Movie Review: SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY
More and more every day, journalism regresses. Blame the Internet if you want, but for whatever reason we are regressing, not progressing. We’re headed back to the days of William Randolph Hurst with the yellowing of digitized newsprint. More and more articles each day revert to clickbait sensationalism. In short, the go-to for journalistic writers is becoming problematically formulaic: write what you want, make it juicy, snag the interest of readers, and what difference does it make if it’s even remotely factual? We see it with “serious” news and we see it even more with entertainment-based pop culture reporting. The headlines must grab the attention of the masses. Facts are irrelevant.
Forgive my little diatribe, but it’s maddening. And the only thing that annoys me more than the “reporters” and Internet jockeys who write the drivel is the fact that the masses, by and large, eat it up without applying an ounce of deductive reasoning. If it’s in print—or online—it must be true! Folks, 99% of what you read online is horseshit. Even if it’s true, it’s likely been skewed to make it more attractive to readers, and writing something bad is way better than writing something good when it comes to getting people to pay attention. That isn’t journalism; it’s petty gossip.
Case in point: SOLO didn’t make as much money as the “analysts” and the “insiders’ had predicted it would. What does that mean? Surely, say the clickbaiters, it means the entire STAR WARS franchise is done for! Surely it is viewer fatigue! The movie is a flop! Let’s all enjoy its failure!
Yeah. A movie that made over a HUNDRED MILLION DOLLARS is a flop. Right.
But it came in under expectations! Surely that means something! We don’t know what, exactly, but it has to be bad!
Yeah. It means the “analysts” and “insiders” are idiots. As for the “why” of it, might it be possible that this movie was released in the summer, with two huge blockbusters (DEADPOOL 2 and AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR) still claiming huge chunks of the box office, instead of in December when there is far less (i.e. none whatsoever) competition? You think that might conceivably have something to do with it? But that only, y’know, makes sense. We don’t need sense; we need sensationalism! Can’t bait a hook with basic common sense!
Imbecility. Both the ones baiting the hooks and the ones blindly swallowing them.
Okay, rant over.
Ignore the master (click) baiters. SOLO is fantastic. Alden Ehrenreich has Harrison Ford’s mannerism down pat, and the way the storyline meshes with the overall SW canon is seamless. Donald Glover is equally grand as Lando, and Paul Bettany and Woody Harrelson are as superb as usual. The ONLY complaint I have read that has even an ounce of authenticity to it concerns Emelia Clarke and her “lack of chemistry” with Ehrenreich. This too is an exaggeration, but she IS the weakest link in the cast. Not that she isn’t perfectly adequate. It’s just that any competent actress of the right age and look could have played her part. She doesn’t “command” it and make it her own the way Ehrenreich and Glover do with their respective roles.
My favorite part of the movie is the way it empirically puts an exclamation point ending to the whole debate of whether or not “Han shot first.” (Hell, yeah, he did!) My second favorite part is the way it redeemed Darth Maul, even if his time onscreen is so brief. It’s nice to see the most underused, underappreciated character in all the STAR WARS galaxy get a little screen time in a worthy vehicle. And they totally left the door open for a sequel featuring Qi’Ra and Maul. I predict it will be called STAR WARS: CRIMSON DAWN. Remember that you read it here first.
As for why I am reviewing the movie here, on a site dedicated to Horror, the answer is simple: Chewbacca. Back in the 1970s, Bigfoot was a scorching hot topic, thanks to the infamous and legendary Patterson-Gimlin film. Bigfoot was a recurring character on THE SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN and THE BIONIC WOMAN TV series. He appeared in children’s shows, too, like BIGFOOT AND WILDBOY. At the drive-ins of America, THE LEGEND OF BOGGY CREEK became a genuine phenomenon. And all this talk about Bigfoot reportedly inspired George Lucas to create the character of Chewbacca. However, the term “Wookiee” did not derive form an American Indian word for Bigfoot, as is sometimes reported. Chewbacca only owes his look, not his name or his species, to Sasquatch.
WAYNE MILLER is the owner and creative director of EVIL CHEEZ PRODUCTIONS (www.evilcheezproductions.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/evilcheezproductions), specializing in theatrical performances and haunted attractions. He has written, produced and directed (and occasionally acted in) over a dozen plays, most of them in the Horror and Crime genres. His first novel, THE CONFESSIONS OF SAINT CHRISTOPHER: WEREWOLF, is available for purchase at https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/734763
MORTUI VELOCES SUNT!