Exploring the non Star Wars fan reaction to Solo: A Star Wars Story
There was much discussion and speculation happening when Solo: A Star Wars Story was announced back in 2016. Some debated if an origin story of Han Solo was necessary or even needed at this point in time. As production stories started to percolate and rumors of a director change became true, fans began their suppositions on whether the movie was going to become a reality.
When Ron Howard took over as director it appeared that he fixed the proverbial leaking hyper-drive and the ship took off once again. As the marketing began to pick up, as a fan, the more excitement there was for this film. It occurred to me during this time that the idea of showing this particular Star Wars standalone to a non-fan would be intriguing. So, I asked three of my closest friends to join me in this adventitious observation. Could Solo be the perfect jumping off point for a new Star Wars fan to being their path into a larger world?
With minimal or no backstory to any of the characters, my friend’s Jamie, Chrissy and Sara went into the theater with open minds. They are all fans of other sci-fi franchises, such as Harry Potter and Game of Thrones. The leap into the galaxy far, far away would not be that jarring to them. I was eagerly awaiting to hear their thoughts after we left the show. I asked each of my friends these five questions:
- What is your overall opinion on Solo: A Star Wars story? (Likes and dislikes)
- What character did you enjoy the most, and why?
- What was your favorite scene of the film and why?
- Would you see the movie again? Why or why not?
- Would you watch another Star Wars movie after watching this film? Why or Why not?
I was delighted to find out just how much they enjoyed the film as I did! For Jamie, she thought the storyline and overall casting of the movie was great. It surprised her as to how much she liked the sci-fi aspect, especially not having seen any other Star Wars movie. The characters of Han and L3 stood out to her. She appreciated the sarcasm and great hair Han had. She also thought L3 was a nice compliment to the movie with her witty and smart-alecky droid bravado. She didn’t have a particular favorite scene; however, she believed the movie flowed perfectly. Even though she had fun, this movie would not be one she would see in theaters again. Although she did admit this has peaked her interest in seeing the rest of the Star Wars saga and standalone films.
My friend Chrissy also adored this movie. In her opinion the pace of the film was good. The overall humor was ideally placed and not overly done. She believed the writers’ made it easy for a new fan to follow the storyline without having to had seen the other films. She was hoping for more unknown actors for the smaller roles, but she overall thought the casting was well done. Lando was the character that stood out to her. She admired Donald Glover’s range as an actor and his ability to hit his comedic spots when needed. This would be a film that she could see herself watching at home but not in a theater again. The movie definitely has her wanting to see what the other ones are about, especially knowing how much I love and cherish them.
Finally, Sara was happily entertained by Solo: A Star Wars Story. The movie kept her attention throughout its entirety. She was genuinely shocked by the ending’s twist. She found herself sad when L3 died. There were a few characters that stood out to her. The first being Chewbacca. She felt as the movie went along it was easier to understand his facial expressions, thus connecting to him on a deeper level. Lando was another character that grabbed her attention, more so than the others. The relationship of Han and Chewie was another highlight of hers. She enjoyed their scenes together a lot, and the witty back and forth they emulated. At this time, she would not see it again in theaters. Although not her favorite, she has become more intrigued in the Star Wars franchise as a new viewer.
If there is any data to take away from these three new viewers of the franchise, it is that Solo: A Star Wars Story had a tremendously positive reception from non-fans! They started asking me questions after the movie, specifically about the cameo of Maul and why the audience reacted the way they did. As a hardcore fan, this is what I wanted from this film. To have a new viewer watch and begin questioning and yearning to learn more about the overall Star Wars lore. My hope is that the standalone films continue to go down this path! With more content to show new fans, the more invested one can become. I would recommend taking a non-fan to see this film. It is a nice gateway into the universe without overwhelming them too much. If you have seen the movie, what did you think? Comment and let me know!
And always, may the force be with you!
The Future of the Force. The Future of pop culture writing.