This has everything the Star Wars junkie could want; namely, plenty of first acquaintances and stories. It has the background of Solo and Chewie, a first meet-up with Lando, and of course the finding of the Millenium Falcon — with stories like the 12 parsec Kessel run and the ‘fair in square’ gambling that got Han his ship. It also has a great little cast including, but not limited to, our sweet madam from West World, Maeve (Thandie Newton), Ted Kaczynski from Manhunt (Paul Bettany), and our ‘I think it’s safe to say nobody here’s gonna be splitting the atom’ Marty (Woody Harrelson) from True Detective. I didn’t have much of a background going into the movie on cast and crew but went in expecting failure and came out surprised at how good it was. It was not only an exciting ride but also delivered in other aspects where some of the past (most recent) movies have failed, such as writing. It is odd that the best films that have come out in the past 4 years have been from the “side stories” if you will and not part of what is better known as “The Saga”. I do not want to give too many more spoilers than I already have, but as I have already iterated, if you are a Star Wars fan, then go see this movie. If you are not a Star Wars fan, then go see this movie because it may be enough to warm your sensibilities to the films.
Where is this in relation to other movies:
If you are not sure where this movie lines up in the plot, that is fine, we will not throw you in a cage with a Wookiee and we will hold Order 66 as well. DigitalSpy gives us some great insight and highlights exactly where this story fits in, and not to mention where other film and shows fit in as well. Here is an important aspect about knowing where/how everything fits together:
“Note: To follow this properly, you’re going to need to understand two acronyms – BBY (before the Battle of Yavin) and ABY (after the Battle of Yavin). The Battle of Yavin was an attempt to destroy the Rebel base of Yavin IV that ended in the destruction of the first Death Star as seen in A New Hope.” — DigitalSpy
In between Episode III: Revenge of the Sith (19 BBY) and Episode IV: A New Hope (0 BBY) rests our little new Solo movie. There are about 19 years between these two movies and it looks like this falls somewhere between 13BBY-10BBY. Han was born in 29BBY so he would be in his late teens or early twenties, most likely. I watched Episode III before going to see Solo, and it didn’t help much other than get me in a Star Wars mood.
So… I wanna watch all of them. What’s the order?
This question gets really convoluted indeed. I have always leaned towards a chronological viewing but I know others swear by what is known as the Machete Order. To sum it up it makes Luke the main story and centers the order of viewing around him, starting with Episode 4 and 5 and moving to Episode 2 and 3, and skipping 1 altogether. Let me lay out the chronological order for you, and if you so choose to center your viewing around Luke and Tasha Station and power converters, go ahead. Here is the order (leaving out shows/series/animation etc.).
Episode I: The Phantom Menace
Episode II: Attack of the Clones
Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
Solo: A Star Wars Story
Rogue One: A Star Wars Story
Episode IV: A New Hope
Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
Episode VI: Return of the Jedi
Episode VII: The Force Awakens
Episode VIII: The Last Jedi
Here is the post from DigitalSpy that takes a more in depth look at this order, with some major spoilers as well but a great read.
What can I look forward to next?
Let me just give you the layout of what we have in store for the next few years.
December 20th 2019: Episode IX — which JJ Abrams has taken over in directing.
2020ish: A Star Wars Story: Obi Wan?? — nobody is exactly sure where this third Star Wars story will take us but most speculation revolves around Uncle Ben as a young Jedi and what he could be up to.
2021–? Rian Johnson (The Last Jedi) as been given some sort of trilogy that he will be working on and so have Game of Thrones creators Dave Benioff and D.B. Weiss! Both projects will not be related and we have no idea what they will be about!
Here is an in-depth summary from GamesRadar that highlights these possibilities.
I will leave you with the challenge of watching all of the Star Wars films in under 12 parsecs (as a unit of distance). Good Luck and may the Force be with you!