Lucasfilm’s Solo: A Star Wars Story arrives on Digital HD almost two weeks ahead of its Blu-Ray release date. Fans of a galaxy far, far away can relive the excitement, adventure, and humor of Han Solo’s origin story anytime, anywhere. Whether you’re at work scavenging, playing a game of sabacc, or making the Kessel Run, you never have to be without this film.
Young Han Solo is determined to get his girlfriend Qi’Ra off his scavenger world of Corellia, but things don’t go exactly as planned. Years after being separated, he ends up joining a band of thieves, which leads him back to Qi’Ra, who is now the property of a major crime lord. If he wants to free her, he will have to betray his selfish instincts.
Han Solo, Chewbaccca, and Lando Calrissian’s worlds intersect for the first time in this spin-off that harkens back to the original trilogy’s characters, style, and spirit. While the actors may be different, the characters feel the same. The film is largely based on a few lines of dialogue in the original trilogy that gave a tiny glimpse into the lives of all three characters.
A few things are a given if you’ve seen the original trilogy before. This includes the way Han Solo ends up becoming the owner of the Millennium Falcon, the fact that he and Chewie will make it through whatever obstacles the film throws their way, and that he will complete the Kessel Run (in less than12 parsecs, even). However, that doesn’t make it any less fun.
I ask you this: since you’ve seen a Star Wars film before, does it mean that you won’t enjoy watching it again? No, it doesn’t, and that’s why all Star Wars fans owe it to themselves to give Solo: A Star Wars Story a chance. What it lacks in Jedi mythology and lightsaber duels it makes up for in exciting action and comedic moments.
With some in-depth bonus features, fans will be surprised to find how many effects were practical and in-lens. They will also find deleted scenes and lots of behind-the-scenes footage, including a visit to the set by George Lucas. There isn’t much in the way of discussion about the production’s change of directors, but that’s okay. It spares us the drama and focuses on the magic of movie making.
- Solo: The Director & Cast Roundtable (21:44) – Ron Howard sits down with the cast to discuss their memories of making the film, influences behind their characters, and George Lucas’ visit to the set.
- Kasdan on Kasdan (7:50) – Writer Lawrence Kasdan (The Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi) and his son Jonathan Kasdan collaborate on their first project in this featurette.
- Remaking the Millennium Falcon (5:36) – The cast and creative team discuss bringing the Millennium Falcon to the screen when it was less damaged and owned by Lando and reveal that it’s the same set from The Force Awakens with updated set dressings.
- Escape from Corellia (9:59) – The creative team discuss the film’s opening world and the terrestrial inspirations behind it.
- The Train Heist (14:30) – From storyboards to previs, blocking, location filming, and post-production, this look at one of the film’s biggest action sequences becomes an excellent peek into the filmmaking process.
- Team Chewie (6:41) – Young Chewie is explored, including the reveal that Chewbacca’s lines in the script were written out in English.
- Becoming a Droid: L3-37 (5:06) – Actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge brings life into L3 with an on-set suit and some digital enhancements.
- Scoundrels, Droids, Creatures and Cards: Welcome to Fort Ypso (8:02) – Dive deeper into the set of the hunting lodge/gambling den, speak easy practical set that serves as the setting of Han and Lando’s first meeting.
- Into the Maelstrom: The Kessel Run (8:28) – Dive deep into the iconic Kessel Run sequence, including creating the space monster that pursues the Falcon.
- Deleted Scenes (15:17) – Five deleted scenes and three extended scenes are available individually or with a “Play All” feature.
- Proxima’s Den (1:20) – Han wakes Qi’Ra up in an attempt to avoid conflict.
- Corellian Foot Chase (1:45) – Han and Qi’Ra are persued through a market on foot.
- Han Solo: Imperial Cadet (1:56) – Han gets in trouble for disobeying orders as an Imperial Cadet.
- The Battle of Mimban: Extended (1:59) – Han’s introduction to Beckett is extended in this extra footage.
- Han Versus Chewie: Extended (5:32) – Han and Chewbacca’s rough introduction was originally much longer.
- Snowball Fight! (0:47) – Han and Chewie have a playful snowball fight.
- Meet Dryden: Extended (1:13) – Han eats some weird space crab in this extended scene.
- Coaxium Double-Dross (0:38) – Han figures out how to swap cases of coaxium in this unseen clip.
One advertised bonus feature, “The Millennium Falcon: From Page to Park,” is missing from all digital versions so far, including Movies Anywhere. Laughing Place has already received our review copy of the Blu-Ray disc and it is not an on-disc feature either, making it’s absence from all digital releases all the more puzzling. Perhaps it will be added at a later date.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is an action-packed adventure with genuinely hilarious moments. Inspired by the original trilogy, it gives fans exactly what they’ve been begging for while being more lighthearted than Rogue One. The digital release gives fans an early chance to own the film with hours of bonus features.
Alex has been blogging about Disney films since 2009 after a lifetime of fandom. He joined the Laughing Place team in 2014 and covers films across all of Disney’s brands, including Star Wars, Marvel, and Fox, in addition to books, music, toys, consumer products, and food. You can hear his voice as a member of the Laughing Place Podcast and his face can be seen on Laughing Place’s YouTube channel where he unboxes stuff.