I like prequels. I think they’re a creative way of imagining a character’s past, or creating a past for an undeveloped character. Wide Sargasso
Sea, a book by Jean Rhys, might be considered a prequel. In Wide Sargasso Sea Rhys develops a character from Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë: that of the mad wife. Rhys gives her a past and a personality, a voice, and a reason for why she is cast as the silent, voiceless shut-away in Brontë’s classic.
In Solo: A Star Wars Story, it is Han Solo’s past that is imagined. Viewers are given the reasons for Han’s friendship with Chewbacca, for how Han (played by Alden Ehrenreich) acquired his ship, and how his skills at flying and fast problem-solving were developed. We see how he got the surname ‘Solo’ and why he’s a homeless vagabond. Han’s love for girlfriend, Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke), is also explored and in fact forms the basis of the plot. What remains undeveloped by the end, though, is Han’s understanding of other people’s motives, including those of Qi’ra. Han remains a fairly naïve, gung-ho youngster, compared to the weary, battered, cynical Han we know from the main Star Wars stories.
Fast action starts from the very first scene and is maintained at a good pace throughout. An exciting scene involving a double-sided high-speed train is pretty exciting. Woody Harrelson as fellow crook, Beckett, and Paul Bettany as main bad guy, Dryden Vos, are good in their roles.
Solo: A Star Wars Story opens at cinemas in South Africa today, 25 May 2018.