This post has been updated to add info about the Target bonus exclusive.
Solo: A Star Wars Story finally comes home on Blu-ray today. It was a long wait! Of course, the digital release came earlier on September 14. Were you able to hold out for the physical copy? The temptation was real! Either way, this release of Solo not only features the early adventures of Han Solo, it also includes over an hour of additional bonus content — Deleted scenes, ‘making of' featurettes, and a roundtable discussion with director Ron Howard and the cast of the film.
Solo looks stunning. I've watched it both on my iPad and on my 55-inch HDTV, and while the experience will never be the same as the big screen, this home release looks amazing. The cinematography is gorgeous and rich, and unlike anything we've seen in Star Wars before. I saw Solo many times in theaters, and some presentations were better than others. My best visual and audio experiences were presented in IMAX or in Dolby Cinema. I found this home release to be on par with both.
Run Time: Approximately 135 min.
Rating: PG-13 in U.S. (Bonus Material Not Rated); PG in CE and G in CF
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio: 4K UHD BD: English 7.1.4 Dolby Atmos, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, Thai 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish and French 7.1 Dolby Digital Plus
Blu-ray: English 7.1 DTS-HDMA, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio, Spanish and French 5.1 Dolby Digital
Digital 4K UHD: English Dolby Atmos, English 5.1/2.0, Latin Spanish 5.1/2.0, French 5.1/2.0, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio
Digital HD/SD: English 5.1/2.0, Latin Spanish 5.1/2.0, French 5.1/2.0, English 2.0 Descriptive Audio
4K UHD: English SDH, Cantonese, Korean, Latin Spanish, Thai, Traditional Chinese for English, French-Canadian
Blu-ray: English SDH, French & Spanish
4K UHD/HD/SD Digital: English SDH, French & Spanish
Closed Captions: English (DVD & Digital)
Solo is a great movie (and a personal favorite of mine), brimming with fun, heart, and adventure. Ron Howard came into a troubled production, righted the ship, and steered it successfully. Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo captured the essence of the iconic character effortlessly. His Han is positive, hopeful, and idealistic, not weighed down by the difficult circumstances that surround him — Yet. Alden stepped into Harrison Ford's shoes, honored what came before, and created a version of the character that was all his own.
The cast as a whole is fantastic. Easily one of the best of any Star Wars film.
You can find a full review of Solo: A Star Wars Story by CWK's Dan Z here.
• Solo: The Director and Cast Roundtable
The director and cast of Solo have an easy chemistry and genuinely seem to like one another as they share various anecdotes about themselves and their characters. It's a pleasure to see them together in this setting. I just wish this feature was a bit longer.
• Kasdan on Kasdan
Father and son, working together to craft the story of a young Han Solo. Lawrence and Jon Kasdan have an interesting dynamic to their relationship, built on love and respect, but also in understanding — and making the most of — their differences.
• Remaking the Millennium Falcon
This feature looks at the process of reintroducing the most famous ship in all of film, from concept art to inspiration drawn from previous Star Wars films. It's fascinating!
• Escape from Corellia
My favorite to the ‘making of' bonuses, this focusses on bringing Corellia to life on-screen, and creating the thrilling speeder chase between Han, in his boosted M-68, and Moloch.
• The Train Heist
A comprehensive look at shooting on location in the Dolomites, and in-studio at Pinewood. This feature highlights the hard work, perseverance, ingenuity, and camaraderie shared by the cast, crew, and creatives.
• Team Chewie
Here we get a look at what went into expanding Chewie's vocabulary, and the training, strength, athleticism, and warmth employed by Joonas Suotamo as he brings the mighty Wookiee to wondrous life.
• Becoming a Droid: L3-37
Appropriately giving Phoebe Waller-Bridge her due in bringing to life one of the most unique droids in Star Wars, from her motion-capture work to her improvisational skills and humor.
•Scoundrels, Droids, Creatures and Cards: Welcome to Fort Ypso
This feature highlights creating the denizens of The Lodge, and gives us insight into the techniques employed by Bradford Young as he uses natural lighting to set the atmosphere and tone.
