Solo: A Star Wars Story ★★★★★

An adrenalized antidote to the heavyweight, however excellent, space opera that is "Star Wars: The Last Jedi," "Solo: A Star Wars Story" exudes an excellence of a different shade. Fun, uptempo, and robust, Ron Howard's anthology tale is high speed and potent look at the early days of a galaxy far, far away's straight shooting space pirate. The story expands established Star Wars mythos, adding new and memorable characters and brand-worthy plot points; while the production pops with terrific set pieces, an involving aesthetic, and cinematic richness. Bearing enough character-based and thematic heft to make it all stick, "Solo: A Star Wars Story" is a thrilling, sassy, and ever-exciting ride in the tradition of the popcorn greats.

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