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Solo: A Star Wars Story: Expanded Edition by…

Solo: A Star Wars Story: Expanded Edition (edition 2018)

by Mur Lafferty (Author)

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Title:Solo: A Star Wars Story: Expanded Edition
Authors:Mur Lafferty (Author)
Info:Del Rey (2018), Edition: Expanded, 304 pages
Collections:Your library

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Solo: A Star Wars Story: Expanded Edition by Mur Lafferty



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Mur Lafferty’s novelization of Ron Howard’s Solo: A Star Wars Story continues the tradition of Del Rey’s adaptations of the new films by including scenes deleted from the theatrical cuts of the film. In this case, Lafferty not only tells the story itself, but shows how Han went from enlisting in the Imperial Navy to working in the infantry on Mimban: he was a good pilot, but his innovative flying style and unwillingness to blindly follow orders led to his demotion. This scene also includes a fun cameo from Kevin Rubio and Lucas Marangon’s characters, Tag Greenley and Bink Otauna, the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of the Star Wars universe, whom screenwriters Jon Kasdan and Toby Hefferman were to portray in the film until the scene was cut (pgs. 58-59).

Lafferty’s adaptation works so well because the plot of the film was always better suited to a novel, like Brian Daley’s Han Solo Adventures or A.C. Crispin’s Han Solo Trilogy. The story, focusing on Han Solo escaping his life as a scrumrat on Corellia, joining and then washing out of the Imperial Navy, and becoming a smuggler to take on a major heist, all while facing ethical dilemmas that challenge his self-image as an independent and aloof scoundrel is a fun one and Lafferty tells it well. The various “Easter Eggs” from the film –including references to Bossk and Aurra Sing, the role of Crimson Dawn, the martial art Teräs Käsi, the planets Glee Anselm and Dathomir, and more – all work best as the kinds of references found in the Star Wars novels that most successfully integrate themselves into the larger canon. The scene of Lando Calrissian dictating his memoirs, specifically referencing L. Neil Smith’s 1983 novel, Lando Calrissian and the Mindharp of Sharu, works just as well in this novel as it does in the film, helping to explain Neil’s unique tone that didn’t match much of the Ballantine-era of Star Wars novels.

Beyond the Tag and Bink reference, Lafferty also uses the crew’s trip to Kessel to include scenes building up the friendship between Chewbacca and Lando, thereby foreshadowing their easy banter in The Empire Strikes Back (pg. 159), and, perhaps most importantly, Lafferty helps to explain Qi’ra’s backstory and motivations, helping to establish her character in a more significant way than the film did (pg. 162). This backstory, and the conversation with L3-37, later plays a key role in Qi’ra’s actions, helping to add depth to her actions beyond being the token tragic love interest (pg. 264). Finally, Lafferty’s epilogue hints at what could have been a connected series of Star Wars Stories had Lucasfilm not decided to halt production of the standalone films following Solo’s poor box-office performance. Lafferty tells an engaging and entertaining story, just not one that necessarily needed to be a feature film. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Sep 6, 2018 |
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