Back Row Reflections – Solo: A Star Wars Story

I’m going to be frank here. I’m mainly doing this because there’s one major spoiler I want to harp on about after I give my general thoughts on the movie. So yeah, if you don’t like pedantic Star Wars fans? Read my general opinions, then leave. I won’t blame you.

That being said, if you’re sticking around, just remember there WILL be spoilers.
You have been warned.

Okay. So. General thoughts. Cast was great, the plot wasn’t really all that needlessly complex, and specifically Donald Glover was great as a young Lando. My God was that perfect casting. There was one character whose little sub-plot seemed a little forced, but not in a cringe-inducing kind of way, so I didn’t mind it. Plus, it did actually go somewhere so that was nice. Overall, the movie itself was good. Just good. Not great, not shit, not mediocre. I enjoyed myself for the most part, but I wasn’t blown away by any means.

Okay. Now we get into spoiler territory. I think I’ll ease in a bit instead of just going right for the primary issues I have. Since I’m easing in, a minor nit-pick I have is that they really seemed to want to get the main title graphic out of the way as quickly as possible. The movie hasn’t even been going a full minute it feels like before they show it. And it’s really only a nit-pick because there’s a much better chance to have used it about 5-10 minutes later. Again though, that’s a pretty minor nit-pick.

I guess I may as well actually give my thoughts on the portrayal of Han himself. And, well, the actor they hired does a fairly good job, but I really just can’t buy him as a YOUNG Han Solo. I’m sorry, but he looks too old to be ten years younger than the Han we meet in A New Hope. And that’s actually saying something, because the actor in question is not even a full year older than me and (as of writing this) I’m 27 turning 28. And that’s not even a knock on the guy’s physical appearance. He looks great, just not his age.

That aside, one thing I’m glad the movie did was kill off a few superfluous characters pretty quickly. On one hand their deaths didn’t really mean much to me because they’re characters we barely know, but on the other hand this movie really benefits from having a smaller core cast. That and one of them was a CGI character, so that probably helped the budget a bit considering the droid character in this movie was CGI as well.

Oh, and they finally make sense of the infamous “Kessel Run” thing. Which I have to admit, part of me didn’t really care too much about seeing before I saw the movie. But now that I have, I’m glad they bothered to go there. And hell, they even have Han starting to lie about it from the get go. Making it clear his “12 parsecs” thing is still bending the truth somewhat. Which seems like something Han would do, so it works.

I could go on about that droid by the way, but I think I’ve put off the inevitable for long enough. Time to get into the stuff that truly bothered me.

First up we’ll go with the issue that doesn’t bother me as much, but still bugs me somewhat. It seems to be established canon, enough so that they mention it in behind-the-scenes stuff for The Last Jedi, that Han Solo’s dice were apparently dice he used to win the Millennium Falcon off of Lando. However, this movie either was not made aware of that factoid, or just decided that they wanted to ignore it entirely, because the dice are just his “lucky dice” that he seems to have always had that have no real significance.

I will give them the benefit of the doubt to a point though. The whole thing with the dice seems like it could be a fairly new thing, and the movie was technically being worked on script-wise before George Lucas sold off Lucasfilm. And if this movie was never really meant to take the sequel trilogy into account, it makes sense that it would ignore something those movies might be responsible for inventing.

Now from something I give them the benefit of the doubt on to something I just cannot let slide. Darth Maul is in this movie. Not for very long, but this movie states that he is alive within the canon of the movies. And my God, did this piss me the fuck off. I know people hate the prequels, I know people wanted Maul to be around longer. But guess what? I’m in the minority that actually didn’t care about him getting killed off in The Phantom Menace.

His death served a purpose after all. If he didn’t die in his fight with Obi-Wan then Obi-Wan probably wouldn’t have gotten an upgrade to a full-fledged Jedi in Phantom Menace. Can’t people just accept the fact that Maul died? Seriously? Just let the character die and stay dead. This shit has bugged me for a while. So, this movie playing into that shit actually made me audibly say “Fuck off” in the cinema.

Like, I know some people are gonna cream their pants over his scene, but I just cannot let this slide. It’s such a pandering, fan wanky moment. Dude even has a new dual bladed lightsaber. Which, yeah, has to be a new one. Unless people forgot his old one got CUT IN HALF. You know, just like he did. Speaking of, that’s always another thing that’s bugged me. The guy gets cut in half, and people assume he somehow actually survived that?

Anakin, who is a LOT stronger than Maul could ever hope to be, barely survived his fight with Obi-Wan because of severe burns and getting his hand and legs cut off. Cauterised wounds or not, I find it hard to believe Maul survived PLUMMETING DOWN A DEEP SHAFT AFTER BEING CUT IN HALF.

And before anyone tries to bring up the character’s use in The Clone Wars & Rebels, I haven’t seen Rebels, and Clone Wars is non-canon now anyway as far as I’m aware. Lucasfilm likes to cherry pick stuff anyway so the canon is all over the place. And hell, with Darth Maul’s appearance in this movie, Rebels might not be canon anymore if it ever was. So, have fun with that, people who actually like Rebels.

Anyway, I COULD go on about this all day, but I’d probably just end up repeating myself, so I’m gonna just end it there.

Overall, aside from the issues I had with the movie, pretty much all of which were fairly minor (except my rage at the Maul thing), the movie was still fairly enjoyable. Though I feel like this movie will only really appeal to people who care about the Star Wars universe. If people only have a passing interest in Star Wars I’d probably tell them to avoid it, or only go if they’re dragged along by friends. But that’s just me.

What do you guys think of the movie? Agree with me? Disagree? Want me kicked out of the Star Wars fandom for my opinions on Darth Maul? Let me know. See you all next time. Maybe with my thoughts on Infinity War finally.

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