Prayer Focus
Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!
MOVIE REVIEW

Solo: A Star Wars Story also known as “Han Solo: Una historia de Star Wars,” “Han Solo: Gwiezdne wojny - historie,” “Han Solo: Uma História Star Wars,” “Han Solo: Uma História de Star Wars,” “Han Solo: Una Historia de Star Wars,” “Han Solo: Bir Star Wars Hikayesi,” “Ranger Solo,” “Solo. Zvaigzdziu karu istorija,” “Solo: Egy Star Wars-történet,” “Solo: Priča iz Ratova zvijezda,” “Solo: Star Wars Ngoai Truyen,” “Solo: Tähesõdade lugu,” “Star Wars: Solo,” «Соло. Зорянi вiйни. Iсторiя», «Хан Соло: Звездные войны. Истории»

MPAA Rating: PG-13-Rating (MPAA) for sequences of sci-fi action/violence.

Reviewed by: Shawna Ellis
CONTRIBUTOR

Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
• Young Adults • Adults
Genre:
Sci-Fi Action Adventure Fantasy Prequel
Length:
2 hr. 15 min.
Year of Release:
2018
USA Release:
May 25, 2018 (wide—4,381 theaters)
Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures click photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Being a criminal—a law-breaker / participating in criminal activities

Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

What is SIN AND WICKEDNESS? Is it just “bad people” that are sinners, or are YOU a sinner? Answer

Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The trap of gambling and resulting losses and debts

Growing up in a bad, immoral envirornment and trying to leave it

What often happens when boys grow up without a good relationship with the fathers?

Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

The depravity of mankind due to The Fall. As Beckett says, trust no one and assume everyone will betray you.

Slavery

Teamwork

Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer

How good is good enough? Answer

Do Not Enter

Everybody serves someone

Paradise or Pain? Why is the world the way it is?
Why is the world the way it is? If God is all-knowing, all-powerful, and loving, would He really create a world like this? (filled with oppression, suffering, death and cruelty) Answer
Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Copyright, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures
Featuring: Alden EhrenreichHan Solo
Joonas Suotamo … Chewbacca
Woody HarrelsonTobias Beckett—a criminal and Han’s mentor
Emilia ClarkeQi'Ra
Thandie NewtonVal
Paul BettanyDryden Vos—a crime lord
Donald GloverLando Calrissian
Jon FavreauRio Durant
Warwick DavisWeazel
Clint HowardRalakili
Phoebe Waller-Bridge … L3-37
See all »
Director: Ron Howard—“A Beautiful Mind” (2001), “Apollo 13” (1995), “The Da Vinci Code” (2006)
Producer: Lucasfilm
Walt Disney Pictures
See all »
Distributor: Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” has a tall order to fill. It makes an attempt to satisfy the differing backstory imaginings of millions of fans, offer the nostalgia that many crave, show the origins of iconic characters with an all new cast, capture the attention of fresh viewers, and tell a solid story that can stand on its own while still paying tribute to a beloved series. Because of all these expectations, there will doubtless be many who dislike this film, while others will love it. I fall into a camp right in between. “Solo” met many of my expectations, gave me a few surprises, and satisfied my yearning for nostalgia and an interesting backstory.

However, I did not find it to be a very compelling tale, nor did I leave the theater really wishing to see it again. Although the acting was generally solid, and there were truly enjoyable moments here and there, I found it to be rather grim and generally unedifying. And besides this, “Solo” has some strong issues of concern for family viewing.

This is not a film for young children. Unlike some other Star Wars installments, there are no characters or silly scenarios included specifically for kids. A few alien creatures (especially early in the film) have a frightening appearance.

LANGUAGE—Bad language is peppered throughout, consisting of several uses each of “damn” and “hell.” Although the Lord’s name is never misused (or referenced at all), I cringe to hear phrases like “I’ll be damned.” People using these phrases lightly do not understand the gravity of such words. There is one use of “ass” and “cr*p,” and one instance in which the “s-word” is cut short.

SEX/NUDITY—There is more sexual innuendo than in previous Star Wars films and several passionate kisses. There are some mildly revealing dresses and lots of drinking at an opulent party.

VIOLENCE—The violence in “Solo” is continual, realistic and harsh. It often consists of brutal close combat instead of the distant use of blasters or the clean cuts of light sabers we see in other installments. There is a fiery and intense infantry-style war scene. Some characters die in unsettling ways, including one by their own hand in a desperate moment.

IMMORAL AND CRIMINAL ACTIVITIES—Theft, gambling, cheating, lies, betrayals, criminal schemes and dealings with shady characters are prevalent and could be considered glorified in some instances. This is after all a film which delves into the lives of gangsters, gamblers, scoundrels and thieves. Lines are blurred when we find ourselves cheering for likable “heroes” who are living a life of deception and immorality. In short, this seems to be a film geared toward more mature audiences.

