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Introducing millennials to the Falcon

by Margaret Stewart - Copy Editor
Tue, Sep 25th 2018 07:00 pm
Photo Credit: Flickr
Photo Credit: Flickr

George Lucas’ Star Wars franchise is a staple in many households. As such, the franchise has gained a cult like fanbase that is unafraid of giving their opinions. With the most recent film, “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” which was released to DVD/Blue-Ray on Friday, Sept. 14, has become one of the most divisive Star Wars movies, where fans either love or hate it. 

Despite gaining a 71 percent ‘fresh’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, it is more likely to find someone who hated the film. This is not uncommon for a prequel to the series. 

Salon’s, Matthew Roza, agrees and said, “Whenever Star Wars tries to develop one of the franchise's key characters, it whiffs. “Solo” is no exception, a disappointment on par with “The Last Jedi” and the prequels," 

The prequels (yes, I do mean films I, II and III) are some of Lucas’ most mocked extensions, until recently. Though, there may be a pattern. 

While fans are demanding more world building and exploration, they seem to draw the line when it involves the beloved original characters such as Han Solo. 

That could be one major reason for the overall hatred of this film. 

Alden Ehrenreich, the man tasked with filling Harrison Ford’s shoes in portraying a young Solo, gave a good performance. 

However, according to Ben Child of The Guardian, Ehrenreich’s “greatest crime seems to have been not being Harrison Ford.” The beloved actor was seen as Solo for the last time in the “The Force Awakens,” the first  installment of the sequel trilogy, released in 2015. 

Some of the other recent Star Wars movies have been accompanied by mixed reviews. 

Erik Kaine, a Senior Contributor to Forbes, acknowledges the issues surrounding the other movies. Most notably this includes, “The Last Jedi,” in which Mark Hammill’s character, Luke Skywalkeer, was, arguably, decimated.

“I believe that anyone who disliked [The Last Jedi] for 

how it changed Star Wars so drastically will enjoy “Solo” for the same reasons” said Kaine. “And while I do realize that “The Last Jedi” was controversial, “Solo” is all about tapping into the extended universe,” said Kaine. 

Though the jury is still out on whether or not the issue with other prequels is their inability to “tap into the extended universes,” some would argue that “The Force Awakens” and “The Last Jedi” do it well. 

If there is one thing that “Solo” does well, is its storytelling. This film lacks much of the lightsaber flair that fans have come to, not only expect, but anxiously anticipate in Lucas’ films. 

As the main character, Solo, does not fight with a lightsaber and is a thief, the action in this movie is very similar to that of a western which inevitably gives “Solo: A Star Wars Story” a space cowboys feel.

That being said, the lack of traditional Star Wars elements should have come as no surprise as Solo, while a classic Star Wars character, is not a traditional character when compared to Luke and Leia.

Kaine goes on to say that “Solo: A Star Wars Story” is “pure, unfiltered Star Wars and it doesn't try to add or change anything fundamental to the universe.” 

For the most part, this is true. The events that make up Solo’s background do very little to change, much less interact, with the story that millions know and love. Perhaps it is the way Solo’s world is imagined that has been ill received. For decades fans have listened as Solo referenced his past adventures and it is possible that their depiction on screen did not live up to the audience’s expectations.

Though the movie is addressing characters that have already been well established within the franchise, it also serves to give characters like Solo more depth and dimension than being a simple thief. 

As seen in movies such as “Rogue One,” this is a common theme in the films, at least since Lucas Oil merged with Walt Disney. 

The characters have become greyer rather than being simply black or white. Lately, there is much more that goes into a character, the problems arise when the new backstory does not seem to fit the already existing character.

“Solo,” Kaine says, “it turns out, is a fantastic new Star Wars movie.” 

Whether fans blame Disney or Ehrenreich, “Solo: A Star Wars Story” while a point of contention for many, has left a lasting impression similar to Jar Jar Binks in a galaxy far, far away.