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Solo: A Star Wars Story -- 3 things you should know going in

Han's film ain't a solo gig.

Jonathan Olley

Solo: A Star Wars Story opens worldwide this week, and it's unlike any other Star Wars movie released so far. It still hits many familiar aspects of the films, but its focus on the Star Wars universe's criminal underworld instead of Jedi and other Force-sensitive beings might have viewers wondering what kind of movie they're in for.

Yes, I reviewed the movie and called it simple fun, but I wanted to provide a few spoiler-free thoughts about what you can expect from director Ron Howard's take on this world.

And if absolutely any kind of hint about a movie you're about to see makes you run to your X-wing, go ahead and fly away from the rest of this story. I won't, however, be dropping any spoilers in this piece.

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Han Solo's many friendships

Though wookiee Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) has a lifelong bromance with Han Solo (Alden Elhrenreich), the movie shines a light on many other connections the aspiring pilot makes across the galaxy.

You'll see Solo meet and work with several allies before he becomes besties with Chewie, and it's fascinating to see this younger Han struggle to not only define himself but also define his circle.

Unlike previous Star Wars movies, though, where characters are clearly aligned with either the Rebel Alliance/Resistance or the Empire/First Order, this movie quickly shows that any character can be a friend or foe at any given time. Did you expect anything less? This story takes place in the criminal underworld.

Your view of droids will be challenged, but not fundamentally

Droid L3-37's energetic, quippy and unapologetic attitude took me by total surprise. Expect to ask some Westworld-esque questions about the droids you've been looking for in the Star Wars movies.

In the comments section accompanying our review, some readers are expressing disdain about L3-37 (Phoebe Waller-Bridge) hilariously dropping her opinions everywhere she goes, but I have to say, nothing about a superopinionated Star Wars droid is new.

In this regard, L3-37 isn't much different from C-3P0 in every other Star Wars film or K2S0 in Rogue One. All three are mostly sentient droids programmed with personalities that add color to their computations. All of them pass judgment on their human partners whether they're in the middle of a battle or waltzing through a bar. (C-3P0 can't actually give you side-eye, but I sure could hear it in his voice.) And all three help their human partners make judgments, and those judgments are delivered with color and personality -- that's all.

Put more simply: If you're worried L3-37 is going to somehow make a political remark about President Trump, rest easy.

Winks and nods all over

Solo: A Star Wars Story might be the most Deadpool-like of the Star Wars movies so far. And I mean that in the way it winks to the audience with little hints of the Han Solo this movie's character will grow up to be. Alden Elhrenreich's pose when shooting with his blaster, the way Donald Glover's Lando flirts with EVERYONE, and even watching the Millennium Falcon soar through space are meticulous re-creations that feel like Star Wars comfort food.

These, plus a few other totally spoiler-iffic things -- we're going to break those down soon -- give the movie connections to the larger Star Wars universe that I'm excited to talk about.

Got other spoiler-free questions about Solo: A Star Wars Story? Drop them into the comments and I can either answer them there or add more to this story.

Solo: A Star Wars Story opens May 24 in Australia and May 25 in the US and UK. In addition to Elhrenreich, Suotamo, Glover and Walter-Bridge, look out for Emilia Clarke as Qi'ra, Woody Harrelson as Tobias Beckett, Thandie Newton as Val and Paul Bettany as Dryden Vos.

Solo: A Star Wars Story: Here's everything more we know about the latest Star Wars film, including when you can see it, who else stars and what you can expect when it opens.

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