"Who is Luke Skywalker?" That was the question that prompted J.J. Abrams to take the helm of The Force Awakens, and "Who is Han Solo?" is the question that is answered by Solo: A Star Wars Story.
There are plenty of twists and turns throughout the movie, and the level of fan service has reached new heights, without being too heavy-handed, with references from a variety of sources, including a character first seen in Rogue One. The jokes don't come as thick and fast as The Last Jedi, but there are still plenty of laughs to be had, usually courtesy of Lando's droid L3-37.
Much has been said about Donald Glover stealing the show as Lando, and he certainly delivers the required amount of charisma and sophistication to perfectly echo Billy Dee Williams' performance in the original trilogy, but it is his droid, L3-37 who is fast becoming a fan favorite. Alden Ehrenreich does an admirable job of making the role of young Han Solo his own, and maintains a fine balance of arrogance and charm that makes his character so appealing.
As was the case with The Last Jedi, the score includes several familiar touchpoints from previous episodes of the saga, not least a rousing rendition of a piece from the original trilogy. While the remainder of the score from composer John Powell certainly doesn't appear out-of-place in a Star Wars movie, there are no standout moments during the first listen.
There's no hiding from the fact that there has been a lot of discussion about the direction Disney are taking the Star Wars franchise, particularly given the split reactions to The Last Jedi, and while Solo: A Star Wars Story has been referred to as a movie that nobody asked for, it does make for a fun film and gives us insight into what made Han Solo the lovable rogue many of us have come to adore.
Solo: A Star Wars Story opens in theatres in North America this Friday, 25th May.