Despite all this, I believe that “Solo” has a solid backstory for the title character, giving viewers insight into how the kid in the sewers of Corellia could become the cocky smuggler we meet in “A New Hope.” I found an appealing, charismatic character in Alden Ehrenreich’s portrayal of Han Solo. Since it would be impossible to cast anyone who is an exact copy of young Harrison Ford, it does the viewer well to stop the natural comparisons and just enjoy this young man’s performance. I allowed myself to believe that this was a young Han, and that any differences in personality, motivation and mannerisms between this Solo and the more cynical and hardened Solo of “A New Hope” could be accounted for somehow in the interim of years between this film’s end and when we meet Han in the cantina on Tatooine.

Other characters are well-played and engaging as well, such as the flamboyant young gambler Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) and his outspoken droid companion L3 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge). I was especially pleased with the introduction of Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) and the endearing portrayal of the close friendship between the Wookiee and Han. Their scenes together were a highlight of the film for me. I wish there had been more of that and less time spent watching endless chases, heists and escapes. But, even so, it is enough, and I’m thankful to have gotten a glimpse into Han and Chewie’s history.

Nostalgic references are thick for those familiar with the early films. Some may feel that these references and tie-ins are too many or too forced, but I personally enjoyed these little moments.

Artistically, the movie is dark and gritty, but well executed. The realistic settings are generally grim in tone. This fits the plot of the film, as it has an air of desperation which often drives the characters” choices.

The Force is not mentioned, Jedi are not present, and the coming Rebellion is scarcely more than a rumor and a dim hope. For the most part, the movie is about individual survival instead of the bigger picture of what is happening in the galaxy as a whole. Because of this, “Solo” has a different feel from the other Star Wars movies. It is focused on a character who later becomes integral to the cause, but who for now is just trying to survive. This narrow perspective is perhaps why I found the story less compelling than “Rogue One” or the numbered films.

Although there are some selfless actions and heroic moments in “Solo,” it is harder to cheer for the characters because they are generally not acting toward a greater cause or common good but out of greed or desperation. When the film finally takes a turn toward a larger scope, it is welcome but seems almost too little and too late.

For those who desire an origin story for beloved characters like Han and Chewie, nostalgic tie-ins with the previous films and just another glimpse into the Star Wars universe, “Solo” may be worth at least one viewing. If you’re like me, that might be enough. And if you are not interested in overt violence, some unpleasant language and seeing way too much of the unedifying workings of criminal minds, you may want to skip it altogether and merely let your imagination supply the backstory.

You sin can be paid
Is Jesus Christ the answer to your questions?
Discover the good news that Jesus Christ offers
Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!
Discover God’s promise for all people—told beautifully and clearly from the beginning. Discover The HOPE! Watch it on Christian Answers—full-length motion picture.
God’s Story Online home
Do you understand God’s Story? Take a multimedia journey through the Bible, from Creation to eternity.

Are you good enough to get to Heaven? Answer

How good is good enough? Answer

Will all mankind eventually be saved? Answer

As I watched “Solo,” I thought about how most of the lead characters are in these desperate and deadly situations because of a debt that is owed. Their debts are huge and, if not paid, we are continually reminded that the penalty is death.

How despairing and exhausting it is to always be burdened with such a heavy load! Watching them as they take every risk to be free of this debt, I could not help but think of the great burden of debt that each of us has apart from Christ. We have a huge debt we cannot pay. We can run but not escape. We can strive to work and pay it, but the payment is never enough. Our debt is sin against God, and we all owe it (Romans 3:23). And if we can’t pay our debt of sin, the penalty is death (Romans 6:23).

Like the characters in the film, we might be willing to do anything to cancel this debt, to make the payment that would set us free. But we can’t. There is only One who can take that burden from us, who can cancel our sin debt and say, “It is paid in full.” The Lord Jesus Christ has done the work for us. He has paid the price, and waits for us to receive what He has done on our behalf. Those who trust and receive what He has done will have freedom which can be found no other way.

  • Violence: Heavy—• violent use of blasters, handheld and ship-mounted lasers, explosives, and sharp blades • man’s legs apparently torn off • story of others cutting out tongues of their victims
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Moderate
  • Alcohol: Moderate— • Various people shown drinking—Lando and Han, Beckett, Dryden Vos, Qi'ra and Han have drinks, while Chewbacca appears to be downing lots • Character says, “Let’s eat a little and drink a lot”
  • Profane language: Mild
  • Sex: Mild—kisses and innuendoes
  • Nudity: Mild—cleavage
  • Occult: None

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive
Positive—What a fun exciting show! My kids loved it and we at the edge of their seats enjoying the rousing adventure. I think the reviewer exaggerated the negative aspects a bit. They were there but I didn’t think it was quite as bad as the reviewer saw it. But it is subjective and relative.

As a Christian, I did not have a problem bringing my children to this flick. In fact, I thought it was better for them than other so called family movies. It is on par with the other Star War movies as far as violence and sexuality.

