Solo: A Star Wars Story was not the hit film that Disney was hoping it would be in 2018, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a good movie by any stretch. Its worldwide gross was just short of $400 million, which does seem like a failure when you compare it to the box office receipts from The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi, and Rogue One, but there are many factors that could have contributed to the ultimate performance of Solo. It came just on the heels of Avengers: Infinity War and less than a year after The Last Jedi debuted to mixed criticism, plus its summer release means it had even more outside competition. Factor in the production problems and a story that most people didn’t necessarily care to see and you had a disaster waiting to happen. However, it actually ended up being pretty good and a lot of fun, and now you can own it on Blu-ray or 4K UHD!
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Solo: A Star Wars Story follows the early adventures of Han Solo before all of the action in A New Hope. The film starts off on Corellia with Han’s escape off the planet and along the way we see him join the Empire, meet Chewbacca and Lando for the first time, and make the famous Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs. There is so much more to Solo beyond these highlights, but overall the movie is a fast-paced western adventure with an amazing cast featuring Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, and Woody Harrelson. Alden Ehrenreich does an admirable job filling the shoes of Han Solo and even though I don’t fully buy him as the character, he still has an enigmatic presence and is very entertaining to watch.
Unlike Marvel Blu-ray releases, Solo: A Star Wars Story has decent bonus features that help fill out the home release and make it really worth the purchase value. It has a nice mix of interviews along with behind-the-scenes footage and a handful of deleted scenes and you couldn’t really ask for much more in terms of making-of context. Sure it would be great to have some behind-the-scenes footage of what was happening before Ron Howard stepped in to direct, but that was never going to happen. Let’s take a look at the highlights.
- Solo: The Director & Cast Roundtable – This feature is a panel moderated by Ron Howard featuring all of the stars of the film and covers topics from how they found out they were cast in the movie to the challenges of playing their roles and the fun they had on set. This is a long, in-depth discussion that is way better than it should be. It doesn’t cover every aspect of how the movie was made, but it is the most entertaining of all the features and is an enjoyable watch.
- Kasdan on Kasdan – This features is about Lawrence Kasdan and Jonathan Kasdan and their experience writing the movie together. Lawrence has writing credits from Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi, and The Force Awakens and brings that perspective when discussing why and how he wanted to be involved with Solo and Jonathan has the interesting perspective of growing up with his father working on all of these movies and now getting to be involved. This is a short, but sweet bonus feature.
- Team Chewie – This bonus feature focuses heavily on the sound design that went in to expanding Chewbacca’s vocabulary and more behind-the-scenes footage of Joonas taking over the role. Entertaining for Chewbacca fans or sound design fans.
- Remaking the Millennium Falcon – This feature showcases how the Millennium Falcon was redesigned for Solo in its pristine condition while under the care of Lando along with its features that haven’t really been seen before and how they worked backwards to design the entire thing. This one is definitely interesting if you’re a fan of set and graphic design.
- Escape from Corellia – This bonus feature shows how Han and Qi’ra’s escpae from Corellia was filmed from a practical and digital perspective and it gives a lot of insight on a scene that most would probably expect to be mostly CGI. This bonus feature helps you appreciate the film a lot more.
- Into the Maelstrom: The Kessel Run – This bonus feature doesn’t focus on a lot, but the coolest aspect is that it shows behind-the-scenes footage of the dome that was created around the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon so you could see how they filmed the Kessel Run. It is a unique perspective and it’s not often that you truly get to see shots from this perspective of the actual making of the movie. You don’t even need to pay attention to all of the details, just watch the footage.
Other bonus features include The Train Heist, Becoming a Droid: L3-37, Scoundrels, Droids, Creatures and Cards: Welcome to Fort Ypso, and eight deleted scenes. The other featurettes aren’t bad or boring, but they aren’t as intriguing as the ones already discussed and the deleted scenes were deleted for a reason. One bonus feature that was listed with the original press release was The Millennium Falcon: From Page to the Park that was supposed to be a look at the history of the ship and how it will be translated into Disney Parks, but it turns out that this is a digital only release if you bought your copy at Target.
Overall, with a plethora of interesting bonus features and a solid, enjoyable film, Solo: A Star Wars Story is completely worth picking up if you’re a fan of Star Wars and may be even worth checking out if you consider yourself a casual fan at best. Solo: A Star Wars Story is available on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray, DVD, On-Demand, and Digitally.