Solo: A Star Wars story flies on to shelves next week and really does make for a great watch on DVD and blu-ray.
The movie itself is outstanding and quite underrated compared to the rest of the Star Wars movies currently available but once people really get to sit down with the film I have no doubt they will come to appreciate it. If ever there was a cult Star Wars film it’s this one.
The digital transfer is fantastic on blu-ray and if anything benefits the movie quite a bit. Watching the movie in theaters there were a few scenes, especially in the beginning, that were overly dark and made viewing a little rough. That’s all been color corrected by the time it hits the small screen and it really does make a difference. The quality is crystal clear and all the dirty, grimy details of Han’s home planet come to life.
The sound transfer is top notch as well. As with any Star Wars movie there’s a lot going on and the minor details that would normally fade into the background with something like an IMAX screen get brought out at home.
Where the blu-ray really shines though is in its special features. Disney knew what fans were hungry for and delivered…for the most part. There are so many special features that they can be found on a separate disc so they don’t get in the way of your enjoyment of the film itself. This allows them to make a special feature on pretty much every aspect of the movie. Almost every character gets their own featurette which really brings a lot more depth to everyone involved.
The best feature though is the cast and crew roundtable. Placed right up front the featurette shows everyone involved in the film sitting down and discussing their thoughts on making the movie. The panel is moderated by director Ron Howard and really gives some fascinating insight into the making of the film.
What it does though, unintentionally, is downplay Howard’s role in the production. For those that weren’t following the film’s creation Howard was actually brought in almost halfway through production to course correct the movie for Disney. The result is that Howard is portrayed as more of a Director-for-Hire than a driving force in the film. That isn’t an insult to him but hard to ignore, especially when it’s brought up in the roundtable. Howard’s first day was after their imposed hiatus and many of his early scenes were doing shots that were already ready to go. It would have been fascinating to see more discussion on what might have been.
That being said, there’s so much love on screen from everyone involved it’s hard not to fall in love with the film because of it. The featurette on the Kasdan family writing the movie shows just how deep and generational Star Wars has become in pop culture. Having the push and pull of generations at the writing helm comes through in the script and we’re all better for it.
If anything is lacking it is commentary. Solo is one of those movies that just begs for a commentary track. For whatever reason the studio decided against it and it leaves a bit of a void on the special features. Solo is one of those films that was made for casual fans and diehards alike and will only gain new life on home video. This one is worth buying.