Solo: A Star Wars Story Review

Solo: A Star Wars Story Review | Green Card Back

Back in April I wrote how important Solo: A Star Wars Story is going to be for the Star Wars franchise, as it presented the fandom with its first chance to show Disney what it really thought of The Last Jedi. As it’s turned out that’s pretty much exactly what happened, and it’s currently looking 50/50 as to whether the film will even break even.

Yet it all seems a bit unfair to punish Ron Howard’s undoubtedly hard-working crew and cast for the stalled sequel trilogy – especially when Solo is a competent, well-made ride that actually adds to the characters we already know. And since this is the passion project of Lawrence ‘The Force Awakens‘ Kasdan we’re talking about, it could so very easily have gone the other way…

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First Look at Solo: A Star Wars Story

First look at Solo: A Star Wars Story | Green Card Back

This week the deadlock finally broke as Lucasfilm brought us not just one but two advance looks at this May’s Solo: A Star Wars Story.

First out of the traps was the ‘Big Game‘ TV spot, which debuted in the US with the Superbowl and caused chatter amongst nerd keyboards globally. The one minute reel gives us the briefest of looks at the core cast (hey there, moody noir-lit Han) and some cool visuals, along with a most un-Star Wars take on the soundtrack.

On Monday morning (US time) the full teaser trailer saw release on Good Morning America. It gives us a bit of a better look at the characters (hey there, double-bandolier strap Chewie), a few more impressive character designs and visuals and a bit more understanding of the plot (so it’s a heist film, right?). In short, it does everything a good teaser trailer needs to do.

Read: 4 Reasons Why Solo: A Star Wars Story Might Not Suck

There is still the big question that’s going to loom over the entire film – and no, I don’t mean whether or not Alden Ehrenreich the right choice to play Han (first impressions are so-so on that score, but I’m willing to be impressed). What Solo: A Star Wars Story needs to demonstrate to me is whether there was ever a good reason to make it at all.

Lucasfilm has already slaughtered the Original Trilogy‘s sacred cows with the Sequel Trilogy, so we shouldn’t be surprised by anything that fundamentally changes our understanding of the Han Solo character. As far as I’m concerned, if the film manages to get anywhere near Rogue One quality while also giving us a good reason for Han to return to smuggling in later life (because The Force Awaken‘s deadbeat absent dad really didn’t fly), then I’ll be happy. Anything more than that will be a bonus.

Buy into the hype train (or don’t). We’re going to find out all about Solo on May 25th.


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Chewbacca (POTF2) Review

Power of the Force (POTF2) Chewbacca Figure Review | Green Card Back

Power of the Force, 1995

Accessories: Bowcaster, Heavy Blaster Rifle
Appears in: A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back

Card Back: As Han Solo’s partner, Chewbacca the Wookiee (or Chewie, as Solo calls him) distinguished himself as a talented pilot, starship mechanic and smuggler. After being rescued from Imperial slavers by Solo, Chewbacca pledged a life debt to the rogue pilot and followed him to several different planets as their relationship grew and the two became close friends and partners. When Solo acquired the light freighter Millennium Falcon, he and Chewbacca began their career as intergalactic smugglers. Chewbacca’s reputation as a brawler gave him a distinct advantage in shady business negotiations, and it was he who initiated the deal to transport Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker from Tatooine to Alderaan.

Chewbacca aided in the rescue of Princess Leia, posing as a prisoner to allow Solo and Skywalker (disguised as Stormtroopers) entrance to the Death Star’s detention area. After their daring escape, Chewie convinced his friend Han Solo to assist the Rebel assault on the space station, which gave Luke Skywalker the chance he needed to destroy the Empire’s dreaded Battle Station.

It makes perfect sense that, just as in 1978, the Wookiee Chewbacca was the first alien character to receive an action figure in the modern line. After all, as Han Solo’s loyal co-pilot and bodyguard Chewie is as much a part of the Star Wars experience as Luke, Han and Leia themselves.

So how has Hasbro’s 1995 Chewbacca held up? Click on through to find out!

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Hyperspace & The Force Awakens

X-Wing Entering Hyperspace 1993 | Green Card Back

The Last Jedi may contextualise The Force Awakens into place alongside the rest of the series. It may redeem Luke Skywalker; heck, it could even retcon Han Solo back to being the responsible leader he grew into over three films, rather than the failed smuggler and deadbeat absent dad we were presented with back in 2015.

All of the above would help. Rian Johnson’s film could (and I’m not holding my breath) perform an incredible job of papering over the cracks created by Abrams’ production, but it still can’t make The Force Awakens a good Star Wars film. And there’s one element that illustrates exactly why:

Hyperspace.

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Star Wars: The Power of the Force (1995) Wave One

Star Wars Power of the Force (POTF2) Wave One - 1995 | Green Card Back

POTF2 has had a rough ride since 1995.

The second Power of the Force action figure line, nicknamed POTF2 by collectors, brought the Star Wars saga roaring back to toy shop shelves after a ten year absence. The revitalised series featured all-new sculpts offering unparalleled levels of detail and depth, and for those of us young enough to be in the target market these figures presented the first step into a wider world of Star Wars collecting.

Yet at the time, the first generation of Star Wars fans were less than impressed with Hasbro’s offering…

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