From the moment Lucasfilm announced it was developing a movie centered around the early days of Han Solo, fans knew the experience would be unlike anything they had ever seen. Even following the release of the first standalone film for the franchise, Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, fans didn't know what to expect from Solo: A Star Wars Story, as Rogue One embraced the massive struggles between the Rebel Alliance and the Galactic Empire, while Solo unfolded years before what we saw in Star Wars: A New Hope and focused on a seedier side of the galaxy. Adding even more uncertainty to the experience was that original directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord left the project before production had finished, with Ron Howard then stepping in to take over the film, ultimately earning the sole directing credit on Solo.
As soon as the film starts, one thing that's made evident about Solo is that we won't be seeing sensational depictions of spectacular conflicts, as we'll instead be spending time shrouded in the darker corners of the galaxy far, far away, both literally and figuratively. Seeing Han Solo on the gritty and grimy streets of Corellia hint at the struggles he would attempt to overcome and escape throughout the rest of his life, even if a big chunk of his own past rested in those same shadows.
Solo does manage to deliver a number of impressive set pieces, but the film's cinematography is more effective with its intimate looks at characters like Qi-ra, Lando, and Enfys Nest, as Howard emphasized the noirish nature of the premise over the whimsy of most other Star Wars films. The look and feel of the film paved the way for what The Mandalorian would go on to explore, while still delivering some larger-than-life moments.
From reimagined looks at iconic vessels to the origins of long-lasting relationships, scroll down to see our picks for the best 15 shots from Solo: A Star Wars Story!
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