First Solo: A Star Wars Story reactions are unanimous in praise for the troubled film

The famously troubled Solo: A Star Wars Story finally has something going in its favour - the only thing that matters. People like it. A day after its world premiere, here are first reactions.
In this image released by Lucasfilm, Alden Ehrenreich appears in a scene from Solo: A Star Wars Story.(AP)
In this image released by Lucasfilm, Alden Ehrenreich appears in a scene from Solo: A Star Wars Story.(AP)
Updated on May 11, 2018 12:35 PM IST
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Hindustan Times | By HT Correspondent, New Delhi

Solo: A Star Wars Story held its world premiere in Los Angeles on Thursday, blocking out Hollywood Boulevard with a scale replica of the Millennium Falcon. And a day later, in a sign of great confidence in the film, embargoes have been lifted on critics’ reactions. Against all odds - and as we know, Han Solo isn’t one to pay attention to odds - the film is receiving tremendously positive reactions.

Putting fans’ concerns to rest, Alden Ehrenreich’s lead performance is being called ‘the real deal’. Amid the film’s turbulent production, it was reported that Ehrenreich’s performance as the rogue Han Solo - a part made popular by Harrison Ford - wasn’t up to the mark, and that an acting coach had to be hired for him on set.

An overview of the premiere for the movie Solo: A Star Wars Story in Los Angeles, California. (REUTERS)
An overview of the premiere for the movie Solo: A Star Wars Story in Los Angeles, California. (REUTERS)

But this was only a blip in the larger barrage of troubles that plagued Solo. In May, 2017, directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord (The Lego Movie, 21 Jump Street) were fired from the film with only a few more weeks of filming left. It was reported that their loose working style hadn’t sat well with LucasFilm chief Kathleen Kennedy. In June, Ron Howard (Apollo 13, The Da Vinci Code) was hired as their replacement. A recent Wall Street Journal report quoted several insiders who said that what was reported in the media as last minute reshoots was in fact a more extensive process. Howard reportedly re-shot 70% of the movie, and delivered a final cut ahead of schedule.

His contribution - and discussions with Lord and Miller - resulted in Howard receiving sole director credit on the film.

Critics praised the film’s tone, and smaller stakes. In addition to Ehrenreich, they singled out Donald Glover’s performance as Lando as another highlight. Glover has been making headlines for his controversial This is America music video, and Disney has been cashing in on his popularity by sending him on publicity rounds.

Here are reactions:

Solo is the second Star Wars spin-off after 2016’s Rogue One. A third film in the main trilogy that is running parallell will arrive in 2019. Also starring Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton and Paul Bettany, the film will be screened at the ongoing Cannes Film Festival ahead of its May 25 release.

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