The best thing that can be said for Solo: A Star Wars Story is that it’s better than it has any right to be. That isn’t a slight against director Ron Howard or his cast and crew, who clearly all put a ton of work and passion into the project, but more to do with the very idea of a young Han Solo movie not being the most inspired of creative directions. Yet somehow, Solo turned out to be a pretty entertaining entry in the Star Wars canon that ranks up there with Rogue One as the best prequel in the franchise. It’s a fun heist flick that explores the criminal underbelly of the Star Wars universe more than any previous film in the series and features a great cast featuring standout performances from the likes of Donald Glover as a scenery-chewing Lando Calrissian and Phoebe Waller-Bridge as an activist droid. What’s not to like?
For as much as Solo gets right, it’s also a film that coasts by on familiarity. Much like the prequel trilogy before it, the film is filled with winks and nods to the audience that frequently come off as feeling forced or unnecessary. If Solo had just been the Star Wars version of a classic heist movie with new characters and settings, it may have been something truly great but as it stands, the film is continuously sidetracked with a need to fill in the backstory of Han Solo, Chewbacca, and other characters we’ve been introduced to previously. As a result, Solo gives us a number of answers to questions that no one was really asking.
12. How Did Han Get His Last Name?
I don’t know about you, but I always just assumed that Han Solo’s full name was … Han Solo. After all, Star Wars is filled with characters with short and sweet surnames and “Solo” seems to fit right in that category. In perhaps the most cringe-inducing scene in the movie, we learn that not only is Han’s given surname not Solo, but that it was given to him on the spot for the most absurdly straightforward reason. Separated from Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) and desperate for a way off Corellia, Han enlists in the Imperial Navy but when asked for his full name, reveals that he doesn’t have one. This prompts the recruitment officer to dub him “Han Solo” on account of him being on his own. Get it? Because he’s flying solo, you see? UGH