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Thandie Newton honors Black Star Wars characters with 'Solo' premiere dress

Emilia Clarke at the Cannes screening of Solo A Star Wars Story Emilia Clarke at the Cannes screening of Solo A Star Wars Story Credit Venturelli WireImage
Adrian Cunningham | 16 May, 2018, 09:37

Solo: A Star Wars Story is about to land in theaters after a highly-publicized and turbulent flight, and if you'll allow me to belabor the metaphor, it sounds as if director Ron Howard managed to pull this particular spaceship out of a potentially disastrous nosedive and smooth things out in a satisfying way.

Granted, there was about only 15 minutes left in the movie, but it felt like an eternity. It's Star Wars: all roads lead back to the Empire.

Jason Guerrasio of Business Insider said, "Solo is not an terrible movie, it just has a few very bad parts that feel uninspired". This is particularly true in the third act of the movie.

Or maybe fellow giggly attendee Alden Ehrenreich is the secret to her great mood? How and when did he and Lando Calrissian-played here by Donald Glover, who gives the role a fashionably low-key hum worthy of Billy Dee Williams-become friends?

Discovering how Han met Chewbacca, or why he made the famous Kessel Run, doesn't make him more interesting.

"Aside from some pacing issues that plague the beginning and ending, the movie's backed by forward momentum, as Han attempts to look backward but can't help but be propelled into the future, toward a life of crime".

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It starts with some really lame opening text that sets the stage. The word is disappointing - which, in a way, is worse. Most of the time he is shown as trying to form and have a team but if that doesn't work out, "Oh, well". "She is the first black woman onscreen in a @starwars movie with a leading role". The film, which opens May 25, also does its best to overcome the inherent problems of a prequel where the audience already knows how the story ends. Hats off to Chewbacca actor Joonas Suotamo, who discreetly stepped into the franchise to take on more action-intensive scenes for original Chewie actor, Peter Mayhew, in 2016's The Force Awakens and has since assumed the reigns nearly entirely.

Recall that in the film one of the key moments of history dedicated to the young smuggler Han Solo, will, of course, meeting space pilot (Alden Ehrenreich) with the Wookiee Chewbacca (Joonas Swatara in costume). Sure, the plot has a few twists and reveals, as all plots do, but there's nothing about this movie that ever comes across as genuinely surprising, which is not exactly a shock itself since Howard is the ultimate journeyman director, and writers Lawrence and Jonathan Kasdan play it mostly safe the whole way.

He may have been lucky enough to win the Millennium Falcon off Lando - but do reviewers think Solo: A Star Wars Story also has the Force on Han Solo's side? Following a gripping train heist straight out of a classic Western, Beckett lands in debt to criminal mastermind Dryden Vos (Paul Bettany), raked with pink facial scars, whose henchman (or henchwoman) happens to be Qi'ra. She's a droid unlike any other in the Star Wars Universe.

While production designer Neil Lamont paints Planet Corellia as a brutalist deco urbanscape, his landscapes consist of mainly mountains and deserts, features that dominated his previous movie, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and, frankly, other entries in the series.

To this point, all the movies released so far since Disney took over Lucasfilm have been enormous money makers, so obviously the studio won't want to slow down.

The "Solo" story (superbly directed by the veteran Ron Howard, who took over after the original co-directors were fired over the time-honored "creative differences") takes place a decade before the events of "Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope", which would put Han Solo's age right around 20.