Annlyel explores how Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story went on to become a far greater Star Wars movie without using the force…

Solo: A Star Wars Story came out this May and while it wasn’t received very well (box-office wise) fans quickly fell in love with the origin story of everyone’s favorite smuggler-turned-rebellion hero. It was a brilliantly told story with fantastic characters and famous plotlines that were finally brought to life on the big screen. But one thing Solo didn’t have that every other Star Wars movie has had since the beginning of this franchise’s existence is an inclusion of the Force.

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The Force is the basis of the Jedi and the Sith, the power that binds everything in the galaxy. The Force is what propelled Luke Skywalker to his destiny in the original trilogy, its dark side qualities brought about the fall of Anakin Skywalker, and it awakened in Rey, leading her onto a path that hasn’t met its conclusion but is special nonetheless.

My Problem With Rey

Han Solo, however, has nothing to do with the Force. He’s not, at least in his mind, under some influence of the Force and he definitely didn’t believe in it in his younger years. And the characters around him obviously don’t think about it either. They rely on their skill at their craft more than anything and don’t concentrate on the mystical power at all. Hence, there wasn’t a single uttering of the Force in Solo. Not even a “May the Force be with you.” And yet, get this, it feels more like a traditional Star Wars movie than The Last Jedi did.

The Evolution of Han Solo

Solo proved that the concept of the Force isn’t what makes a Star Wars movie a Star Wars movie. It’s the characters, the aliens, the environments, and the riveting storylines that bring these films to life. With this ground being broken it provides more room for creativity in the franchise’s future. Take The Mandalorian for example.

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The Mandalorian clearly seems like a story about a man that’s deep within the criminal underworld. With Solo proving that the Force isn’t needed to make a great Star Wars movie (or show) that means The Mandalorian may not even introduce a single character that’s connected to the Force in any way. That means no Jedi, no Sith, no Force-sensitives whatsoever, which could be helpful in keeping the show authentic in its bounty hunter presentation.

There’s nothing better than seeing people knock down creative barriers that hinder a franchise from moving forward in fresh new ways and I’m glad to see that Lawrence and Jon Kasdan kept the notion of the Force away from Solo to make it that much more unique.


The Future of the Force. The future of pop culture writing.



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