Not even Emilia Clarke knows how Game Of Thrones will end

Back in September, HBO programming president Casey Bloys teased that Game Of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were planning to shoot multiple endings for the show so nobody—not even the actors—would know what was going to happen. Still,…

Back in September, HBO programming president Casey Bloys teased that Game Of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were planning to shoot multiple endings for the show so nobody—not even the actors—would know what was going to happen. Still, Jason Momoa seemed to have some ideas, even though his character…

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‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Film Review: So-So Prequel Says Nothing New About Beloved Characters

In the same way that musical movies eventually become sing-alongs, I wouldn’t be surprised if the later theatrical run of “Solo: A Star Wars Story” included “Hey, I Recognize That!” screenings.

Audience members could be handed little hotel-desk bells that they could hit every time the movie lays out some bit of “Star Wars” lore. Han Solo meets Chewbacca for the first time? Ding! Discussion of the Kessel Run, complete with parsecs? Ding! Deep-cut reference to one of the Lando Calrissian novels? Ding ding ding!

“Solo” is less a movie than it’s that page in Highlights Magazine that makes you feel good for finding the chair and the bicycle in the hidden picture. As an intergalactic adventure, it’s mostly adequate, with some very successful elements, but if you stripped the “Star Wars” names and places and put it into the world as a free-standing sci-fi-action movie, it’s doubtful that it would spawn much excitement, let alone sequels.

Watch Video: Final ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Trailer Lands With a Bang: ‘Assume Everyone Will Betray You’

Yes, the film has had a somewhat tortured production history, with original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller getting shown the escape pod before Ron Howard came in and did a majority do-over. But the shortcomings of “Solo” are the shortcomings of most prequels: at least as far back as “Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies,” these tales have been the ultimate brand of fan service, showing us established characters meeting for the first time and offering mini origin stories for outfits, vehicles and catch-phrases. (I’m shocked “Solo” didn’t squeeze in a movie-star entrance for Han’s vest.)

Screenwriters Jonathan Kasdan and Lawrence Kasdan clearly relish the opportunity to write dialogue for swashbuckling renegades, but they’re also stuck doing a lot of retrofitting that goes nowhere. We don’t learn much about Han Solo’s background that fleshes out or deepens his character, but we sure do learn who gave him his last name.

When we meet young Han (Alden Ehrenreich), he’s one of many thieving orphans being exploited by the reptilian, Fagin-like Lady Proxima (voiced by Linda Hunt). Han and his sweetheart Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) have a plan to run off together, but they’re separated at the airport, where he makes it through the gate and she doesn’t. Vowing to get a ship so that he can come back for her, Han volunteers for the Imperial armed forces.

Watch Video: Watch ‘Star Wars’ Mashed Up With ‘Arrested Development’ Narrated by ‘Solo’ Director Ron Howard

Three years later, he’s been kicked out of pilot training and stuck in the mud in one of the Empire’s many ongoing wars. But he sees a way out by hooking up with a team of thieves led by Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and Val (Thandie Newton). Ditching the army to join their crew, Han sets off on a series of adventures that will reunite him with Qi’ra – now in the thrall of mobster Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) – and introduce him to a helpful Wookiee named Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and a rakish gambler named Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover).

What works best in “Solo” are the performances, from droids voiced by Jon Favreau and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”) to the utterly charismatic Ehrenreich and Glover. Ehrenreich proved his old-school star quality with his daffy and charming performance in “Hail, Caesar!” and here he pulls off the daunting task of stepping in for Harrison Ford, masking the character’s commitment to seemingly lost causes with devil-may-care insouciance.

Watch Video: Harrison Ford Crashes Alden Ehrenreich’s Interview: ‘Get Out of My Life!’

The “Star Wars” movies always criminally underutilized Billy Dee Williams as Lando, but Glover sweeps this film off its feet as often as he can, swanning through it like the Cary Grant of Outer Space. These two are more than “Solo” deserves, since the action is routine when it’s not genuinely baffling, while the plotting is pure “go to the place and get the thing” filler.

This might also be the least epic “Star Wars” movie to date: The big set pieces either last too long (a heist on a suspended railroad) or lack narrative logic (the legendary Kessel Run), and the muted color scheme sucks the fun out of the proceedings. (Cinematographer Bradford Young’s palette pops only for Lando’s outfits and to visually convey the new-car-smell of the Millennium Falcon’s maiden voyage.)