•Into the Maelstrom: The Kessel Run
Want to know what it takes to make the Kessel Run? This featurette will give you a good idea — From the cockpit rig for the Falcon, to the wrap-around screen simulating the dangers of the Maelstrom, right down to the sounds of the switches.
The Deleted Scenes:
• Proxima's Den
This is an alternate version of Han meeting up with Qi'ra in the opening moments of Solo. Han returns, with a vial of coaxium, and wakes Qi'ra, telling her it's time to escape life under Lady Proxima.
The scene sits oddly with me. Qi'ra seems off, and it feels awkward. What ultimately ended up in the final film works much better.
• Corellian Foot Chase
This scene takes place after Han and Qi'ra ditch their speeder and are on the run from Moloch and his goons. To throw the hounds off their scent, the duo hide in a barrel full of eels — much to Han's chagrin. (Indiana Jones, anyone?)
However, in such close proximity to Qi'ra, Han can't help but try to steal a kiss. It's a charming scene that builds on the chemistry between the two.
• Han Solo: Imperial Cadet
This is probably my favorite deleted scene. It's our first real look at Han as an Imperial TIE pilot, and shows his selflessness as he puts himself in danger and flouts orders to save a fellow pilot. The tribunal scene features one of Alden's most Harrison-esque performances, and I loved every second.
• The Battle of Mimban: Extended
This scene not only features an extended look at Han, Beckett, and the crew battling on Mimban, it also shows us an additional member of Beckett's crew. According to the novelization for Solo, Korso was the muscle of the group, and he sadly meets his end in this scene. It makes clear why Beckett decides to take Han and Chewie on board for their next job. They need muscle, and Chewbacca has that in spades.
• Han vs. Chewie: Extended
This is an extended version of the first time Han and Chewbacca encounter each other in the mud pit on Mimban. Han can take a beating, and Chewie — frustrated, starved, and angry — knows how to dish one out. It can be difficult to watch these two go after one another in such an aggressive way, but it's eased by the knowledge we have of their future as the best of best friends.
• Snowball Fight
Certainly not necessary to the plot, and something that was improvised, the snowball fight between Han and Chewie is a delightful little moment that comes after the heavy losses of Val and Rio. If nothing else, it'll make you smile.
• Meet Dryden: Extended
This deleted scene largely features Han trying to eat a thwip, and making a mess of it, while Dryden confronts Beckett about losing the coaxium. It's an amusing bit for Han, showing his efforts to seem sophisticated, but played in tandem with the serious nature of Dryden and Beckett's encounter, it leaves the viewer unsure how to feel. Scared for Beckett, or amused by Han? The tension of the scene in the final film plays much better.
• Coaxium Double Cross
Cool little scene that shows Han hatching his plan to double-cross Dryden Vos. However, having it in the film would have spoiled the twist for the audience.
If you purchased the Target exclusive, you received a digital code for a special 13 minute bonus feature, “The Falcon: Through the Millennium.” (Also referred to as “The Millennium Falcon: From Page to Park.”) Playable on Movies Anywhere, this informative and entertaining featurette provides a look at the history of the Millennium Falcon, from original concept to realization on-screen. Thanks to the Lucasfilm Story Group and Disney Imagineers, we also get a look at plans for the fully immersive and interactive attraction coming to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge next year. The Falcon will be housed at a spaceport at Black Spire Outpost on the planet Batuu, and is tended to by the pirate Hondo Ohnaka (The Clone Wars, Star Wars Rebels). Your chance to pilot the Falcon will either earn you a reward, or put you in the crosshairs of a bounty hunter. How will you fair? Find out next year at Disneyland and Disney World!
Final thoughts: I loved the film's presentation, and the bonus features, while short, are comprehensive and didn't disappoint. A few things I wish were included — A director's commentary (understandable why there isn't one, however), and a feature exploring the outstanding score by John Powell. That said, this release is a wholly satisfying experience.
Here's hoping Solo finds the larger audience it deserves now that it's available to watch at home!
Solo: A Star Wars Story is available on Blu-ray and DVD today, and is available for digital download.
You can see the various retail offerings here.
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