Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)

C SDG Original source: National Catholic Register

In the 40-plus years since Star Wars took the box office and pop culture by storm, no plot point or line of dialogue, however essential or trivial, has avoided endless scrutiny and second-guessing from fans and skeptics alike.

How could the Death Star’s catastrophic vulnerability, so obvious that Rebel analysts spotted it immediately, have been overlooked by Imperial engineers? How could Han Solo boast that the Millennium Falcon “made the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs” when a parsec is a unit of distance, not time?

Watching Disney’s Rogue One and Solo, the two stand-alone “Star Wars Story” movies that come without episode numbers and opening crawls, is a little like watching the legendary Dutch boy trying to plug the leaks in the dike with his fingers … as new leaks burst all around him.

Directed by Ron Howard. Alden Ehrenreich, Joonas Suotamo, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Paul Bettany, Phoebe Waller-Bridge. Disney.

Artistic/Entertainment Value

Moral/Spiritual Value

-2

Age Appropriateness

Kids & Up*

MPAA Rating

PG-13

Caveat Spectator

Sci-fi action violence and menace.

Rogue One proposed that the Death Star’s weakness was secretly intentionally engineered by an Imperial saboteur. Yet, when the saboteur contacted the Rebels, he inexplicably didn’t simply tell them the vulnerability, potentially pre-empting the horrific battle for the plans and the whole plot of Star Wars. (That’s before we get to Darth Vader in Star Wars arguing, “If this is a consular ship, where is the ambassador?” when, following Rogue One, he should be saying “LOL, I literally chased you here from the scene of the crime.”)

Now, thanks to Solo, “making the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs” finally makes sense. It’s just that, also thanks to Solo, it makes no sense for Han to cite this as evidence that the Falcon is a fast ship. Given Solo’s version of the Kessel Run affair, the Falcon could be the slowest hunk of junk in the galaxy and still do it in under 12 parsecs. Speed is literally irrelevant. Han’s curious boast is emptier than ever.

If that last is a bit of a groaner, there’s nothing here like the wince-inducing dialogue or wooden acting of George Lucas’s prequel trilogy. On the other hand, there’s nothing like their visionary quality either.

If it seems disproportionate to spend four or five paragraphs in this review basically addressing one line in another movie, consider that Solo spends possibly 45 minutes basically addressing the same line — and still makes a hash of it.

I will write this review in less than a day, for a paycheck that is less than 1/100th the cost of a single second of Solo’s running time. (With a reported $250 million budget, Solo is the most expensive Star Wars movie ever made. The average cost of each second of its 135-minute screen time is more than $38,000.) More people will watch Solo on opening day than will ever read this review. So, really, what’s disproportionate?

Action, Adventure, All Things Star Wars, Disney Star Wars