Solo: A Star Wars Story ★★★★

Pre-lease, nobody was more down on Solo than me. From Disney’s dreary decision to make both of their first two Star Wars spinoff movies prequels, to the behind-the-scenes drama that saw two exciting young directors, Phil Lord and Chris Miller, replaced by ho-hum journeyman Ron Howard midway through shooting, to the fool’s errand of trying to convince us that someone not named Harrison Ford could pull off playing Han Solo … it all just felt like a storm of bad ideas coalescing around a movie even hardcore fans didn’t really need.

So color me shocked to report that Solo: A Star Wars Story has overcome all of those obstacles — not unlike the Millennium Falcon navigating an asteroid field — and arrived in theaters as a legitimately great installment of the overall Star Wars saga. It’s a huge improvement over the humdrum Rogue One, and it even makes a strong case at being a more successful Star Wars movie than either The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi. There’s a sense of adventure coursing through the whole film that doesn’t just wink at events from the original trilogy but that reminds you of how you felt when you first saw them. Howard may only be mimicking a certain style pioneered by a young George Lucas, but it’s a heck of an impression.

You can read my full review of this movie at Cult Spark.

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