Welcome to Dan Glaser’s Movie Podcast: The ONLY Podcast You Have To Read. In each episode I go with a different comedian to see a movie and then we head to the closest coffee shop to chat about it over the internet. Yes it is a podcast, you just have to read it instead of listen to it. As always, you can catch up on all the other episodes here. Even better, consider supporting the podcast by subscribing!
Alise and I met at Williamsburg Cinemas on Grand St in Brooklyn one fine Spring morning. We sat in big seats and watched a big movie on a big screen until it ended. Afterwards, we decided that Alise did not bring a laptop and so we should actually take the train to her apartment instead of walking to a coffee shop. After grabbing a computer and saying hello / goodbye to her cat, we walked over to Father Knows Best on Wilson Ave and Schaeffer St. We both got a tall glass of cold brewed iced coffee and a tall glass of beer.
Dan: Hi Alise! Thank you so much for joining me here at Dan Glaser's Movie Podcast: The ONLY Podcast You Have To Read. Let me start with this: It is a lawless time. People in space are HOT. The only thing that matters is HYPERFUEL. There is only one question left: In your opinion, can young Han GET IT?
Alise: Young Han can get it. Absolutely. He's an intergalactic cutie-pie.
Dan: Right off the bat I should say that while I have seen all the Star Wars Movies, I am not a Star Wars Person, if that makes sense. I never saw the TV Show that everyone on the internet loves, I never read the books, I never even went to Burger King to get the commemorative cups. That being said, this felt like the sexiest Star Wars yet. Am I wrong?
Alise: Not wrong at all. I also am not a Star Wars person. I've seen all the movies but have retained zero information about them save one important fact: Han Solo is sexy. And boy was he sexy in this flick. This movie had all my favorite parts of Star Wars (Han Solo being sexy) without any of the having to know about Star Wars that I hate from the other movies.
Dan: In Space, Everyone Can Hear You Smolder.
Alise: Exactly. That's actually a perfect tagline for this movie.
Dan: Most movies have an arc for the main character, especially origin story movies. This movie doesn't, at least not in the traditional sense, because Han's arc is going from Cute to Cutie-pie without learning any lessons beyond the lesson of how to hang out with Chewbacca more.
Alise: Yeah I thought it was interesting that Han really learned absolutely nothing and changed in no way over the course of the entire movie. It was kind of just him meeting various figures, winking at them, shooting his gun, and telling people he wants to be a pilot. At the end he does get to be a pilot so maybe that's the arc?
Dan: I think the moral is: anyone can be a pilot, even a guy who wants to be a pilot.
Before we get into the details of this thing, let's just put all our crazy cantina space cards on the table: did you like Solo: A Star Wars Story?
Alise: I did! I really did! I liked that the movie didn't really require me to know anything and remember any Star Wars lore or anything like that. I just had to sort of know who Han Solo was and that Chewbacca is his friend and he flies that flat spaceship. Other than that it was just easy-to-follow hijinks and I appreciated it. Also he really was so sexy.
Dan: This may come as a shock to people who know me but I...actually...liked it! From the very first scene, which was dumb, I realized that this movie is gonna really dumb it up. It's gonna be big dumb chunky space schlock and it's gonna be it proudly. Some people say: all Star Wars is dumb and fun! To them I say, only by accident! Most Star Wars movies take themselves too seriously for my delicate tastes; there's always a message, or a flat emotional throughline. Solo: A Star Wars Manventure had none of that!
Alise: Exactly. This movie did not take itself seriously at all which was great for me because I have a hard time taking Star Wars seriously. I get that this is an insane critique for a Star Wars movie but sometimes I just can't with the aliens. Any time they try to have the aliens do anything serious I check out emotionally. They're too silly. In Solo they let us know first scene out that in this movie all the aliens are *supposed* to be silly and so it earned my respect and I was able to enjoy the rest of the film. Honestly I would say the first alien was the silliest alien and they actually got progressively less silly as it went on.
Dan: Honestly, let's just get right into it so people understand how silly this shit is. Do you want to start?
