Saturday, September 22, 2018

Blu-ray Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

Disney; PG-13; 135 mins; Walmart
Being released to Blu-ray (+Digital) this Tuesday from Disney Home Entertainment is the action-packed prequel Solo: A Star Wars Story. Directed by Ron Howard, the film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Joonas Suotamo, and Paul Bettany.

Set many years before "Rogue One" and "A New Hope," Solo centers around a young Han Solo (played by Alden Ehrenreich) before he became a famous smuggler. While living on the planet Corellia, Han and his girlfriend Qi'ra (played by Emilia Clarke) try to bribe an Imperial officer with coaxium in exchange for passage on a transport ship. Unfortunately, Qi'ra is apprehended by a local gang before she could get on the ship. Han ends up joining the Imperial Navy, so he can learn how to be a pilot. He made a vow to himself that he would get his own spaceship and will one day return to Corellia to rescue Qi'ra.

Well, things didn't go as planned! Han gets kicked out Imperial Flight Academy and is sent to the planet Mimban as a infantryman. This is where he meets Tobias Beckett (played by Woody Harrelson), Val (played by Thandie Newton), and Rio Durant (voiced by Jon Favreau), a trio of smugglers posing as Imperial soldiers. After failing to blackmail them in letting him join their crew, Han is arrested for desertion and is tossed into a pit with a beast -  Chewbacca! Using his knowledge of the Wookiee language, Han and Chewbacca (played by Joonas Suotamo) formed an alliance, escaped the pit, and joined Beckett's crew on a train heist to steal a shipment of coaxium on Vandor-1.

Once again, things don't as planned, which leads Han to an unexpected reunion with Qi'ra. On his adventure, Han meets Lando Calrissian, he gets chased by the Enfys Nest pirates, and he gets to pilot the Millennium Falcon for the very first time.

Additionally, Solo: A Star Wars Story will be released to Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD™, DVD and On-Demand on September 25th. It's already available digitally in HD and 4K Ultra HD™ and on Movies Anywhere.

Blu-ray and Digital Special Features include (may vary by retailer):

  • 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.
  • 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
  • The Millenium 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.

Final Thoughts

Like many other Star Wars fans, I didn't see Solo: A Star Wars Story in theaters this past summer. And, no, it didn't have nothing to do with my dislike for The Last Jedi. Honestly, the movie just didn't intrigue me. The advertisements, trailers, and the overall marketing for Solo were very bland and uninteresting.

Solo is not a bad Star Wars film. Sure it's unnecessary and it didn't need to made to begin with, but the same thing can be said for Rogue One and the prequel trilogy. With all the production drama the film had, I'm surprised Solo was actually enjoyable.

It's basically just a heist film, but in space! And it stars familiar characters, but with younger actors portraying them. Donald Glover gives a great performance as Lando Calrissian. However, it takes a little bit to get used to Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo. While Alden looks right for the part, his voice sounds nothing like Harrison Ford. It took me awhile to get used to him playing Han, but I eventually adjusted to him once Chewbacca was introduced into the story.

The picture and sound quality on the Blu-ray are both excellent. There are plenty of special features or bonus extras to keep the average Star Wars fan happy.

Overall, Solo: A Star Wars Story is an fun action-packed adventure from start to finish!

* Note - I received a complimentary review copy from Disney. All opinions are my own.

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