Yay the blog is back! Today, I’m continuing my series of posts of all the things I loved about Solo: A Star Wars Story, today I’ll be writing on the amazing new crew of characters we meet, and how they all exceeded every expectation I had! You can read the first part all about Han and Qi’ra here. Now where do I possibly begin…?
Contains spoilers from Solo and a vague element from Episode VIII. Also, please remember I have only seen the film once at this point, so there is a chance I may have misremembered some elements.
There is much I could say on reuniting with Han, Chewbacca, and Lando, especially since I’ve known them quite a while. And I certainly will do some more writing on them in the future. But right now, I feel I need to give some of the newbies the spotlight! Because wow do they ever deserve it!
I don’t know why, but I really didn’t expect to love these new scoundrel-sorts as much as I did. It’s not that I thought I wouldn’t like them, of course. Star Wars has this great habit of making truly amazing characters, and I have yet to meet one I genuinely don’t like (or absolutely love). And I already did like them from what I saw in the trailers and spots, but I suppose the whole “criminal underworld” vibe of the film got me assuming everyone very well could be a traitor, and even if they weren’t all traitors, they could still be cold-blooded, out-for-themselves, and not looking for friends. Perhaps other darker areas of Star Wars lore have made me a suspicious Sally. So I was expecting these characters to be cool, but I didn’t expect to become attached to them so quickly. Or that they’d make me laugh so hard… and cry so hard. These seemingly-gritty, hardened criminals were about to each make my ever-expanding favorite character list in a way I never anticipated!
Perhaps the biggest way they shot down my assumptions has to do with Tobias Beckett and his crew. Because of Beckett’s “assume everyone will betray you” advice, I figured he wouldn’t be one with a lot of friends. I expected his crew to be a loosely-knit group of criminal business partners who would be quick to betray your trust if large amounts of creds were involved. Instead, what I saw was something more of a thicker-than-blood family, with a mom and a dad and a goofball grown son! Throw in Han as the little brother and Chewie as the uncle, and suddenly all these plans for a train heist felt more like plans for a family road trip. Beckett, Val, and Rio were all tough customers, that I wasn’t wrong about, but these tough customers also were genuinely looking out for each other. They’d shared good times and bad times, and somehow maintained a sense of loyalty and a sense of humor through it all. Though we don’t know Val long, the sweet old-married-couple relationship she and Beckett have spoke volumes about both individuals, and who they really were at heart, beyond their jaded, scoundrel-y exteriors. And Rio? Oh my gravy I loved that guy! He was so fun, and Jon Favreau was a delight in the role! The witty pilot was among the film’s best-kept secrets. Understandably, because we don’t know him long either, but he just lit up the room every scene he was in. We need him in some more Star Wars stories, OK? ‘Cause boy do I miss him. Together, Val and Rio brought out the best in Beckett, making him incredibly relatable, and revealing what a truly intriguing, complex individual he is. And the somewhat-fatherly role he takes on with Han was neat to watch as well. I honestly didn’t see it coming when he ended up being the traitor among the newbies. But that only served to make him an even more fascinating character to me. I’m seriously still reeling from how great all this writing is!
Of all the new characters, L3-37 was probably the one I was most excited to meet, but she still went far, far beyond what I expected. She was not just a wonderfully brash, mouthy, and witty sidekick, L3 was, like all the characters in this film, a truly complex person. And that’s what surprised me a little! Though I’ve always known the droids we know best in Star Wars as thinking, feeling beings, the sheer range of L3’s emotions and the naturalness of her thought processes blew my mind. We see her absolutely distressed over droidfights, overjoyed at finding purpose in starting a rebellion, and even contemplating the complexities of romance while chatting with Qi’ra about their boys! (I know I died laughing in that scene, how about you?) Droids with endless amounts of personality are nothing new, and I certainly wouldn’t say droids like Artoo, BB-8, and Chopper are lacking in any way, but there’s something outstandingly different with L3-37, and I adore it to absolute pieces! She’s certainly made me look at droids in a whole new light, especially as I’ve always been fascinated with droid psychology and what free will means to them. And also, her friendship with Lando was so delightful and so precious, I really need to see more of them. But either way, I’m glad she’s still around in the Falcon! I’m sure she’s got some opinions on all those porgs nesting in the wiring XP
Anyway, that’s the story of how a bunch of rough-and-tough scoundrel-y types I didn’t know what to think of at first became absolute favorites. I’ll share more of my Solo faves sometime in the next week or so!
Keep The Peace,