REVIEW: ‘Solo’ surprises with stellar action, great cast

Promotional poster for "Solo: A Star Wars Story."

Han Solo has long been a beloved character in the Star Wars universe, but mixed reviews for “The Last Jedi” in December left many Star Wars fans wondering if their favorite scruffy-looking nerf herder would have a decent movie to call his own. I am pleased to say that, for the most part, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” was the movie that Han deserved.

I chose to watch “Solo” in 3D, a choice that was based solely on available showtimes in Manhattan.

I was surprised to see that I was one of about fifteen people in the theater, even though it was a Friday evening — the day after Solo was released. On the upside, there were no obnoxious moviegoers to worry about.

The casting in “Solo” was nearly perfect. Donald Glover absolutely nailed his performance as Lando Calrissian, and Woody Harrelson’s portrayal of Han Solo’s gruff mentor Beckett was also well done. Alden Ehrenreich may not have looked much like Harrison Ford, but he still played Han Solo very well.

The two characters that I disliked were Qi’ra, Han’s love interest, and L3-37, Lando’s droid co-pilot. Qi’ra was never really developed throughout the movie, and her character just seemed kind of bland. L3-37, on the other hand, was more of a flop. She seemed to be written in the same style as K-2SO in “Rogue One,” but her humor was severely lacking. Overall, L3-37 just seemed flat and unimportant.

In terms of plot, “Solo” was very much a typical Star Wars story. Between the gunfights, fancy piloting and high-stakes heists, “Solo” delivered all the action that a Star Wars movie requires.

The story also pays its dues to legendary tales such as the Kessel Run and Han coming into possession of the Millennium Falcon. I had originally thought that such stories were better left to the imagination, but watching the action unfold was equally as good.

Overall, “Solo” had a few shortcomings that were balanced out by great acting and a solid story. The change of directors mid-production, a big mistake on the part of Disney, may account for some of the mediocre parts, but “Solo” is pretty much par for the course for a Star Wars movie.

Jason DeFisher is a senior in animal sciences and industry. The views and opinions expressed in this review are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Collegian. Please send comments to