Since The Force Awakens brought Star Wars back to us, I’ve enjoyed each theatrical viewing of the new Star Wars films, though to varying degrees.
Any time I’ve watched any of these films (or any others), there’s the initial reaction I had, and then there’s the one that comes later, after I’ve had some breathing space between me and my experience with the movie.
I like The Force Awakens. I don’t really dislike The Last Jedi, but I can’t say I really like it either because it didn’t really do much for the story or the franchise, so like Infinity War I’m just gonna have to see what comes next and how in the world everything gets followed up to really judge it.
But these standalone “A Star Wars Story” films have been different for me.
For reasons I will probably never fully understand as one who is definitely a sucker for the happily ever after, I am a big fan of Rogue One. And while I enjoyed it a lot while watching it the first time, the thing with that movie is that more than any other movie in the whole SW franchise, it sticks with me in ways the others don’t. I can’t even tell you what it is that’s sticking with me. Literally, I can be doing anything else and suddenly I’ll just be like, Man, Rogue One was such a powerful movie. I don’t even consider it my favorite of the franchise (yet – I’ll get back to you the next time I rewatch all the films). I think the pacing and structure of the beginning of the film is not great. Maybe it’s the themes – of found family, of faith, of hope, of sacrifice, of fighting for something bigger than yourself – that just get to me.
I had some trepidation about Solo because the trailers didn’t do much for me, but right before I went to see it I started hearing good things from other people who had seen it. So I went in with tempered expectations but cautiously optimistic.
I enjoyed it from beginning to end. The pacing was great. The characters were nuanced. And it was just fun.
I’ve sat with it for a little while now, and I feel a stronger urge to go watch it again than I certainly did with The Last Jedi (which I still haven’t watched again despite it coming out on Blu Ray). And while I don’t think Solo is a perfect movie by any means, it added so much more dimension to the universe than either of the new official trilogy installment films did. The writing was probably the best part of the film, helping Alden Ehrenreich’s Solo seem familiar without being copycat or a bad imitation. And don’t even get me started on Donald Glover as Lando. All I’ll say for the sake of time was he nailed it.
What is it about these anthology films that say so much more to me than the new episodes? Is it because there’s less pressure?
If you’ve seen the movie, I’d love to know your thoughts! How do you feel about the two anthology films that we’ve seen versus the new episodes? And what are hoping to see next in the Star Wars universe?