As far as it having a lot of criminal people in it, that is kind od the point of the movie, Han Solo is a rouge, and thus he hung out with rouges. It really wouldn’t be a movie about Han Solo if it would have been about upstanding citizens. It is a redemption story of sorts, especially when seen as a whole series.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Ken, age 38 (USA)
Positive—“Solo: A Star Wars Story” was a fun exciting amazing adventure of a Film, in my opinion, equally as good as “Rogue One.” Donald Glover and Alden Ehrenreich were both superbly cast, great chemistry, incredible special effects, that fill you with wonder and imagination as you are reminded of your childhood playing with Star Wars Action Figures, nothing really morally offensive in this film, can’t wait for the Boba Fett Anthology film coming out in 2020.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Jeff Andrew Winters, age 38 (USA)
Positive—SO I love Star Wars; I have the original theatrical editions before the over computer enhanced specialized versions as well as the special editions and even ones that are fan made that are in between keeping a few of the additions that add to the film without the overdone. So I was excited to see this movie but worried about anyone but Harrison Ford being Hon.

The movie is great on the big screen lots of chase sequences through space and more. It was fun to see how he met Chewy. Yes, there are a few swear words nothing worse then you hear at the local store though. Yes, I am a Christian, I just do not get upset over minor things. I will agree Hollywood does keep adding more and more in. See all »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Good / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Jason, age 42 (USA)
Neutral
Neutral—I did not plan on commenting, and I did pretty much enjoy the film, but the reviewer missed something that I think is worth noting. There is a series of scenes in the move played for humor, but I feel it may have far too dark an undertone in our current society. In the film it becomes apparent (and stated) that Lando is in love with a robot. Considering that some Japanese scientist made an actual Scarlett Johanson-like robot and the errie human looking female robots that are already being produced, I find this rather disturbing humor.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Dr. David, age 51 (USA)
Negative
Negative—For parents with children, please be aware that the film has some swearing, kissing scenes, and quite a few intensely violent moments. I have seen other Star Wars films, but this one had more objectionable content than the others. This movie glorified a life of crime. I felt bad about seeing the movie and that my children also were exposed to it.

There were some light-hearted moments of comedy interjected and the special effects were spot on, wish they would have kept it a bit cleaner all the way around.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Brandi, age 37 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—My Aunt and my moma took my brother and I to see this movie, and we thought it was excellent.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Excellent! / Moviemaking quality: 5
—Charlene (USA)

PLEASE share your observations and insights to be posted here.

Secular Movie Critics
…dramatic neutrality. Time ticks by at a drifty pace while lots of action of no great consequence grinds on. …
Joe Morgenstern, The Wall Street Journal
…the film is not the disaster its production history might suggest. In fact, it’s not even close. …Its performances, starting with Alden Ehrenreich as the young Han Solo and extending to the film-stealing Donald Glover as his wily frenemy Lando Calrissian, are consistently entertaining. …
Andrew Barker, Variety
…The last half hour and the lively opening make us almost forget the movie’s so-so middle. It brings all the elements together, points to the future and keeps the action to a human-scale minimum. If you want to see “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” I wouldn’t talk you out of it. …
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle
…a swashbuckling success, a space adventure that pays homage to the DNA of the original films while carving out its own unique space in the canon. It’s a sheer delight, but it also has the courage to explore the darker aspects of a character who could have all too easily been polished to an inoffensive, family-friendly Disney sheen. …
Bryan Bishop, The Verge
…most forgettable Star Wars movie… distinctly unimaginative… a bland heist movie in space that does nothing unexpected and never justifies its existence. …
Alissa Wilkinson, Vox
…there’s something a little jarring about seeing someone else being called Han… good-not-great movie… [B]
Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly
…what we got here is enough to keep us coming back again and again… That’s the best kind of Star Wars movie. …
Michael Roffman, Consequence of Sound
…isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s different and very well cast—and that’s enough. …The script…is capable but unremarkable, as is Howard’s direction. But the cast…consistently elevates the material. …
Christopher Orr, The Atlantic
…Audiences should feel free to lower their guard—to adjust expectations into B-movie territory. And as a B-movie, “Solo” delivers, sometimes in a way that reminds a viewer of this franchise’s roots in classic Saturday matinee adventure serials and sometimes simply as proficient, dutiful, time-passing entertainment. …
Ty Burr, The Boston Globe
…It may be the only official Star Wars feature that seems concerned exclusively with delivering a no-frills good time. Unfortunately, the film’s idea of a good time includes neither dynamite banter nor particularly memorable action scenes. …
A.A. Dowd, The A.V. Club
…It’s galling for a movie that costs so much and takes up so much cultural space to try to do so little, but it’s a familiar disappointment, like the dull ache of a tooth that only bothers you when you bite down on it wrong. …
Sam Adams, Slate
…a long, boring space slog… “Solo,” sadly, should be frozen forever in carbonite. … [1/4]
Johnny Oleksinski, New York Post