What Did You Think of Solo: A Star Wars Story?

I went into the theater to watch Solo: A Star Wars Story with low expectations, which is usually a setup for me to be pleasantly surprised.

I avoided watching all teasers, trailers, and commercials for Solo, so all I knew about it was a rough idea of how critics had responded to it. Oh, and I knew the original directors–the guys behind the latest 21 Jump Street movies–were replaced midway through production and Ron Howard was brought in to reshoot a significant portion of the movie. I wasn’t worried about that, though. All of the newer Star Wars movies have had reshoots.

In my opinion, the movie was fine. It’s a perfectly serviceable movie, and it doesn’t hurt my overall impression of the Star Wars universe. It featured some stunning visuals, some solid laughs, a few good set pieces, and a hearty dose of nostalgia. I’m glad I watched it.

However, among various shortcomings, I think the movie’s biggest flaw is that it answered a bunch of questions that I wasn’t curious about (How did Han get his name? How did Han meet Chewbacca? How did Han get the Falcon? How did Han Make the Kessel run so quickly? How did Han meet Lando?). I’m a huge Star Wars fan, but I just want to be entertained and transported to a new world for a few hours. I don’t need these little details from older movies to be answered. This is one of the reasons the prequels didn’t work–a strong sense of mystery is a good thing.

Now with the news that Solo “only” made $83 million in the US on opening weekend, some are questioning the strategy behind stand-alone Star Wars movies. I see their point, though I don’t agree. I happily welcome other stand-alone Star Wars movies, but I want them to capture that wonder and mystery I felt when I watched Star Wars for the first time. I didn’t know who Luke, Obi-Wan, Leia, Han, or Darth Vader were. I was fascinated by them because I didn’t know them, just as I was fascinated by the Force and lightsabers and the Death Star because I didn’t know anything about them. And I was entertained because I didn’t know how their story was going to end.

I want to wade into the unknown again.

Yes, there are exceptions to this. I absolutely loved The Force Awakens, and it was entirely familiar. Even its unfamiliar elements worked largely because they were unfamiliar, like seeing a stormtrooper’s face for the first time.

But Star Wars is a massive universe, and I really hope Disney explores it. I’ve heard the Rian Johnson is working on some other films, as are the writers of HBO’s Game of Thrones. I have high hopes that either or both of them will recapture that sense of wonder and mystery I long for.

In the meantime, I’ll happily watch a Boba Fett movie, an Obi-Wan movie, and Episode IX. It’ll take a lot for me to not be excited about a Star Wars production.

What did you think about Solo? Did it make you reflect on the future of the franchise?