Solo: A Star Wars Story

Film, Action and adventure
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(4user reviews)
Solo: A Star Wars Story

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Alden Ehrenreich fills the biggest flying boots in the movies in a verve-filled ‘Star Wars’ spin-off.

You definitely wouldn’t have bet your spaceship on this Han Solo spin-off movie being anything other than a hunk of junk. The ditching of original directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord (‘21 Jump Street’) – which was well published and just shy of acrimonious – only complicated the already onerous task of bringing a new take on the beloved Harrison Ford character to the screen. Somehow, though, the pair’s replacement, Ron Howard, has come through with a frisky space caper that zips along like a speeder on a bed of air. It’s far from perfect, but it’s much better than it has any right to be.

It opens back in the streetwise early days of Han (Alden Ehrenreich) in the ‘putrid sewer’ of his home planet Corellia, before skipping forward, via a hair-raising stint in the Imperial army, to a team-up with a colourful band of thieves led by Woody Harrelson’s Tobias Beckett and his wife Val (Thandie Newton). Their first heist involves boosting starship fuel at the behest of sinister playboy Dryden Vos (a scene-stealing Paul Bettany, bearing scars like he’s just faceplanted a waffle iron). The sequence is a rush, and the first of a few reminders that the man who made ‘Apollo 13’ knows how to cut between outer space action and claustrophobic cockpits.

And what of the main man? Ehrenreich makes a solid fist of emulating Ford without ever quite matching Ford’s easy cool or jaded worldview. Does he feel anything like Ford’s Solo? Not really, though the film never pauses long enough to let you dwell on it. Instead, we get buckets of boyish charm and a lovelorn crush on Emilia Clarke’s mysterious Qi’ra. He’s trying the cockiness on for size in this one, caught between his natural exuberance and the cynical skew on life of his new mentor, Tobias Beckett.

Donald Glover’s shifty but seriously charismatic Lando is a joy, as is the hilarious Phoebe Waller-Bridge as his seriously woke droid, L3-37. At one point, the mouthy ’bot launches a ‘Droid Lives Matter’-type protest that’s both oddly current and very silly indeed. Of course, Han’s burgeoning Wookie-mance with Chewie gets plenty of airtime too.

Inevitably, some of the box-ticking elements of ‘Solo’ fall flat. Unless you really want to know how Han got the ‘Solo’ part of his name – and trust us, it’s not that thrilling – all the Hansplaining is mystique-sapping at times, especially when nestled in an already exposition-heavy script (a working knowledge of intergalactic fuel rods is definitely helpful here). ‘Solo’ is at its best when it’s uncoupled from all that heavy lifting, just crammed in a cockpit with its likeable cast and shooting for the stars.

Want more insider goss? We spoke to the 'Solo' cast, including Donald Glover, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Woody Harrelson and more. Watch it below.


Release details

Release date:
Friday May 25 2018
135 mins

Cast and crew

Ron Howard
Lawrence Kasdan, Jon Kasdan.
Alden Ehrenreich
Emilia Clarke
Woody Harrelson
Donald Glover

Users say (4)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4 / 5

Rating Breakdown

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1 person listening

It was lovely to see the development of these characters in this world before Star Wars; but they was just too little stretched over an extended cinematic experience. They could have cut a good 15 mins off the script, and paced it better. Some great visuals but then isn't that always the case!

Didn’t have high expectations for this film, however it blew my mind.

It felt like one of the original Star Wars, both visually but also packed of action and funny moments, not to mention all the weird aliens. To achieve this without Jedis and lightsaber fights, is quite impressive.

All the actors lived up to their predecessors, Han, Chewbacca and Lando were simply amazing.


As someone who definitely doesn't know everything about Star Wars (I've seen all the films but only once or twice each) I really enjoyed this film.  Visually very strong, great cast and a decent enough story. My only gripe (aside from a few cheap jokes that reek of Disney) would be L3's character - let's not joke about people/ beings fighting for equality eh?


If you remove the star wars element this is a great space pirate movie with excellent chase sequences.

But when you add the Star Wars is expands a large universe providing glimpse to parts we've never seen before. 

Stand out was Lando however the cast worked well together.

Fun drinking game, drink everytime you see Han's Dice from last jedi drink...... you'll be done in the first 10 mins