Alden Ehrenreich and Joonas Suotamo in Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018)


Forget what you’ve been told about the existing characters in the “Star Wars” universe. “Solo: A Star Wars Story” dares to take us inside the history of Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich), one of the most beloved figures in saga and do so with a fun and impulsive spirit that matches his roguish attitude. While “Rogue One” focused on the wartime efforts of a rebellious underground willing to risk everything to stick it to the Empire, “Solo” locates itself (and us) in the criminal underbelly, where the Empire looms, but everyone gambles on themselves. Ehrenreich captures the cockiness of a dreamer and lover, a wildcard grounded by an uncommon sense of loyalty. That makes this installment sound like a potentially solemn and reverent tale, but director Ron Howard, working with the able assistance of screenwriters Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan, fashions a fizzy concoction that remixes the familiar – first meetings with Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) – with a heaping dose of campy exotic treats like a droid (voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge) that sees itself as a passionate revolutionary. Viva “Solo”!