Alise: Yep. Let's dive in. Honestly right up top I have thoughts about the opening credits. They had very strange capitalization. You alluded to it at the beginning of the conversation but they were all like "On the planet CALLISTO the foul LADY SPYRO [I have decided that Alise is talking about ‘Lady Proxima’ -ed.] who keeps all the HYPERFUEL" They were honestly a few ellipses and weird quotation marks away from being a Trump tweet. I feel like the other movies didn't do this? Though, again, I retain 0 Star Wars related information.
Dan: They literally may have done this in other movies? Like you I don't remember or care. It reminded me of the original Playstation era RPGs where you go talk to a random innkeeper and he says, "You are seeking the BONELORD DAGGER? That dagger has been rumored to live down in BONELORD SWAMP. But that is just a rumor..."
My point being: I'm ready for space schlock!
Alise: I have no idea what you're talking about but I agree with you.
Dan: It's basically like the beginning of this movie but with elves instead of aliens. Okay so our adventure opens with Young Solo hopping into a space car and cruising around Space Long Island City on the run from space guards. He runs around a bunch and Drives Fast and eventually he ends up in the Space Slums with a bunch of homeless kids saying dumb shit about how they are poor.
Alise: Yeah but soon he is in the arms of his beautiful girlfriend, Daenerys Targaryen. She has a cute bob and she can't wait to move to space with Han in an RV, which they can do now because he stole the HYPERFUEL they need to SELL to GTFO.
Dan: Oh yeah for sure. He stole some HYPERFUEL which as we learned in the opening credits is VERY IMPORTANT. Daenerys has very good hair in this movie. Also important to note is that every character we see for the first 10 minutes talks about this LADY SPYRO character that you shouldn't mess with or that they are gonna have to answer to or etc etc.
Alise: She is FOUL and you have to make a DEAL with her in order to survive on this planet. A deal that Han and his gf were just desperate enough to make.
Dan: Oh yeah, she is FOUL I forgot about that. Well Han and Daenerys need to move quick because some slum guards find them and they uh take them to meet the HBIC of the slums, LADY WHATSHERNAME.
Alise I almost screamed when we meet this lady. I went from: What the Fuck? This is so dumb. This is kinda weird. This is very silly. This rules! That was my progression.
Alise: I think I actually did scream. She was the perfect silly alien. A giant ass worm with a speech impediment. Perfect. Gorgeous. Honestly my only note here is that I wanted MORE Spyro. This entire scene does two things: kicks off the lols, and shows you how wiley Han Solo is. I feel like the perfect encapsulation of how this movie is going to go is Han Solo pretending that he has a bomb when it’s just a rock and he makes a clicking noise with his mouth, and Lady Spyro is like "that's just a rock and you made a clicking noise with your mouth." So fun.
Dan: This again, sounds crazy, but this scene was so off the wall and stupid that it forced me to re-evaluate what I was watching. I knew that this movie was 2 and a half hours long and that I wouldn't make it through if I tried to hold a critical eye up to things like script or acting. My body shut down the part of my brain that cares about why things happen in order to protect me from myself. Halfway through this scene when Han started stealing weapons and attacking people for no reason and the worm lady started screaming nonsense I just snapped.
This was a VERY EFFECTIVE SCENE. It truly prepared me for the rest of the movie in a way that I didn't know I needed.
Anyway so Han like breaks a window and all the worm aliens freak out, giving our sexy leads time to escape in another space car. This chase scene was fun! It was, like a lot of this movie, a good combination of CGI and practical effects that a lot of the other modern Star Wars films didn't quite nail. Smooth lines mixed with that dusty grimey patina. What did you think of the overall aesthetics in Solo: A Star Wars Commercial?
Alise: I actually really thought the CGI was good, and I usually find it distracting. The Worm Queen looked good. All the dusty ass robots looked cool. The only guy who I thought didn't looked great was the OG pilot monkey guy who had multiple arms. I'm sure we'll get to him. I also really did like everyone's *~lewk~*. Dany looked great and had a lot of nice hairstyles. Lando had all the capes. Han never changed clothes. I liked it. Oh and I also liked the guy with the scratched up face. I'm sure we'll get to him as well.
Dan: Also big shout out to Thandie Newton's natural curls.
