I remember when I first heard that Disney was taking the entire written collection of star wars novels and making them no longer canon, I was disheartened. While I hadn’t read all of the books out there, I do remember reading many of the novels, and those stories did an absolutely fantastic job of bringing a rich history to the universe that had been crafted by just a handful of movies. From the Heir to the Empire trilogy that detailed the work of Grand Admiral Thrawn five years after the events of Return of the Jedi; which was beautifully written and despite not being canon is a fantastic read. However, the trilogy that was loosely in my mind when I went to see Han Solo movie was the Han Solo trilogy. It details the life of Han Solo from his beginnings as a street urchin right up till his life changes forever in A New Hope.
Now I know that the trilogy is no longer the official version of the story, a mantle that the film took over, but I had still read it when I was younger, so there were certain facts form those books that were floating in my mind as the film’s story unfolded in front of me. There were some very marked differences between the two, which is to be expected, but those differences are not particularly relevant to the movie itself. Despite the differences, I think the fundamental character of Han Solo manages to remain intact in the film.
Also, I will say my piece right away, I was very disappointed with the opening scene of the movie. This is a star wars story, but you would never know that from its beginning moments. The scrolling text that gives the film its required backstory nor the star wars theme song was present, and I cringed a little inside. These are, or rather should be staples of any film that tries to establish itself in this universe. Now they might seem like small things, and in truth they are, but that doesn’t change the fact that they are synonymous with Star Wars despite the precedent that Rouge One set by excluding them.
With two strikes already going for the movie, you might think that I have no love for it, but you would be wrong. Watching the movie unfold I was able to relax and enjoy the story that Disney crafted for Han’s early life. And that is precisely the reason that I was pleasantly surprised by it in the end, it has a beautiful story at its heart. Yes, there is plenty of action throughout the film, but there was a tapestry of storylines that made for a realistic feature. In fact, there were so many floating storylines peppered throughout the movie that I’m sure they will be making another entry to continue the tale of Han Solo. And I am already very eager for such an installment, after all, we need to get Han into that Mos Eisley cantina so he can shoot first.