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[Blu-ray Review] ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’

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Solo: A Star Wars Story is out on Blu-ray! One of the most talked about movies of the year, (But perhaps not the most viewed) is available for Star Wars fans to own now, but is it worth it? We’ve got all the details.

The Movie

I know that this movie had a very troubled production history. Sadly that seems to be something that has happened with several high-profile movies from Disney in the past few years, but for Solo, at least in my opinion, I don’t think that had too much of a detrimental effect on the final product. It’s very likely that it affected how well the movie did financially, but I don’t think it affected how good the story was.

Personally I loved Solo. I actually saw it in theaters more than once, and I almost never do that with any movie, even ones I really enjoy. I thought Solo was just a fun, old-fashioned space adventure film, and that it was able to stand up there with the main films in the Star Wars saga. For all the controversial decisions that the recent films in the saga have made, I thought this one stuck (mostly) very close to the feel of the original trilogy.

I thought that Alden Ehrenreich made for a great Han. I have to admit, I was a bit skeptical going in. I didn’t think he looked or sounded quite enough like Harrison Ford in the trailers, but I was willing to keep an open mind. My skepticism disappeared within the first few minutes though. He may not have been the spitting image of the Han we know and love from the original films, but he captured his mannerisms in such a way that I could easily believe that this was a young, inexperienced version of the character, and that he would eventually become the more hardened Han that we met in A New Hope.

One of my favorite things in any sci-fi movie is the creatures, and this more was packed with them. I loved the creatures here, I loved the droids, and I loved that so many of them were brought to life with practical effects. I wish more films would take this approach when they need to realize fantastic creatures for their stories. I’m not one who hates CG, and there are definitely CG characters I love just as much as some of these practical ones, but I feel like the use of the practical effects just adds so much more of a human touch to these creatures and characters than CG is generally capable of conveying.

Obviously Chewie falls into this area, and he was amazing as always. The dynamic between Han and Chewie was spot-on, and one of the best parts of the film. I loved everything about him, and their friendship. Joonas Suotamo has done such a great job taking over this character from Peter Mayhew. Even though he doesn’t actually speak for the character, he does an amazing job in bringing him to life.

I know that L3-37 was a controversial addition to the story, and while I do have a few issues with her character, on the whole, I actually liked her. I do understand why many feel otherwise, and I think that certain aspects of her story could have been handled differently, but on the whole, I enjoyed her character. I also loved that they actually had Phoebe Waller-Bridge on set and in costume for the character. Like I said, the practical effects just add such a human touch to these characters, and L3 was no exception.

One more thing that really made this film a winner in my eyes was Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. In fact, if there was one thing I would change about this film, it would be to give him more screen-time! I know I’m not the only one who feels this way, because even the negative reviews I’ve seen have generally praised his portrayal. I really hope that we get an anthology film focused on him one day.

All in all, even though this film is not perfect, I had fun, and in the end, that’s all I really want from a movie. If you’re a Star Wars fan who missed Solo the first time around, and given the lower box-office reception, that’s statistically quite likely, I would have to highly recommend it. No film is ever 100% perfect, and as long as you can accept that about this movie, I think it’s just a fun time all around.

Blu-ray Features

Now, for those of you who did see the movie, and want to know if the features make this set worth buying, I would have to say yes! This Blu-ray is chock full of bonus content, and just about everything here is stuff that Star Wars fans are definitely going to want to check out! There is so much more included here than I expected, that I haven’t even had a chance to watch everything yet! I was actually kind of expecting a more bare-bones release, given the low numbers that it did in theaters, but I am very glad to see that I was wrong! I am definitely looking forward to diving deeper into these features!

Here’s a run down of everything we’re getting in this set. The only things we don’t seem to be getting is a commentary track and bloopers. Those are two things I usually look forward to, but I can’t say their exclusion is surprising, given the production history. Aside from those, it looks like we’ve got an excellent assortment of bonus content to watch either way, and I am especially glad to see so many deleted scenes.

Solo: The Director & Cast Roundtable

Sit down with director Ron Howard and the stars for an intimate and entertaining discussion of the film’s making.

Team Chewie

See what it takes to bring your favorite Wookiee to life in this lighthearted look behind the scenes.

Kasdan on Kasdan

Iconic Star Wars screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and son Jonathan share what it was like to write the movie’s script together.

Remaking the Millennium Falcon

Track the transformation of the most famous ship in the galaxy, from Lando’s swank and impeccable pride and joy to Han’s stripped-down hot-rod freighter with “special modifications.”

Escape from Corellia

Get behind the wheel for the making of this high-octane chase through the streets of Corellia.

The Train Heist

Explore the challenges and thrills of creating this action-packed sequence, including its remote location and spectacular effects.

Becoming a Droid: L3-37

Meet the newest droid—and the talented actor who helps bring her to life.

Scoundrels, Droids, Creatures and Cards: Welcome to Fort Ypso

Take an in-depth tour of the rough-and-tumble bar where strangers mix and gamblers risk all in the legendary card game, Sabaac.

Into the Maelstrom: The Kessel Run

Join Han and Chewie at the controls of the Millennium Falcon to see how this legendary moment in Star Wars history unfolds.

The Millennium Falcon: From Page to Park

An exclusive look at the history of the most famous ship in the galaxy, its origin and development, and how it will translate in one of the most anticipated expansions in Disneyland’s history.

Deleted Scenes

Proxima’s Den
Corellian Foot Chase
Han Solo: Imperial Cadet
The Battle of Mimban: Extended
Han Versus Chewie: Extended
Snowball Fight!
Meet Dryden: Extended
Coaxium Double-Cross

Final Thoughts

If you’re a die-hard Star Wars fan, you probably already bought this set. There’s so much here that it’s kind of a no-brainer. But if you’re a more casual fan who may not have gotten around to checking it out yet, I’d say just go for it. Solo is a fun, sci-fi, space adventure, and for the most part, I think it was able to capture the feel of the original films very well. It may not be perfect, but it’s fun, and I think it’s definitely worth adding to your collection.

Purchase: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Have you seen Solo yet? Will you be checking out this release?

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About Jonathan North

Jonathan North is writer, photographer, video editor, and animation fan from Iowa. He studied advertising and design at Iowa State University, and also has degrees in multimedia and art. His favorite movie is Fantasia, and his favorite cartoon is Gravity Falls. Or maybe Steven Universe. He can’t decide. You can find more of his work on his blog, as well as his YouTube channel, where he reviews all manner things, including (almost) every version ever of Alice in Wonderland. His favorites are the 1999 version starring Tina Majorino, and of course, the 1951 Disney version. You can find him on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr, @jonjnorth.