“Solo: A Star Wars Story” Looks Like a Dumb Fan-Film, But That’s No Bad Thing

Matthew Loffhagen
(Photo: Lucasfilm)

Well, it’s finally here. The trailer for “Solo: A Star Wars Story” has been released, and it’s pretty much exactly what we all thought it would be.

In other words, it’s garbage.

With all of the modern Disney era “Star Wars” films, it’s been hard to shake the idea that this entire endeavor is simply a series of large, big-budget fan movies. We’ve got new directors giving their own interpretation of classic characters, and for better or worse, these either end up being too formulaic (as with “The Force Awakens”) or too wildly different (as with “The Last Jedi”).

Never before, though, have we seen one of these movies attempt to replace a beloved character with a new actor.

Alden Ehrenreich looks like a Han Solo cosplayer who is valiantly ignoring the fact that he looks nothing like his favorite character. There are more authentic, believable Harrison Fordalikes at every “Star Wars” convention around the world.

This isn’t to say that looking like Ford is the most important element of a film like this, but it would help if Ehrenreich at least acted a little more like the iconic character that he’s supposed to be playing.

There’s a reason why the internet is in love with Donald Glover as a young Lando Calrissian – he actually looks the part. No, he’s not a spitting image doppelganger for Billy Dee Williams, but in just a few seconds of footage in this initial trailer, he manages to communicate the kind of sassy swagger that we’d expect from everyone’s favorite Colt 45-swilling soundrel.

Donald Glover
Source: Lucasfilm

Ehrenreich isn’t the only element of this movie trailer that feels like a bargain basement attempt to create a cheap alternative to regular “Star Wars”. The special effects (especially all the speeder stuff) look laughably poor, as if they’d been thrown together out of footage filmed on a makeshift greenscreen in someone’s garage.

This is almost certainly a result of the film’s horrendous shooting schedule, which will, it seems, leave the movie’s effects feeling a little rushed. As the movie is coming out in just four months, these aren’t going to get much better.

If, in 2018, we’re getting a “Star Wars” movie with computer effects that look less convincing than the Prequels, it’s hard to shake the feeling that we’re in fan-film territory.

Then, there are the new characters. Woody Harrelson certainly looks interesting (he’s really channeling the balding Comic Book Guy look that screams fan project), and Danaerys Targaryen Emilia Clarke is on hand because apparently every single “Star Wars” movie now needs to feature a brunette woman with an English accent in a starring role.

Both of these brand new characters are fine. Not special, not terrible, just kind of, here. Perhaps we’ll get a better sense of them in the finished movie, but in the trailer, they were never going to be a big draw.

Ultimately, “Solo” looks like the kind of terrible mess that, by all rights, we all thought it should be. This movie was a bad idea from start to finish, and the trailer reflects just how poorly Lucasfilm planned any of this.

But here’s the thing: this isn’t necessarily the end of the world.

In fact, despite looking like complete and utter trash, this film could end up being a lot of fun.

Baby Han and Chewie
Source: Lucasfilm

Within the “Star Wars” fan community, there’s something of a split at present. A rising group of Prequel apologists would rather see this brand return to the brighter, warmer, slightly silly but ultimately more quirky tone and style of George Lucas’ most recent movies in the series.

While “Solo” isn’t going to be for everyone, perhaps it’s time we got a cheesy, dumb, genuinely slightly terrible “Star Wars” movie again. The past has proven that even when this series is at its worst, it’s still pretty good, and plenty of people will still love it.

Let’s embrace the hunk of junk that is the upcoming “Solo” movie, in all its elevated fan-film glory.

Much like the Millennium Falcon itself, this film may not look like much, but she’s got it where it count.