Alise: She made a big impression for someone who wasn't in it very much. Also I do always wonder why the Star Wars universe is so fucking dusty. I'm allergic to dust myself so whenever I game out how I'd survive in the Star Wars world I realistically have an allergy attack like 2 mins in and they have to leave me in a mud pit or whatever. There's lots of mud too.
Dan: Honestly it's very weird that they have hyperspace and droid technology but no roomba technology. Also weird that everyone has 5 actual droids but slaves are still a thing. There has to be a better way to mine than old slaves.
Alise: Right? Also the droids are the ones having a civil rights moment.
Dan: Oh we'll get to the Equal Rights stuff. So basically we spend a couple scenes with Dany and Han and they have big plans to like, get out of Cleveland and he is gonna treat her good and they are gonna move to Space Europe and see the world (Galaxy). They decide that with the HYPERFUEL they stole they can afford to do literally anything they want.
But then in the very next scene they...give away their HYPERFUEL to get across a border? What the hell was that border they were crossing? They try to bribe space TSA with their vape pen full of HYPERFUEL and the agent lady is like, licking her lips to get that juice, but we don't really know what border they are crossing. We just know it is freedom on the other side somehow.
Alise: I don't know but it seemed both extremely dangerous and very very easy to cross. Like they offered the literal first person they saw a bribe and she took it. Honestly if the line to get through customs had just been a little bit longer Dany never would have been captured -- but she is -- and Han has to go on without her, but vowing to find her and get her back, which I guess is what this movie is about (but only kind of). Also it seems like once you're on the other side of this very easily crossed door it's just a free for all? The police obviously saw that Han was there so it seems like they could have just told the gate woman to open the door so they could make an arrest but they didn't. And then Han just literally ripped someone else's cloak off and that person just lets it happen and then he...joins the army? It was a lot.
Dan: It was wild. He like goes through a door that you can see through and then that's it. He is free and she is sold into sex slavery forever.
Sliding Doors 2: A Star Wars Story.
Alise: Right? Like is the law that if you cross through the doors you can't be arrested? This scene is also the first of five thousand times he says that he wants to be a pilot, and where we get the origins of his last name.
Dan: Oh Jesus. Yeah so on the other side he sees an ad for Joining the Empire Navy that is too good an offer to pass up. This was the first time in all of my Star Wars experiences that I actually stopped to think about what The Empire actually is. What are they? They are like, just a big army that doesn't stand for anything other than being evil. Hell yeah.
So Han sees this Army of One commercial and goes up to a dude and asks to join up. Let's roleplay this scene. I'll be Han you be the Sign Up Dude.
Alise: “Hey kid what do ya want?”
Dan: “Hi I would like to be a pilot in your empire.”
Alise: “Hmm are you sure? That is going to take a lot of time. Three years, to be exact. Are you sure you don't want to just be in the regular army?”
Dan: “Nope, pilot please. I'm bad with authority.”
Alise: “A pilot, eh? Well if you're sure...better be...GRYFFINDOR. Lol but seriously what's your name I need to type it into my computer.”
Dan: “My name is Han,. Just the one name.”
Alise: “Sorry but only people with last names can be in the army. Who are your people I'll just like name you after them.”
Dan: “Oh I see. Well I don't have any people. I have no One. Sorry but I only go around by myself. I love Pizzeria Uno.”
Alise: “Uno...as in...one....as in...alone....as in...solo? I will name you Han Solo.“
Dan: “Yeah whatever, see you in 3 years."
Alise: That kid's going places. Or should I say...flying places.
Dan: So we finally learn how Han Solo...got his last name? Was this a thing you wondered?
Alise: Nope but again all Star Wars related info drains out of my brain immediately after seeing every movie.
Dan: This movie does a lot of explaining things that maybe some people care about. I don't mind that! We learn how Han and Chewbacca meet, we learn how Han gets the Flat Spaceship, we learn how Han got...his gun. This stuff is fine but the problem with prequel / origin stuff is it raises a bunch of other questions about the original movies. Just like we used to wonder what "the Kessel run" was, now we are left wondering, "huh, why didn't Han ever mention that he literally financed the entire Rebellion that he ends up joining?"
Alise: Cut to: Han in Band of Brothers.
Dan: Yeah now Han is flopping around in Space World War 2, getting very dirty and dusty. Honestly, I felt bad for him in the space war, he did not seem like he was well trained.
