Solo: A Star Wars Story Parent Guide
The history behind Han Solo
Parent Movie Review
Now that the Disney conveyor belt is warmed up and accelerating at light speed, we can expect to see Star Wars join its Marvel cousins as the Mouse House multiplies and replenishes cinemas with a galaxy full of origin tales and subsequent adventures. (When Porkins gets his story, we know we’re near the end of the list.)
Alden Ehrenreich won the casting lottery to play legendary Han Solo as a much younger man. Yet whether the role will forever alter the 28-year-old actor’s career will depend on fans’ acceptance of a performance that is just as much about evoking Harrison Ford’s swagger as it is about revealing the mercenary smuggler’s backstory.
We meet young Solo on his home world of Corellia. In this highly industrialized environment he yearns to be a skilled aviator. However, the heavy-handed rule of the Empire is beginning to take hold. In a desperate move to leave the planet and gain freedom, he manages to escape—but not before the authorities nab his girlfriend Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke). Enlisting with the dark side so he can become a pilot, he instead finds himself on a muddy battlefield. It’s here that he meets Beckett (Woody Harrelson), a shifty character who has far bigger and profitable interests than fighting for the Empire, along with a Wookie named (you guessed it) Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo).
The script swiftly moves on to a heist-gone-wrong, a bad otherworld mafia boss (Paul Bettany), a game of cards that introduces us to Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) and the iconic Millennium Falcon spaceship. Needless to say, Solo’s “ownership” of the craft isn’t without dispute.
Parents can expect violence similar to other Star Wars episodes. Lightsabers are near extinct in this pre-“use the force” story. Still, there are blasters, blades and the universal fist to take down a wide selection of opponents, including humans, aliens, droids and the superfluous storm trooper. With all this mayhem, blood effects are few. Profanities are relatively infrequent, however there are a few more than back in the Harrison Ford era. Likewise some veiled sexual banter is included, particularly referencing a romance between a human and a robot: “How does that work?” asks one character. “It works,” replies the other.
As expected, Solo: A Star Wars Story visits most of the dangling backstory threads presented in the first trio of movies. While that may satisfy our desires to know more about the guy who flew his ship and “made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs”, it also leaves few surprises in the character’s development. Unlike Rogue One, which built on a plot point (obtaining the plans to a secret star base), in this movie we learn that Solo likes fast ships, is a sucker for a nice girl and isn’t afraid of shady deals that lead to easy cash. Hardly surprising.
While the focus of this movie is on Solo and Ehrenreich’s depiction, the more interesting roles are in the hands of the more capable Harrelson and Bettany. Ironically, Solo is a character who is much more interesting when he’s not working alone.Directed by Ron Howard. Starring Alden Ehrenreich, Donald Glover, Joonas Suotamo. Running time: 135 minutes. Theatrical release May 25, 2018. Updated May 25, 2018
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Rating & Content Info
Why is Solo: A Star Wars Story rated PG-13? Solo: A Star Wars Story is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for sequences of sci-fi action/violence.
Violence: Much of the run time of this movie portrays action violence using fantastical (for example, ray guns or “blasters”) and real (knives) weapons. We see characters shot, slashed and stabbed, however the details and blood effects are minimal. A sequence depicts a battle in a traditional Earth-like war environment, with soldiers on a muddy battleground where some are shot, and momentarily shown, dead on the ground. Other violence: A woman is apprehended by government officials when she tries to leave her country. A man is locked in an underground prison where he is expected to be consumed by a “beast” (he isn’t). A character dies from a baster-shot. A man is seen with a bloody knife, and we are told he has just killed a government official – we see a body on the floor. Slaves are killed while working. A droid character is shot and killed. Another background droid is suddenly run over and killed. It is implied a woman is being held captive by a man. A fight ensues and a character is killed.
Sexual Content: A male human is in love with a female robot (which vaguely resembles a humanoid); when a character asks, with a sexual subtext, “How does that work”, he replies “It works”. A brief scene shows a man and woman in a bedroom. She appears wearing a robe and he makes a comment and gesture suggesting they have sex (which doesn’t happen). Characters kiss.
Profanity: About a half-dozen mild profanities and a partial scatological term are heard.
Alcohol / Drug Use: Characters drink an unknown substance in a bar. Some other social drinking is briefly depicted.
Page last updated May 25, 2018
More parents' guide for Solo: A Star Wars Story after the break...
Solo: A Star Wars Story Parents' Guide
People who study film have long argued that science fiction movies and stories are very similar to westerns. This movie seems to embrace that concept. What elements of this film remind you of that genre? What are the conflicts in this film? Do they resemble an old-school western? (You may have to ask your grandparents about this!)
If you could make an "origin story" about a Star Wars character, which would you pick? What new characters would you introduce?
News About "Solo: A Star Wars Story"
Have you ever wondered how Han Solo became the charming scoundrel we had all come to know and love? Well, wonder no more. This movie, tells his backstory. Alden Ehrenreich plays the young Han Solo, who is about to meet other familiar characters like Chewbacca (Jones Suotamo) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover). Ron Howard takes the director's chair for this production. Other stars who make appearances include: Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Thandie Newton and Phoebe Waller-Bridge.
Like Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, this tale fits into the timeline of the official cannon of episodes -- likely somewhere between the end of Episode 3 (Revenge of the Sith) and the beginning of Episode 4(A New Hope).
From the Studio:
Board the Millennium Falcon and journey to a galaxy far, far away in “Solo: A Star Wars Story,” an all-new adventure with the most beloved scoundrel in the galaxy. Through a series of daring escapades deep within a dark and dangerous criminal underworld, Han Solo meets his mighty future copilot Chewbacca and encounters the notorious gambler Lando Calrissian, in a journey that will set the course of one of the Star Wars saga’s most unlikely heroes.
- Walt Disney Studios
Related home video titles:The other movies that are part of Star Wars Franchise include: - Episode I: The Phantom Menace - Episode II: Attack of the Clones - Episode III: Revenge of the Sith - Episode IV: A New Hope - Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back - Episode VI: Return of the Jedi - Episode VII: The Force Awakens - Episode VIII: The Last Jedi - Episode IX
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story also belongs to the franchise.