Friday, June 01, 2018

I've Got A Bad Feeling About This

I don't know if anyone is going to ask me,but since I have my own blog I can pretend that someone did.
"What did you think of Solo: A Star Wars Story?"
I'm glad you asked. This is the Star Wars movie that everyone feared when Disney bought up all things Star Warsian. It delivers on the blockbuster tropes: Big, loud, and fast. Except not so much on that third one. It is fifteen minutes shorter than the Last Jedi, but it feels like it is half an hour longer. In an effort to cram in all the possible cliches and coincidences, the story lurches around in search of trivial bits to share with us. We who are the nerds who rushed out on the first weekend to see what Opie Cunningham had to bring to the canon.
Two hours and fifteen minutes later, the answer is: not much.
Yes. I grew up steeped in a pot of science fiction with ladles full of a galaxy far, far away. I read many of the spin-off novels and looked at all the schematics of the Millennium Falcon. I sat in my seat, transfixed, waiting for someone to tell me that I wouldn't have to wait a year to find out more about Darth Vader being Luke's father. But I did. And when they showed up and resolved the whole thing with Muppets and a bunch of Teddy Bears, I let it happen. Return of the Jedi let us all know that Han Solo wasn't such a bad guy after all. If the finale ended up looking a lot like the Star Wars Christmas Special, I let it go. Peace had been restored to that far, far away galaxy, and the Empire had been squashed once and for all.
Which is why I was confounded when George Lucas decided to make three new movies based on events that led up to that moment when Luke meets his godfather and they go off on some fool idealistic crusade. To those prequels, I can only say this: Jar Jar Binks. And if you read those words without a shiver going up your spine, feel fortunate, since the scars they left on me are everlasting.
Then someone decided to move the franchise forward. We were given the class reunion of The Force Awakens, and with it, Harrison Ford's insistence that Han Solo must die. And, spoiler alert, he got his wish.
So it became the mission of the machine called Disney to find a way to squeeze a few more dollars out of this flawed cad, a reluctant hero who had already been in four movies. Why not make a movie about when he was a little smuggler, stealing toys from other creatures in the intergalactic day care? Okay, so they didn't do that, but the beginning of the Solo saga tell us that the heart of gold that it took us years to discover was there all along. Surprise. And his buddy Chewbacca has been right by his side for most of those years. Because that's what we already know from watching Episode IV. And neither he nor his Wookiee pal are in any life-threatening danger, since they have to be around for the events that we know as The Rebellion. A lot of things blew up before then, and a lot of hearts were broken before Han showed up in that cantina in Mos Eisley. Sorry, but this is where I came in.
Now aren't you glad you asked?

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