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Blu-ray Review: Solo: A Star Wars Story

September 25, 2018

By John Corrado

Disney’s most recent entry into the Star Wars franchise, Solo: A Star Wars Story is arriving on Blu-ray this week, following its theatrical release over the summer.

While I had some issues with this film, starting with the fact that I didn’t entirely believe Alden Ehrenreich in Harrison Ford’s iconic role, this is still a fairly entertaining addition to the series that has some fun character moments and several well staged set-pieces. For more on the film itself, you can read our three reviews of it right here.

The Blu-ray comes with a second disc devoted to bonus material. First up is Solo: The Director & Cast Roundtable, featuring director Ron Howard and the core cast members having an informal discussion about their experiences on set and talking jovially about how much fun they had, but it also often feels like they are skirting around the elephant in the room of what really went down during the production, with Howard being hired as a replacement when the original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired from the project partway through shooting. Without addressing this, the discussion is tantamount to a puff piece, but it’s still enjoyable to watch nonetheless.

Next up are eight featurettes on different aspects of the production. Kasdan on Kasdan is a short piece that features veteran screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan talking about what it was like to work with his son Jonathan on the script; Remaking the Millennium Falcon shows us how they went about bringing the iconic ship to life in a slightly new way for this film, including designing new parts of the interior that weren’t previously shown; Escape From Corellia is an in-depth look at the speeder chase near the start of the movie, from designing the look of the vehicles to shooting the sequence with a mix of in-camera and digital effects; and The Train Heist offers a similarly detailed look at what went into shooting one of the film’s best set-pieces.

Next up we’ve got Team Chewie, which focuses on the number of people that it takes to bring Chewbacca to life, from actor Joonas Soutamo who actually wears the suit to the costume designers who keep his fur from getting matted, and the challenges that they faced doing the mud fight; Becoming a Droid: L3-37 explores Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s activist droid, who was designed to appear like a humanoid version of an R2 unit; Scoundrels, Droids, Creatures and Cards: Welcome to Fort Ypso explores the casino setting where Han and Lando first meet in the film, and some of the alien creatures that inhabit the joint; and Into the Maelstrom: The Kessel Run shows us what went into crafting the sequence that is famously referenced in the original film and finally shown here.

Finally, the disc also includes the eight deleted scenes Proxima’s Den, Corellian Foot Chase, Han Solo: Imperial Cadet, The Battle of Mimban: Extended, Han Versus Chewie: Extended, Snowball Fight, Meet Dryden: Extended, and Coaxium Double-Cross. As with other Blu-ray releases of Disney’s Star Wars films, this bonus disc offers a good amount of supplemental material to enjoy after the movie.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is a Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment release. It’s 135 minutes and rated PG.

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