Solo soars above turbulence
After rumours of on-set trouble ,reliable director Ron Howard delivers a solid chapter of Star Wars saga
Every Star Wars geek knows that Han Solo is the cocky flyboy who brags of having “made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs” in the Millennium Falcon, his trusty spaceship.
That sounds really impressive — but is Solo good enough to pilot his own movie?
The answer to that burning question was happily “yes” Tuesday night at the Cannes Film Festival, as prequel spinoff saga Solo: A Star Wars Story had its world premiere in advance of its May 25 wide theatrical release. The main cast and director Ron Howard walked the red carpet into the Palais des Festivals past an honour guard of Star Wars stormtroopers.
Starring Alden Ehrenreich (Hail, Caesar!) as a younger version of Solo, a role made famous by Harrison Ford, the movie offers the back-story of how Han became the good-guy adventurer beloved by generations of Star Wars fans. It even explains, quite literally, how he got his unusual name.
Directed by reliable studio hand Howard, Solo isn’t likely to become anybody’s favourite chapter of this ever-expanding franchise, but it gets the job done and offers more than a few good laughs and plot twists.
Many of them will bring smiles to the faces of fans, such as an exchange that ends with the answer “I know” and a gunfight that makes you wonder who shot first.
We also see how Solo got involved with intergalactic gambler Lando Calrissian, played by Donald Glover (Billy Dee Williams in the original film) and how he won the Millennium Falcon from him in a bet.
There were fears that the Disney/Lucasfilm empire couldn’t pull Solo off, because original directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller (The Lego Movie) were abruptly fired over “creative differences” last year, necessitating major reshoots of the story by Howard, and there had been other rumours of onset tensions.
The fears were largely unfounded. Solo will please fans, if not necessarily astound them, and leave them anticipating how the story will connect with the original Star Wars saga.
Alden Ehrenreich, left, and Donald Glover attend the Cannes screening of Solo: A Star Wars Story.