The Solo: A Star Wars Story Blu-ray Paints A Blissful Picture Of A Troubled Production
There’s an old Hollywood adage that may apply to Solo: A Star Wars Story, or at least its Blu-ray release: films that are a pleasure to make are rarely a pleasure to watch. While this production was plagued by crippling setbacks (particularly the firing and/or resignation of directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller), the cast and crew can’t stop raving about the joyous experience they had making the movie. In spite of their obvious enthusiasm, Solo is almost universally regarded as the black sheep of the Disney-era Star Wars family. However, if you came out of the movie totally satisfied with the film’s portrayal of a young Han Solo, you’ll probably find plenty to appreciate on the home video release.
While Star Wars movies have been known to include substantial documentaries (sometimes feature length), this release steers clear of a comprehensive production history for obvious reasons. Instead, we get 15 minutes of deleted scenes, eight featurettes (averaging about eight minutes each), and the lengthiest extra, the 22-minute Solo: The Director & Cast Roundtable. Moderated by replacement director Ron Howard, this lightweight chat gives the film’s actors a chance to explain what they were doing when they landed their roles as well as the varied ways in which they violated their confidentiality agreements. Most interestingly, they reveal some essential advice that George Lucas shared, helping Alden Ehrenreich capture a little more of Harrison Ford’s Solo swagger.
Each of the shorter featurettes sheds light on a character (Team Chewie, Becoming a Droid: L3-37), a location (Remaking the Millennium Falcon, Welcome to Fort Ypso), or a sequence (Escape from Corelia, The Train Heist, Into the Maelstrom: The Kessel Run). Taken together, these shorts provide a pretty good overview of the production. Highlights include Jon Favreau’s improv sessions as Rio Durant, evidence of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s transformation into L3-37, and assorted clips of Ehrenreich wrestling with Chewbacca during their downtime.
The only other featurette is Kasdan on Kasdan, an eight-minute look at screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan. Kasdan has now had a hand in writing four Star Wars movies, going all the way back to The Empire Strikes Back. In the case of Solo, he joined forces (no pun intended) with his son Jonathan, writer and director of forgotten rom-coms In the Land of Women and The First Time. They detail the challenges of father-son screenwriting, their longstanding preoccupation with Han Solo, and the parallels between papa Kasdan and Lucas. The film itself falls well short of the trilogy that duo crafted together decades ago, but the passion of everyone involved is apparent throughout the Solo bonus material.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is now available on DVD, Blu-ray, and 4K Ultra HD. You can read our review here and check out the trailer below.