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Parents' Guide to

Solo: A Star Wars Story

By Sandie Angulo Chen, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Satisfying, action-packed prequel explores Han's roots.

Movie PG-13 2018 135 minutes
Solo: A Star Wars Story Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

Community Reviews

age 10+

Based on 45 parent reviews

age 7+

Kids can handle it, but still

My 5 going on 6 year old has been a big Star Wars fan despite my relative dissuasion -- I'd avoid most of them, but I caved on this. He enjoyed it (I wouldn't say he loved it) but I felt a real twinge of regret twice -- there's some really gratuitous violence, as when a bad guy apparently knifes someone energetically right at the moment we meet him, and then later, one of the good guys shoots another in a really painful classic Star Wars moment calculated to wring an emotional response. There is nothing redemptive about that scene -- it is pure SW gateway violence, which I think now largely defines the genre (and maybe always did). My kid was perturbed by both scenes and asked me about them. I am not sure when anyone is old enough to witness gratuitous violence -- maybe never. On the other hand he wasn't traumatised (it was all guns and chasing for the next 2 days).
age 8+

Good addition to the StarWars storyline

Watched with my 9 year old son - we have previously watched Episode IV, V, VI then I, II & III -this film fitted in well having watched the films in this order. We loved all the characters, great back story for Han, Chewbacca & Lando. The characters are a bit more complex than earlier films. There was more kissing which my son did not watch! Doesn't warrant the 12 rating in our opinion - read the reviews and judge if it is appropriate for your family. Strong female lead characters.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (45 ):
Kids say (128 ):

Director Ron Howard's slick, funny prequel offers a respectable lead performance that captures Harrison Ford's smirky, roguish charisma and fills in several Star Wars gaps. While purists may never be fully satisfied with any prequel that revisits beloved original characters (some Potterheads feel the same way about Fantastic Beasts, for example), Ehrenreich deserves props for rising above pure imitation. He and Glover make their legendary characters their own, even if audiences must suspend disbelief a bit that either man could have changed quite that much in just 10 or so years. Both are amusingly arrogant and self-possessed -- and, in Han's case, also vulnerable. Yes, it's compelling to explore how Han hooked up with Chewie and Lando, but it's even more interesting to uncover the particulars of Han's background, his introduction to smuggling, and his first (ultimately doomed) love story.

Solo, like most spin-offs, isn't strictly necessary, but it's still massively entertaining when it gets things right. A couple of key moments will definitely make fans cheer (mostly having to do with the Millennium Falcon). There are several well-performed supporting roles, especially among the women. Clarke, who's best known as the Mother of Dragons on Game of Thrones, is great as Han's often underestimated partner in crime. Newton is extremely effective in her small but pivotal role (with a deadly stare familiar to those who've seen her in Westworld or Line of Duty). And British comedian/TV writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge (who sounds a lot like Tilda Swinton) is hilarious as outspoken android rights' activist L3-37. Bettany is fantastically creepy as a chilling mob boss who just wants to get paid, and Harrelson adds his signature, laid-back style to the proceedings as Han's roguish mentor. By the end, audiences will feel even more intensely for Han Solo, knowing more about his victories and losses as a younger man.

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