Dumb Things In Solo: A Star Wars Story That Everyone Just Ignored

Listen, this isn't going to be easy to say, and it probably won't be easy to hear: Solo: A Star Wars Story wasn't worse than hepatitis. It's difficult when you spend the whole lead-up to a movie building your expectations only to have them subverted like this, but what can you do? Sometimes a multibillion-dollar franchise specifically designed from its inception to be a crowd pleaser winds up actually pleasing crowds.

In spite of behind-the-scenes drama and the almost audible moans of every insatiable nerd on the internet, Solo: A Star Wars Story told a pretty nice, self-contained story. It was light on all the stuff people are tired of seeing in the series (Skywalkers, lightsabers, more Skywalkers) and stayed interesting, like, 90 percent of the way through, earning it a higher Rotten Tomatoes score than two out of three prequels, and that ain't bad.

All right. Now let's poke holes in Solo until its spleen falls out.

No dice

When Han's dice reappeared in The Last Jedi, they elicited two reactions from fans. A sparse few shouted "Those are Han's dice, as featured in the 1977 motion picture Star Wars: A New Hope, initially titled simply Star Wars but then retroactively..." before trailing off as the loneliness set it. The rest of us went "huh?"

The pair of golden dice that Luke focuses on so meaningfully in Last Jedi weren't, as it turns out, a huge deal. They popped up in New Hope for a couple shots, then promptly disappeared for 40 years. They weren't the most iconic piece of Han Solo paraphernalia, but it was clear from how prominently they appeared in Episode VIII that the Star Wars factory had big plans. Were they the dice Han was playing with when he won the Millennium Falcon from Lando? Were they all he had on him when the space nuns found him at the star orphanage? Those dice were important to the story. You could just feel it coming.

Anyway, five months later, Solo was released and it turned out that they were just something shiny that Han liked.


So Han brings the space fuel to the almost-rebels and Woody Harrelson is all "I have to jet, there's a bummer of a mid-credit easter egg for Venom calling my name." They say their goodbyes. Before he leaves, Woody mentions that there's a big job waiting on Tatooine if Han's in a smuggling mood. It's a fun nod. Han's going to end up on Tatooine, and he's going to work for Jabba, and one day he'll have a kid and everything will work out great, all thanks to the work referral of Zombieland's Tallahassee.

Except that a couple scenes later, Harrelson straight up betrays Han in a pretty big way, and it's implied that Han knew this was coming. So with this being the case, why would Han follow the job recommendation of a guy who thought he'd be dead in 20 minutes? If someone tried to kill you, and earlier that afternoon they'd said "By the way, I can set you up with an assistant manager position at Panera in the Valley if you want," would you still show up to Panera with your resume in hand?

No escape

Solo: A Star Wars Story added a lot of little details to the life of Han. Important details? Nah, not very often, but whatever. It was fun! One of the things that plenty of OG nerds took issue with was the Millennium Falcon's new silhouette; a simplified, cleaner look, absent of its trademark cookie-with-a-bite-taken-out gap in the front. During an action sequence, we learn that the Falcon used to have a set of escape pods built into the front of it, but they were ejected on account of drama.

So here's the problem. Why didn't Han ever pick up a couple new escape pods for his ship? The guy isn't generally stoked on the idea of seeing things through, and he's constantly on the run from either the Empire or any number of unscrupulous slug monsters. Doesn't that sound like the kind of person who'd want to invest in a quick getaway plan? At the very least, he could've puttied over the front of the ship. When the indent at the front of the Falcon was just part of its design, it was unique and charming. Now that we know it's the equivalent of a '97 Corolla with a missing rearview mirror, it's just kind of a drag.

You Proximad, bro?

Solo introduced us to a few new characters, with mixed results. There were a few duds, like the Social Justice Droid with a crush on Donald Glover and the six-armed comedy chimp from Act Two, but there were some winners, too. One of the standouts has to be the supremely creepy Lady Proxima, the crime boss of Corellia who looks like an Al Hirschfeld drawing of a celebrity centipede.

We're not going to sit here and argue about how stupid it was that Proxima is vulnerable to sunlight. That part was actually kind of cool. She's a weird alien. She comes from some weird alien planet, probably one that doesn't get a lot of sun. The filmmakers did a great job of setting that part of her backstory up with visual context clues. It was cool.

What was dumb was that she, this machiavellian mastermind running a whole planet's worth of crime, didn't have the foresight to board up her windows.

It's like riding a bicycle with a thousand buttons

Gosh, Han was great at flying spaceships, wasn't he? It's almost like it was his passion, life's work, and entire function as a character in the first movie. Weird that the Empire met a kid that had been boosting spaceships like they were Xboxes since he was 10 and said "eh, let's make him a grunt," but whatever. The military is gonna do what it's gonna do.

What's extra weird is that three years after Han joins the Imperial Army, he's still fresh as a daisy when it comes to flying sick interstellar starfighters. If you've ever driven a car for the first time in awhile, you'll understand where we're coming from. There's that awkward warm-up period where you have to remind yourself where the windshield wipers are, which one's the turn signal, which backroads you can drive down to avoid the police since your license was revoked, etc. All that has to be way harder in a spaceship, right?

The point is, how was Han still so great at piloting stuff after three years of grunt work? Did they have a copy of whatever the space version of Crazy Taxi is in the Imperial barracks?

It made Han boring

Here's this movie's greatest sin. Maybe it's nitpicky, maybe it's overly critical, and again, keep in mind that this was a well-put-together standalone film.

Okay, here goes: Solo: A Star Wars Story made Han Solo boring.

We're not talking about the presentation of the character himself within the picture. It's the implications regarding who Han is as a person that this movie screws the pooch on.

What was awesome about Han in New Hope was that he lived in the gray area. When we meet him, he's not a great dude. He's a moral sellout, doing any dirty job if the price is right. He doesn't have any problem threatening to have his buddy tear your arms off. The guy is practically an antihero. That's what makes it so great when he turns the Falcon around and chucks Luke the assist on a game-ending Death Star kersplosion — there was really nothing guaranteeing he'd come back at all. His decision to do the right thing felt like a genuine piece of character development. It was, to quote the Greek philosopher Parmenides, totally dope.

But now, thanks to Solo, we see that he's spent his whole life metaphorically turning around and helping blow up the Death Star. He gives the proto-rebels their space gas even though it'd be easier and more lucrative to hand it over to the bad guys. That means he's not morally gray at all. He's just a sweetheart who can't stop talking about how hardcore he is.