“Solo” tells us nothing about these characters that we didn’t already learn from Episodes IV-VII — although hearing their names said aloud so frequently does raise the question of whether someone named “Han” should be Chinese and “Calrissian,” Armenian. While the movie ends in a way that’s clearly designed to prompt further sequels, we don’t get that prequel X factor that makes us interested in a character arc whose outcome we already know. “Better Call Saul” knows how to do this; “Solo” doesn’t.



Related stories from TheWrap:

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Shows Chewie Has Been Bad at Holochess For Years (Video)

New ‘Solo’ Clips Hark Back to the Original ‘Star Wars’ Trilogy (Video)

‘Solo’ Early Tracking Charts Course to $170 Million Memorial Day Opening

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’: Phil Lord and Chris Miller Receive Executive Producer Credits

In the same way that musical movies eventually become sing-alongs, I wouldn’t be surprised if the later theatrical run of “Solo: A Star Wars Story” included “Hey, I Recognize That!” screenings.

Audience members could be handed little hotel-desk bells that they could hit every time the movie lays out some bit of “Star Wars” lore. Han Solo meets Chewbacca for the first time? Ding! Discussion of the Kessel Run, complete with parsecs? Ding! Deep-cut reference to one of the Lando Calrissian novels? Ding ding ding!

“Solo” is less a movie than it’s that page in Highlights Magazine that makes you feel good for finding the chair and the bicycle in the hidden picture. As an intergalactic adventure, it’s mostly adequate, with some very successful elements, but if you stripped the “Star Wars” names and places and put it into the world as a free-standing sci-fi-action movie, it’s doubtful that it would spawn much excitement, let alone sequels.

Yes, the film has had a somewhat tortured production history, with original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller getting shown the escape pod before Ron Howard came in and did a majority do-over. But the shortcomings of “Solo” are the shortcomings of most prequels: at least as far back as “Jim Henson’s Muppet Babies,” these tales have been the ultimate brand of fan service, showing us established characters meeting for the first time and offering mini origin stories for outfits, vehicles and catch-phrases. (I’m shocked “Solo” didn’t squeeze in a movie-star entrance for Han’s vest.)

Screenwriters Jonathan Kasdan and Lawrence Kasdan clearly relish the opportunity to write dialogue for swashbuckling renegades, but they’re also stuck doing a lot of retrofitting that goes nowhere. We don’t learn much about Han Solo’s background that fleshes out or deepens his character, but we sure do learn who gave him his last name.

When we meet young Han (Alden Ehrenreich), he’s one of many thieving orphans being exploited by the reptilian, Fagin-like Lady Proxima (voiced by Linda Hunt). Han and his sweetheart Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) have a plan to run off together, but they’re separated at the airport, where he makes it through the gate and she doesn’t. Vowing to get a ship so that he can come back for her, Han volunteers for the Imperial armed forces.

Three years later, he’s been kicked out of pilot training and stuck in the mud in one of the Empire’s many ongoing wars. But he sees a way out by hooking up with a team of thieves led by Beckett (Woody Harrelson) and Val (Thandie Newton). Ditching the army to join their crew, Han sets off on a series of adventures that will reunite him with Qi’ra – now in the thrall of mobster Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany) – and introduce him to a helpful Wookiee named Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and a rakish gambler named Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover).

What works best in “Solo” are the performances, from droids voiced by Jon Favreau and Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”) to the utterly charismatic Ehrenreich and Glover. Ehrenreich proved his old-school star quality with his daffy and charming performance in “Hail, Caesar!” and here he pulls off the daunting task of stepping in for Harrison Ford, masking the character’s commitment to seemingly lost causes with devil-may-care insouciance.

The “Star Wars” movies always criminally underutilized Billy Dee Williams as Lando, but Glover sweeps this film off its feet as often as he can, swanning through it like the Cary Grant of Outer Space. These two are more than “Solo” deserves, since the action is routine when it’s not genuinely baffling, while the plotting is pure “go to the place and get the thing” filler.

This might also be the least epic “Star Wars” movie to date: The big set pieces either last too long (a heist on a suspended railroad) or lack narrative logic (the legendary Kessel Run), and the muted color scheme sucks the fun out of the proceedings. (Cinematographer Bradford Young’s palette pops only for Lando’s outfits and to visually convey the new-car-smell of the Millennium Falcon’s maiden voyage.)

