I really love Solo, as I noted in my review of the movie. It has a lot of things I like in a movie generally, cover up in neat Star Wars wrapping paper, so there’s a lot to love. I get into internet arguments about this movie a lot, because I think it’s wonderful and I know a lot of people think it sucks. But those people are wrong because it’s great.
I’ve watched it several times now, and each time I am delighted. The action is clean, the characters are clear, the performances are wonderful. Do I wonder what it would have been like in it’s initial incarnation, sure, do I like Paul Bettany fine, but wonder if Michael K. William’s version of Dryden Voss was more interesting (it probably wasn’t, they’re both great actors, with similar placid with darkness boiling under the surface energy. But the representation boost would have been great, and I love Williams.)
I have to be honest though, I came to this movie for one thing and that thing delivered. From the moment of this movie’s conception I was saying I didn’t care what went on around it, I wanted Lando in this movie, and I wanted Donald Glover to play him and I would accept nothing else. As I’ve watched and rewatched Star Wars since things got moving again in the past few years Lando has become my OT favorite. (Obi-Wan is my prequel and overall story fave, Poe is my NT fave) I’m thrilled that Billy Dee Williams is reprising his role in The Rise of Skywalker.
Donald Glover was the only choice for Lando and Lando’s role in this screen play was perfect. Or whoever shot whatever got shot. Part of the tragedy of the internet (which I mostly love, because I wouldn’t be writing this if there wasn’t an internet) is that this movie got so burried. In an earlier time where only weirdos like my parents knew that Larry David was no longer running Seinfeld, (this is real. My parents were incensed when David left. They came around on the later seasons because they featured George and Elaine better and Jason Alexander and Julia Louis-Dreyfuss are brilliant, but it took time. Again, I come by my shit naturally) it wouldn’t have been turned over that and over that Lord and Miller were fired off the movie.
There’s a subtle sexism to the way this decision is talked about on the internet. As if it was a capricious and unnecessary decision on Kathleen Kennedy’s part. As if she isn’t a savvy, experienced producer who know what she wants. As if by clashing with the anarchic genius of these two men, she is somehow wrong, the thief of art.
There’s truth there, but it’s not a narrative attached to say, Joss Whedon’s departure from The MCU after clashing with Kevin Fiege. No, that was two visionaries with contrasting views of a film.
I told myself this post wasn’t going to be about the metanarrative and yet here we are. (To be fair, I couldn’t rightly spill 500 words on what I like about the movie, since part of what I like is how light and kind of shallow and silly it is.)
Next week we get into Rebels, with season 1. Rebels has grown on me as a show in general. It’s not as good as Clone Wars, but you will see this journey in Real Time.