Where do I begin?
Overall comment: It is a decent movie; watchable and enjoyable if you’re not thinking too hard (or if you don’t have prior attachments to the stories in the old books). But it’s not great. Probably the one I like the least out of the 10 Star Wars movies at the moment. Or maybe it ties with The Force Awakens at the bottom.
Things I Liked
- The capes. I like the capes. Lando’s capes, Dryden Vos’s cape. Capes are great. (Edna Mode would be screaming at me… But capes are just so dramatic and fun!)
- I also liked most of Qi’ra’s costumes once she was off Corellia.
- Han didn’t win the Falcon from Lando on his first try. This I liked. Would’ve been too much if he’d done it at once.
- Donald Glover did a pretty good job as Lando. I thought it was hilarious that he has a closet of capes. Lend me some, Lando.
- That train sequence was interesting. Only because of the train though. After thinking about it, the heist itself was nothing great. But that train looks like it was designed for a roller coaster ride. I would want to go on that ride. It looks like it would be the Star Wars version of Big Thunder Mountain.
Things I Didn’t Like
- The completely unnecessary explanation of how Han got his last name. Did we reallyneed to know? I have never in my life wondered why Han’s last name is Solo. And it was… Not a great explanation either. Someone literally made it up because he has no family? What? I think I prefer his family backstory in the old EU (now called “Legends”).
- Are they really suggesting that Chewie ate people?! Do Wookiees even do that??
- The cinematography was not great. Quite a few reviewers have noted that the movie is murky and dark. I agree. There were times when I thought, “They should’ve just shot this movie in black and white.” Whenever I think that, that’s an indication that colour is pointless since it’s so dark that I can hardly see the images. I’m a big fan of being able to see a movie. The first Avengers movie was great because it was mostly bright – even it’s night scenes were reasonably well-lit. Infinity War had a few sequences that could’ve been brighter (e.g. all the Nidavellir sequences) but it wasn’t predominantly hazy like this one. Well, maybe if I was to rewatch this and count the scenes I’d find there are fewer murky scenes than I recall. But I don’t feel like rewatching it so I guess I won’t find out anytime soon.
- Didn’t quite comprehend the Han and Qi’ra relationship. Perhaps I didn’t feel their chemistry…? I was not rooting for them at all. (Hmmm. Is that the point? Since obviously the audience should be happier that he will eventually find a better woman in Leia?)
Furthermore, there was a disconnect between the way Han behaves with Qi’ra here and the way he behaves with Leia later. It felt like this was a completely different Han in that respect. He doesn’t treat Leia with suspicion and aloofness the way you might expect after how Qi’ra ditched/betrayed him at the end.
- Darth Maul. I wasn’t shocked by this because I’d heard of it before I watched the movie. (But it made absolutely no difference because he has no significance in this story.) I was, however, still annoyed. It confused me because I thought Obi-wan had cut him in half all the way back in The Phantom Menace. Apparently, he didn’t die and he has a whole story arc in the cartoons. Oh, whatever. I do not have the energy to read all the new books and watch all the cartoons, which for some reason they kept as canon. Ugh.
Would I have been more entertained by this if it hadn’t been spoiled for me? Maybe. Or maybe not. It’s a bit like Red Skull’s being on Vormir in Infinity War. Though Red Skull did not ultimately have any huge bearing on the story, his mere appearance was a surprise and doubly so because I completely forgot the details of what happened to him in Captain America. More importantly, Red Skull’s reappearance did not play havoc with the timeline. In Maul’s case, unless you were one of those who followed the cartoons, you would be like me – utterly baffled. “Why is Maul still alive? Wait, when does this movie take place??”
Are they trying to mimic Marvel’s formula with Star Wars? They shouldn’t. These are not the same types of things. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a franchise spanning multiple different superheroes, which prevents it from being too repetitive and boring. Star Wars isn’t like that.
- L3-37. (I’m surprised more people aren’t talking about “L3-37” just looking like “1337”.) So many people seem to love her. I did not like her. She had amusing moments but she wasn’t anywhere near as funny as K2SO, nor as cute as BB-8 or R2-D2. I suppose that she is a not-so-subtle representation of the quest for gender equality in that she is constantly wanting droid equality but… Something about it didn’t sit right with me. It felt like it was getting shoved down my throat. Star Trek has done this much better with arguments over Data’s rights as an android, or the holographic Doctor’s individuality.
- I felt that Qi’ra had a weird, incomplete story. All those shots of her tattoo, and the suggestions that she did horrible things or was enslaved and subsequently rescued by Dryden Vos? That came to nothing. She kills her boss and (I guess) takes his place? But it doesn’t explain why she did that. I don’t know enough about her to really care about her.
- Those stupid golden dice.
- Corellia. I didn’t like that they made it this gloomy slum planet. In this I am definitely too influenced by the Legends books, where Corellia is portrayed as a bustling big city planet not too unlike Coruscant.
- Alden Ehrenreich did okay. I didn’t find him endearing but he wasn’t nearly as bad as early rumours suggested he might be.
- I am confused by how people say that this movie has less fan service than Rogue One. I feel this has nearly as much of it in its own way. It mentions/involves nearly all the things that are Han Solo-related in the original movies and in the new ones. The golden dice, the Kessel Run, the Millennium Falcon, Sabacc games, a stint in the Imperial military (though we’re shown next to nothing of his experience in it), crime lords and criminal activity, Chewbacca, and Han shoots first. Okay, they refrained from the big ones like Boba Fett and Jabba the Hutt. But am I supposed to ignore all the other things just because they left out those two? Besides, they dragged in Darth Maul for a totally unnecessary cameo. (Guess they’re setting up Obi-Wan movie with the Darth Maul thing…)
- The Enfys Nest “reveal” was perplexing. It seemed as though they were going to say that she was Beckett’s daughter. But then… Nothing. What was the point?
- If Han remembers his father enough to know that he worked on building ships like the Corellian YT-1300s, why doesn’t he know his own last name?
- Not having Jedi in this movie didn’t bother me. After all, Rogue One didn’t have any either; there was only Chirrut, who may or may not have been Force-sensitive. So that’s not a must-have for me, even though I like the Jedi.
- There was a point in the movie where I actually thought, “Okay. Have I really lost interest in Star Wars now?” And that is sad.
Overall rating: ★★½
Objective overall rating: ★★★
I tried to like it. And it is watchable. But I have absolutely zero inclination to rewatch it or really give it much thought. I’d rather watch Infinity War a third time… Or Rogue One. Or see Thor: Ragnarok for the fourth time. haha