“Solo” tells us nothing about these characters that we didn’t already learn from Episodes IV-VII — although hearing their names said aloud so frequently does raise the question of whether someone named “Han” should be Chinese and “Calrissian,” Armenian. While the movie ends in a way that’s clearly designed to prompt further sequels, we don’t get that prequel X factor that makes us interested in a character arc whose outcome we already know. “Better Call Saul” knows how to do this; “Solo” doesn’t.

Related stories from TheWrap:

'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Shows Chewie Has Been Bad at Holochess For Years (Video)

New 'Solo' Clips Hark Back to the Original 'Star Wars' Trilogy (Video)

'Solo' Early Tracking Charts Course to $170 Million Memorial Day Opening

'Solo: A Star Wars Story': Phil Lord and Chris Miller Receive Executive Producer Credits

Emilia Clarke: Stop Referring to Female Characters as ‘Strong,’ It’s Sexist

Emilia Clarke wants everyone to know that she doesn’t play strong female leads, just female leads. In an interview at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday as part of the Kering Women in Motion talks, the “Solo: A Star Wars Story” lead …

Emilia Clarke wants everyone to know that she doesn’t play strong female leads, just female leads. In an interview at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday as part of the Kering Women in Motion talks, the “Solo: A Star Wars Story” lead condemned the usage of the phrase “strong women” by journalists as sexist. She […]

Emilia Clarke Says She’s Always Received Equal Pay as Male ‘Game of Thrones’ Co-Stars

The conversation for equal pay has taken over Hollywood in the last few months in the midst of the Time’s Up movement, and Emilia Clarke is joining in on the discussion. In an interview for Kering Women in Motion at the Cannes Film Festival on Tu…

The conversation for equal pay has taken over Hollywood in the last few months in the midst of the Time’s Up movement, and Emilia Clarke is joining in on the discussion. In an interview for Kering Women in Motion at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday, where her film “Solo: A Star Wars Story” is […]

Emilia Clarke on ‘Solo’ Director Shake-Up, ‘Game of Thrones’ Final Season

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” was the rare Hollywood blockbuster that changed directors in mid-shoot. With hundreds of millions of dollars on the line, the filmmaker shuffle could have doomed the picture and resulted in lots of bad blood on the…

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” was the rare Hollywood blockbuster that changed directors in mid-shoot. With hundreds of millions of dollars on the line, the filmmaker shuffle could have doomed the picture and resulted in lots of bad blood on the set. However, in an interview at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday, where “Solo: […]

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ First Reactions Are In: ‘Donald Glover Continues to Be Perfect’

Most fans still have to wait another two weeks to see “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” but those lucky enough to attend the Hollywood premiere Thursday night are sharing their thoughts. The verdict: “Solo” is a great intergalactic heist movie, and star Alden Ehrenreich is fully capable of filling Harrison Ford’s Han Solo boots.

Also, Donald Glover is phenomenal as Lando Calrissian.

The prequel to 1977’s “Star Wars: A New Hope” delves into the early life of everybody’s favorite scoundrel, Han Solo (played originally by Ford and here by Ehrenreich). We all know Han as the best smuggler around, working for Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine with his best bud, walking carpet wookiee warrior Chewbacca, and flying the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon.

Before he was all that — as well as a general fighting or the Rebellion, Luke Skywalker’s best friend and Leia Organa’s paramour — Han was a nobody. “Solo” finds him gaining his best friend and his ship, filling in a piece of “Star Wars” history that’s been alluded to but never seen: Han winning the Millennium Falcon from Lando.

Also Read: ‘SNL’: Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian Addresses All Four Black People in ‘Star Wars’ (Video)

“Solo” hasn’t had the easiest time making it to the screen, though. Lucasfilm originally hired “The LEGO Movie” directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller to helm the movie, signaling that it’s more of a comedy than previous “Star Wars” movies have been. Lucasfilm fired the two directors, however, reportedly after their creative vision clashed with that of screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and his son and co-writer, Jason Kasdan.

Ron Howard picked up the baton for “Solo,” finishing the movie and reshooting much of it — reportedly, as much as 70 percent of the movie is now made up of reshoots, giving “Solo” a different feel from the original cut. But folks at the premiere found it to be emotional, exciting and the most action-packed of any “Star Wars” movie.

Read the reactions below.

