Solo: A Star Wars Story experienced some intense changes over the course of production, but it came out on the other end intact, according to the critics coming out of the premiere screening of the film in Los Angeles on Thursday night.
The first reactions to the second standalone Star Wars film has many calling Alden Ehrenreich, who plays a young Han Solo, “the real deal” with “swagger to match.”
“Alden Ehrenreich is super impressive as Han,” Yahoo’s Kevin Polowy tweeted.
“It takes a bit for it to find its feet and for [Ehrenreich] to turn on enough charm to make you forget he’s not [Harrison Ford],” IndieWire’s Kate Erbland noted. “But once it kicks into its hey-let’s-make-a-crew and yes-also-do-a-heist stuff, it totally flies.”
Solo: A Star Wars Story centers on a moment from Han Solo’s life before he became the intergalactic scoundrel-smuggler we know through Ford’s performance in the original Star Wars trilogy. On his heist travels, he meets future BFF Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), a young Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) and his droid counterpart L3 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge), old friend Qi’Ra (Emilia Clarke), and mentor Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson).
No surprise here: Glover’s turn as Lando was hailed as a “delightful,” “legit fantastic” standout.
Ron Howard directs the film, though he came on as a replacement to Phil Lord and Chris Miller. The 22 Jump Street and The LEGO Movie helmers parted ways with Lucasfilm over “creative differences” weeks before filming was supposed to end. While critics have yet to publish more in-depth reviews, this behind-the-scenes shake-up didn’t seem to register in the film.
The reactions weren’t all raves. Collider’s Perri Nemiroff was “was really hoping for higher stakes, more energy and depth,” while CinemaBlend’s Eric Eisenberg wrote it’s “slow to find its footing” with “the occasional prequel problem.”
Solo: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters on May 25. See more reactions below.
Ooo @StarWars fans you are in for a friggin TREAT w/ #Solo. Killer cast. A great adventure. So much fun. #hansolo
— Kara Warner (@karawarner) May 11, 2018
It does take a bit to get used to Alden as Han, but after 30 minutes or so your brain adjusts. (Also I’ve now finally seen Clint Howard in a Star Wars movie.) #soloastarwarsstory
— Mike Ryan (@mikeryan) May 11, 2018
Alden Ehrenreich is the real deal, Thandie Newton is who I want to be when I grow up, and Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s L3… well we’ll talk about that later. ? #SoloAStarWarsStory
— Angie J. Han (@ajhan) May 11, 2018
Wow. Just come out of #SoloAStarWarsStory and can confirm it’s kinda a blast. @donaldglover was as perfect as expected, but Alden Ehrenreich has swagger to match, and spare.
— Joel Meares (@joelmeares) May 11, 2018
And also, L3-37 is utter scene stealer #SoloAStarWarsStory
— Joel Meares (@joelmeares) May 11, 2018
There’s some fun to be had with #SoloAStarWarsStory. Ehrenreich was solid and really enjoyed Glover and Waller-Bridge as L3, but not convinced we needed a young Han Solo movie. Was really hoping for higher stakes, more energy and depth.
— Perri Nemiroff (@PNemiroff) May 11, 2018
Solo: A Star Wars Story is a goddamn delight. It’s a non-stop adventure packed with way more emotion than your expecting. You’ll have a smile on your face the whole time and leave eager for more. pic.twitter.com/fOsF7Tr95L
— Germain Lussier (@GermainLussier) May 11, 2018
I don’t want to add too much more — review on Tuesday, y’all — but feel remiss to not add that Donald Glover is a delightful Lando and no one should sleep on what Phoebe Waller-Bridge does as his beloved droid. Solid supporting cast all around, but they are highlights.
— Kate Erbland (@katerbland) May 11, 2018
I figured if @DisneyStudios was willing to show ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ a few weeks before release it must be good and it absolutely is. Film is a blast and a welcome addition to the Star Wars universe. @RealRonHoward you did a great job. Congrats. pic.twitter.com/1pkWH2y6qE
— Steven Weintraub (@colliderfrosty) May 11, 2018
Got out of #SoloAStarWarsStory and I’m completely floored. This movie seriously holds up! I was on the edge of my seat and had so much fun watching it! Interviewing the stars of the film tomorrow, cannot wait ?? pic.twitter.com/7GAr6h2c8q
— Jacki Jing (@JackiJing) May 11, 2018
#Solo is afun! I was pleasantly surprised that it worked as well as it did given all the behind the scenes drama & retooling. Charming cast, fun action, good jokes, good fan service but still does its own thing. #StarWars will be fine.
— Jim Vejvoda (@JimVejvoda) May 11, 2018
#Solo was a blast. The Kasdans nail the character of Han Solo. Yes, the story is a series of expected events (Han meets chewie….etc) but none of them happen as expected. Stay away from spoilers, big Marvel-level shit that will make you wonder where Lucasfilm is headed next.
— Peter Sciretta (@slashfilm) May 11, 2018
#SoloAStarWarsStory is reaaaaalllly good. Fun as hell. It’s a straight intergalactic heist movie, kind of refreshing to see a Star Wars movie w/o a Death Star or the rebellion’s fate at stake. Alden Ehrenreich is super impressive as Han, but L3 might be my favorite new character.
— Kevin Polowy (@djkevlar) May 11, 2018
Solo: A Star Wars Story is… fine. It’s slow to find its footing, but picks up in the second act, and it’s definitely fun. Has the occasional prequel problem answering questions I didn’t need answers to, but also some fun references. Overall I liked it, didn’t love it pic.twitter.com/dV02yRYueA
— Eric Eisenberg (@eeisenberg) May 11, 2018