I had a jury duty summons and I told Christian Beranek that I would go see Solo IF, by some miracle, I didn’t have to go at all.  Lo and behold, I got a text and I was out.  But then I was back in for Star Wars.  SPOILERS AHEAD.

I’m out of Star Wars.  I really am.  Return of the Last Jedi was the last Star Wars movie I enjoyed.  Solo continues that streak.  I can’t say it was totally awful.  I mean, it was pretty watchable, well executed, act, effects, etc.  That’s not really the problem.  The problem is the massive amount of baggage an important franchise like this brings to the table.

Alden Ehrenreich does just fine as Han Solo, but he’s not Harrison Ford.  Donald Glover does just fine as Lando, but he’s not Billy Dee Williams.  Those days are gone.  The window on when Star Wars was a cool, creative, viable movie franchise slammed shut about midway through Return of the Jedi.  The first appearance of an Ewok did not bode well.  It was over.

Story-wise, Star Wars has always been problematic without the Empire and Darth Vader.  In the first three movies, you could imagine that there were all these planets and the big bad Empire just took them over after many years.  In Solo, the inner workings of the Empire don’t really work.  Is this before the clones?  After?  During?  How do you have crime syndicates AND an Empire?  Who is left to exploit at that point?  The Republic was still holding on in the beginning of the first movie, although falling apart—  Crime syndicates don’t thrive under authoritarian governments and those governments don’t need criminal syndicates.  They shoot criminals.

Additionally, Solo betrays the original concept of Han Solo being a badass.  Yes, they show you some of him developing, but the movie then inserts a series of diversity moments that don’t really add to the plot.  The droid that wants equal rights is ridiculous and the idea that Lando is maybe having a relationship with “her” is far fetched.  From the outset, the droid appears to be malfunctioning and egotistical.  You cannot trust a word the character says because her perception seems out of whack.

Still L3 the droid is tolerable.  What isn’t tolerable is the “diversity club” at the end of the movie that Han suddenly decides to help.  And a double cross on top of a double cross on top of two more just doesn’t work.  By the time we see Han in the original Star Wars, he’s jaded, out for himself.  Sure, this Han is younger, but his idealism springs from nowhere.  A stronger ending would’ve left him bitter, angry and determined never to let his guard down again.

The light moments are a bit too light and undermines the movie as a whole.  It feels like a TV movie.  The only weight the movie has, aside from Lando, Chewie and Han and one Darth appearance is—  nothing.  Chewie and Han meeting for the first time is the most exciting scene in the movie, but it happens early and who cares about the rest.

So between trying to explain what the Kessel Run is, all the double crossing, baggage and SJW nonsense, there’s no time to explain how the Hell the Star Wars universe even functions.  It’s been a problem since the first movie, but one you could overlook because of the vastness of the Empire.  The implication was the Empire had destroyed all the pre-existing governments, defenses, businesses, etc.  Without the Empire in context, they don’t loom large enough.  In the Empire’s place is a vacuum you’re expected to fill in, I guess.

I give Solo 5 out of 10 keggers.  Feels like a Netflix movie, bros.