‘Solo’: Yeah? Nah? Meh? The Black Nerd Problems Staff Weighs In

Earlier this week, a new Solo trailer dropped for our viewing pleasure. It elicited plenty of excited conversation in the BNP Slack channels. Lots of different opinions, lots of emotions flying around. Love it or hate it, we all care deeply about Han Solo, both the mythical character of our memories and the younger character of the upcoming movie. Here are our opinions, good, bad, and indifferent. Your view probably falls somewhere in between. Let us know what you think. Are you excited for Solo?


Donald Glover looks amazing in that fur coat, but beyond that, why should I care about the Solo movie? Han Solo had a compelling character arc in A New Hope (which is why it absolutely matters that Han Shot First, but that’s a different nerd debate). The rest of the original trilogy was about Han growing into his new role as a hero. Where is the potential for character development for this version of Solo? I’m not seeing it, and without that, the movie needs someone with the sheer awesomeness of Harrison Ford to make me interested. Woody Harrelson and Donald Glover come close, but they’re not playing Han. And Alden Ehrenreich is no Harrison Ford.


I was pretty meh about this whole film until the trailer showed Donald Glover in the black fur stunting on everybody, their mama, and their Teedo. At this point in this second week of April of our forever in our hearts angel Carrie Fisher, Glover’s hella dapper and hella smooth Lando Calrissian stays as what’s holding my interest. That, and more Chewbacca. (Can we have a scene where he uncovers some medals and wears them just for the hell of it? ) I’m already putting my money on one of them being the film’s breakout star.

When word of Rogue One came about, people were skeptical. Rogue One became a smashing success. One year later the Disney machine returned to theatres with Star Wars: The Last Jedi, proving that it had the chops to continue the story for the next generation — while successfully creating a new story in the past to hit us with some nostalgia feels. It worked! Will Solo: A Star Wars Story win us over? It is very hard to say at this point in the game. I feel things are as bad as they were when Han got frozen in carbonite. I won’t deny that I could be seduced with world building back in the days of earlier Star Wars history. Disney knows I’ll see this film eventually, but is there anything else concrete or kyber holding it together to make me want to see it opening weekend? Tell, only time will. Herh herh herh.


The entire production cycle of Solo has been hopelessly mired between the change of the directors and the fact they had to bring in an acting coach for dude’s name I still can’t remember. And yet, when the latest trailer dropped and we got our first proper look at the retrofuturist space set pieces I couldn’t help but smile. The movie looks exactly like the Space Heist with Western elements we all figured it would be, but as someone who fell in love with Star Wars in larger part due to the different vehicle and spaceship and planet designs, they nailed the aesthetic. Now, is it telling that I got the most excited seeing the Star Wars version of the Snowpiercer Train? Yes. But, I’m also okay with that.


Maybe it’s the fatigue of so much Star Wars analysis or maybe it’s that I haven’t fully recovered from the whirlwind that was The Last Jedi, but I feel like I have no energy for any SW content that isn’t directly linked to the current trilogy. With that being said, it doesn’t help that the Solo film may just completely bomb. It’s too close to call, but I have a suspicion that it won’t be as enjoyable as the other movies. I feel really distant from what we’ve seen so far of Solo, and that’s mainly because the “star” of the film is just so lackluster that I can’t bring myself to really care. Every other SW film, I’ve gotten so much excitement for.

Solo invites wariness. It looks full of explosions, chases, and close-calls involving the perils of outer space, but what is the point of this prequel/spin-off/cash cow that focuses on a beloved character from the franchise if said character looks dull as dirt? Lines don’t hit their mark, I don’t care seeing him and Chewie together because it’s not Harrison Ford, and EVERYONE ELSE looked more interesting than the young Han Solo. Donald Glover, who is playing the infamous smuggler Lando Calrissian in his younger days, WAS the spotlight of the latest trailer. Why not just give Glover his own film? We don’t need any more Solo, especially if Ford isn’t into it (was he ever really happy about playing Han?). I say we dive deeper into the mythologies of other characters that were introduced but barely got any screen time in past films. I don’t want my time wasted, especially at the expense of a series that is really close to my heart.


I’ve read all of these comments and I realize something — Harrison Ford made Han Solo for me. He took a predictable smuggler with a heart of gold character and sold it all the way. I rooted for him, hated him when he walked away and cheered for him when he came back. I wanted to slap the taste out of Lando’s mouth for betraying him. I’m not sure I was ever a SOLO fan; I was always a Ford fan. And Old Man Solo in The Force Awakens only made me love him MORE. That leads to me not giving this Solo film a fair chance. It isn’t what’s-his-name’s fault he isn’t Harrison Ford. He should get a chance at being Ford for the next generation.

That said, I have to take the trailer as it is, not as a Star Wars film, but as a space caper with a dubious crew and the authorities always just over there. As a heist film, Solo looks promising. All the TVTrope characters are there: the fixer, the driver, the sidekick, the dangerous dame who’s only telling you half the story….Plus it has a dingy future space epic feel? I can get behind it. It’ll get my money, maybe not opening weekend, I’m sure I’ll be watching Black Panther 2: Avengers Infinity War again, but sometime this summer for sure. If it can be Oceans 11 in Space, that’s enough to spend the time until the next blockbuster comes along with some other guy named Chris.


I was super excited about the Solo film. I’m just a sucker for backstories, maybe because I was raised on Star Wars storytelling where we start at Part Four of a story and spend the next 40 years figuring out what happened. When I first heard that Alden Ehrenreich was cast as Han, I didn’t know him right off the bat. On a bit of research, his filmography didn’t scream “this is the guy!”. Even when I saw the first trailer, I was still not convinced. Han is the most rugged and accidentally cunning scavenger in outer space. Ehrenreich does not seem to have the certain gruff I expected, but maybe this is before he gets that grit.
I admit, the new trailer got me on the nostalgia of seeing the Millenium Falcon sparkling new and fresh, still wet from that champagne christening. Then I saw Ehrenreich and Emilia Clarke. Huh? But then Lando smirked at me with that little moustache and dapper swag. OH! Now I’m excited to see the upcoming Lando movie…I mean Solo.


The thing I love about the current state of stories is that the universe has been built to a point where stories can be told for whatever sort of mood you’re in as far as sci-fi goes. You have the space opera of the “episodes”, a Dirty Dozen type of war film like Rogue One…and now, not only do we get a thief/caper film in Solo, we get one featuring my favorite character in Star Wars. I’m really happy that Donald Glover is keeping high profile work (even if it is him playing the dude that eventually sells out the Rebel Alliance) and yeah, he looks great but this movie had me from the moment I watched the trailer and saw Solo showing his dogfighting skills in the Millenium Falcon. He sideswiped a TIE Fighter while doing a barrel roll and shrieked like a little kid. I love that all these peripheral stories are getting their chances to be told at last. As far as I’m concerned, my ticket is bought.

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