet of Corel­lia, where he is in­volved in all man­ner of scrapes with his gal pal, Q’Ira (Emilia Clarke). Events con­spire to land him in the re­bel­lious com­pany of Woody Har­rel­son, Lu­cas Glover and a cer­tain very large Wookie, as they draw ever nearer to the Em­pire’s or­bit. With Solo, Howard has fash­ioned an en­ter­tain­ing action yarn, aided by a fine cast (Paul Bet­tany and Thandie New­ton also fea­ture), and some strik­ing vi­su­als. Har­ri­son Ford left big shoes to fill but Ehren­re­ich does a de­cent job, with­out ex­actly pulling up any trees. (I’d like to have seen what Jack Reynor would have done with the role). Howard has taken good care with those all-im­por­tant Star Wars firsts: the first meet­ing of Han and Chew­bacca; the first time we en­counter the Mil­len­nium Fal­con; and the ship mak­ing its iconic Kes­sel Run (fans will tell you in how many par­secs). Solo is no clas­sic, but it’s good fun. Blu-ray ex­tras in­clude fea­turettes, deleted scenes and a round­table in­ter­view with cast and crew.

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