#SoloAStarWarsStory: It takes a bit for it to find its feet and for AE to turn on enough charm to make you forget he’s not HF. But once it kicks into its hey-let’s-make-a-crew and yes-also-do-a-heist stuff, it totally flies.

— Kate Erbland (@katerbland) May 11, 2018

I figured if @DisneyStudios was willing to show ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ a few weeks before release it must be good and it absolutely is. Film is a blast and a welcome addition to the Star Wars universe. @RealRonHoward you did a great job. Congrats. pic.twitter.com/1pkWH2y6qE

— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) May 11, 2018

After seeing #SoloAStarWarsStory I can confirm one thing: bank on Lando: A Star Wars Story getting a green light by the end of the year. Donald Glover continues to be perfect. pic.twitter.com/ipjq0rcEtX

— Conner Schwerdtfeger (@ConnerWS) May 11, 2018

Boom. #SoloAStarWarsStory Loved it. Stay off the internet! Avoid spoilers! Great job @RealRonHoward and cast!

— Clayton Sandell (@Clayton_Sandell) May 11, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story is a goddamn delight. It’s a non-stop adventure packed with way more emotion than your expecting. You’ll have a smile on your face the whole time and leave eager for more. pic.twitter.com/fOsF7Tr95L

— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) May 11, 2018

#Solo is a ton of fun! Alden Ehrenreich is full of charm and definitely does right by Harrison Ford. Not to mention Donald Glover, who’s equally great as Lando.

Don’t let the drama and rumors fool you, this is a seriously fun, exciting addition to the Star Wars universe!

— Tom Jorgensen (@Tom_Jorgensen) May 11, 2018

#SoloAStarWarsStory is reaaaaalllly good. Fun as hell. It’s a straight intergalactic heist movie, kind of refreshing to see a Star Wars movie w/o a Death Star or the rebellion’s fate at stake. Alden Ehrenreich is super impressive as Han, but L3 might be my favorite new character.

— Kevin Polowy (@djkevlar) May 11, 2018

There are things you simply won’t believe until you see and hear them, and even then… wow… #hansolo

— Bryan Young (@swankmotron) May 11, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story has a light tone and has some great action sequences. There were great moments but some were a bit too on the nose for me. The Chewie/Han bromance is the thing to watch for.

— Wendy Lee Szany (@WendyLeeSzany) May 11, 2018

WOW! #SoloAStarWarsStory! I felt like I was watching a @StarWars movie again. So many great moments for the fans AND surprises.. I’ve got the feels after this one…MORE than #InfinityWar.

— Brian Tong (@briantong) May 11, 2018

Alden Ehrenreich is the real deal, Thandie Newton is who I want to be when I grow up, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s L3… well we’ll talk about that later. ???? #SoloAStarWarsStory

— Angie J. Han (@ajhan) May 11, 2018

Solo: A Star Wars Story is more of what I loved about Rogue One. Most real looking film in the franchise, and the best blaster actions scenes and vehicle chases. #SoloAStarWarsStory

— Rob Keyes (@rob_keyes) May 11, 2018

This is the grungiest, most grunt-level blue collar #StarWars ever and I am here for it. #Solo

— Chris Taylor (@FutureBoy) May 11, 2018

It does take a bit to get used to Alden as Han, but after 30 minutes or so your brain adjusts. (Also I’ve now finally seen Clint Howard in a Star Wars movie.) #soloastarwarsstory

— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) May 11, 2018

#Solo was a blast. The Kasdans nail the character of Han Solo. Yes, the story is a series of expected events (Han meets chewie….etc) but none of them happen as expected. Stay away from spoilers, big Marvel-level shit that will make you wonder where Lucasfilm is headed next.

— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) May 11, 2018

#SoloAStarWarsStory was a mostly fun adventure and solid performances but with a predictable story. Never will be one of my favorite #StarWars movies but I enjoyed enough of it.

— Dennis Tzeng (@ThinkHero) May 11, 2018

I loved #SoloAStarWarsStory so much. It’s a western. A caper. Funny with so much heart. It’s got so much surprises that fans are going to love. Donald Glover is charming x1000. Alden Ehrenreich is a great #HanSolo and just know I’ve been saying this for years! Fave new #StarWars.

