A Review of the Becoming Solo Featurette by Someone Who Had a Crush on Han Solo When They Were 7

In 1997, my father took me to see the Special Edition release of Star Wars: A New Hope in theaters. It was my very first Star War, and instantly, I became infatuated with Han Solo. He was a morally ambiguous, sharp-mouthed space smuggler of indeterminate age, with a tuft of chest hair peeking out from his white space shirt. I was 7, and new to love. I dressed up as him for several of the following Halloweens. It was all very confusing.

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The Han Solo obsession lasted for many years, and to this day, the sight of his space vest makes my heart quicken. So it is with great trepidation that I approach the arrival of Solo: A Star Wars Story, which purports to tell Han Solo’s backstory, but does not star a digital recreation of Young Harrison Ford, even though that is probably technological possible. Instead, it stars Alden Ehrenreich, who was perfectly fine in the rather not good Warren Beatty film Rules Don’t Apply, but apparently had so much trouble mimicking Ford’s signature gruff they had to call an acting coach to the Solo set. The movie comes out Memorial Day Weekend, but up until now, we’ve only gotten quick snippets of Ehrenreich as Solo. Today, though they released the extended Becoming Solo featurette (see above), and I just don’t know how to feel.

On the one hand, Emilia Clarke, who reportedly plays Solo’s childhood friend Q’ira, looks quite fierce. And, of course, there’s Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. Leia missed out:

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On the other hand, I’m having trouble getting behind Ehrenreich as Solo. It’s hard to recreate a character as beloved, iconic, and eternally taped to the walls of my childhood bedroom as Han Solo (though I did once try, via a Voodoo doll-making kit.)

Remember when Vince Vaughn did Norman Bates? That was bad. When Colin Farrell did Total Recall? Very bad. When someone other than Robin Williams voiced the Genie in Aladdin 2: The Return of Jafar? Downright traumatic. Ehrenreich does seem to have picked up Solo’s smirk, puffery, and penchant for poor grammar, if not quite his essence, and I expect audiences will very much enjoy watching Clarke take him down a peg, plus Chewie can still totally get it. FINGERS CROSSED.

Anyway, we will never have Young Harrison Ford back, but we will probably have two more Solo films (as Ehrenreich accidentally revealed in a recent interview with Esquire) along with 70 million new Star Wars films, TV shows, video games, action figures, lunch boxes, sex toys, and blog posts written by ornery OG Star Wars fans who are still bitter no one’s optioned any of the fan fiction they wrote in elementary school. I am still accepting offers, if anyone’s curious.

Night blogger, author of GOOD THINGS HAPPEN TO PEOPLE YOU HATE.

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DISCUSSION

Honestly, I’m just here for Thandie Newton as Val, whoever Val is. And Donald Glover’s Lando, was sold on that one from the first teaser. Oh and this Enfys Nest villain, who is supposedly a lady. And Chewie, always Chewie.

Han Solo was my first “grown up” crush (as in, crush on a grown up rather than a boy in my general age group). Pretty sure the hand massage/makeout scene in ESB initiated my sexual awakening. Old Han could still get it (RIP). I was initially grumpy about the casting of Alden Whatshisface because, while no one was ever going to fully live up to Harrison’s Han, I would have preferred to see Anthony Ingruber in the role. Whatever, I’m over it, and I’m going into this film open minded. I’ll give Alden a chance. I’ll even give Emilia a chance even though I think she’s a one-note actress and what we’ve seen of her character thus far hasn’t really done much to change that perception.

I’m still not convinced we needed this movie, but it looks like it will be fun. My ass will be in a theater opening night, as usual.