— Michelle Buchman (@michelledeidre) May 11, 2018

ALDEN EHRENREREICH IS HAN SOLO! The movie is an absolute blast to hyperspace! #SoloPremiere #SoloAStarWarsStory #Solomovie

— Umberto Gonzalez (@elmayimbe) May 11, 2018

My one GIF review of #SoloAStarWarsStory @starwars pic.twitter.com/g4dGJGZiyF

— Angelique Jackson (@angelique814) May 11, 2018

So, I was REALLY worried about #SoloAStarWarsStory but those concerns are totally laid to rest. A movie for fans AND those totally fresh to the Star Wars franchise. Heart, humor and a Falcon full of top notch action. From a worry to a favorite. Very, very happy! pic.twitter.com/VhvBSDFvjE

— Simon Thompson (@ShowbizSimon) May 11, 2018

#SoloAStarWarsStory has a bit of a rough start, but it was a blast of of an adventure. And yes, Donald Glover steals the movie! But you already knew that. pic.twitter.com/4SGiq6tDmQ

— Jenna Busch (@JennaBusch) May 11, 2018

Related stories from TheWrap:

Why Chewbacca Is the Unsung, Disrespected Hero of the ‘Star Wars’ Universe (Commentary)

The Best Bridge Between ‘Star Wars’ Trilogies Isn’t ‘Rogue One,’ It’s a Video Game (Commentary)

Here’s Why the Luke Skywalker of ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Doesn’t Feel Like Luke (Commentary)

Every Porg in ‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ Ranked, From Dorky to Adorable (Photos)

10 Plot Threads ‘The Force Awakens’ Set Up that ‘The Last Jedi’ Blew Off

Most fans still have to wait another two weeks to see “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” but those lucky enough to attend the Hollywood premiere Thursday night are sharing their thoughts. The verdict: “Solo” is a great intergalactic heist movie, and star Alden Ehrenreich is fully capable of filling Harrison Ford’s Han Solo boots.

Also, Donald Glover is phenomenal as Lando Calrissian.

The prequel to 1977’s “Star Wars: A New Hope” delves into the early life of everybody’s favorite scoundrel, Han Solo (played originally by Ford and here by Ehrenreich). We all know Han as the best smuggler around, working for Jabba the Hutt on Tatooine with his best bud, walking carpet wookiee warrior Chewbacca, and flying the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy, the Millennium Falcon.

Before he was all that — as well as a general fighting or the Rebellion, Luke Skywalker’s best friend and Leia Organa’s paramour — Han was a nobody. “Solo” finds him gaining his best friend and his ship, filling in a piece of “Star Wars” history that’s been alluded to but never seen: Han winning the Millennium Falcon from Lando.

“Solo” hasn’t had the easiest time making it to the screen, though. Lucasfilm originally hired “The LEGO Movie” directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller to helm the movie, signaling that it’s more of a comedy than previous “Star Wars” movies have been. Lucasfilm fired the two directors, however, reportedly after their creative vision clashed with that of screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan and his son and co-writer, Jason Kasdan.

Ron Howard picked up the baton for “Solo,” finishing the movie and reshooting much of it — reportedly, as much as 70 percent of the movie is now made up of reshoots, giving “Solo” a different feel from the original cut. But folks at the premiere found it to be emotional, exciting and the most action-packed of any “Star Wars” movie.

Read the reactions below.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Why Chewbacca Is the Unsung, Disrespected Hero of the 'Star Wars' Universe (Commentary)

The Best Bridge Between 'Star Wars' Trilogies Isn't 'Rogue One,' It's a Video Game (Commentary)

Here's Why the Luke Skywalker of 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Doesn't Feel Like Luke (Commentary)

Every Porg in 'Star Wars: The Last Jedi' Ranked, From Dorky to Adorable (Photos)

10 Plot Threads 'The Force Awakens' Set Up that 'The Last Jedi' Blew Off

Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover at ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Premiere (Photos)

Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover at ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Premiere (Photos)
Cast and crew of the latest installment of the Lucasfilm franchise fill the red carpet at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood
Marilou York and Mar…

Alden Ehrenreich, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover at ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Premiere (Photos)

Cast and crew of the latest installment of the Lucasfilm franchise fill the red carpet at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood

Marilou York and Mark Hamill

Thandie Newton

Brian Grazer

Woody Harrelson

Ron Howard

Ewan McGregor

George Lucas

Paul Bettany

Joonas Suotamo Chewbacca