Alise: What I love about Han is that he's still absolutely adorable, despite the impending peril. Like he's just sort of bopping around making faces as things when he runs into Woody Harrelson and the gang. Woody Harrelson is really good at shooting his gun so Han is like, let's hang. The start of a beautiful friendship.
Dan: Yeah everyone just gets blown up around Han and when it looks like all is lost he sees Woody Harrelson doing cool gun tricks. Woody has a Band of Brothers with him and Han tags along but then it turns out that Woody is really a sneakster and his crew is fake army not real army!
Alise: And one of his army guys is really that monkey with a bunch of hands that I spoke about earlier, in disguise. Han is immediately like "this is my tribe" and demands to be invited to hang with them. They sell him out to the space police AKA get him killed but that only makes him want to be in their VIP crew more.
Dan: It felt like Woody had a bigger crew at first right? Or am I crazy? When they meet up back at base it's just Woody, Thandie Newton and a masked alien monkey dude. Well either way space army police take Han and drop in into the Monster Pit. This is when Alise leaned over to me and said, "CHEWBACCA."
Alise: And I was RIGHT. Tell them how I was right Dan!!!
Dan: Honestly, I forgot Chewbacca exists until you told me that. I forgot this was even a Star Wars movie up until now. That's a good thing!
Chewbacca is the Monster in the Pit and he is super wet. Alise you were right but did you know he was gonna be so wet? He looked like a big skinny wet guy.
Alise: First shot of him honestly I was like this is either Chewbacca or this white guy with dreads I met at Bonnaroo in 2010.
Dan: I know I said I'm not a Star Wars Person but I would bet you 300kg of refined coaxium that Chewbacca has never before appeared on screen this wet.
So Chewbacca fucks up Han's shit. He breaks his spine four times and drowns him in mud. Chewbacca bends him backwards around a metal pole and punches his heart off.
Alise: I thought it was interesting how Han reaches out to Chewie by speaking his Wookiee language, but midway through that very conversation he switches to English and just speaks that for the rest of the movie. Like why would Han speaking bad Wookiee win over Chewie's heart when Chewie clearly understands perfect English?
Dan: Honestly, great question. Maybe Chewie really actually did speak English the whole time but it wasn't until Han spoke Wookie that he knew that Han was one of the Good Ones.
Star Wars has a Weird Relationship with Race. Like, droids are not so subtly implied to represent "oppressed" people. Wookiees are taken from their homeland and made slaves. But also, there are literal black people in this universe. This is a weird thing that Sci-Fi (I am not even going to talk about whether Star Wars is Sci-Fi or not, it's irrelevant) does sometimes where it attempts to say something about racial oppression or explicit systems of hierarchy that are like, not really saying anything? I'll finish this thought later.
Alise: And literal human slaves? I'm genuinely confused about the hierarchy in this world. Either way Han escapes with Chewie and they get into Woody Harrelson's crew based entirely on Han's pluck. Then we get the origin of Chewbacca's nickname (Chewie) which is another reveal I didn't know we needed.
Dan: Yeah it's wild. Han literally says, "What's your name? That's too long." I thought you were one of the good ones, dude. Sorry his name isn't Michael.
Now that Han and Chewie speak each other's language they easily escape and run to go meet up with Woody and his crew and get the heck off of war planet. A lot of Star Wars is hopping around from War Planet to War Planet and I feel like it honestly just sucks to live in Star Wars. Have you ever seen a planet or city in Star Wars that looked like it would be fun to live in?
Alise: Not at all! Like what are the planets that are not at war? I feel like in the Star Wars universe you're either flying through open space, in a war, or at some kind of weird bar.
Dan: Hmm, okay some of the bar planets are cool. I like the thing in bad Sci-Fi where there are just like, Planets that are One Thing. Casino Planet. Mining Planet. This movie has a planet that is just like, a HYPERFUEL Gas Station and a tribe of Poor Natives.
Alise: Snow planet. Which is where they head next.
Dan: Oh hell yeah! Monorail Snow Planet.
Alise: The planet is just like, the Matterhorn ride.
Dan: So Woody and the gang agree to let Han and Michael (Chewbacca) join up, but only if Thandie Newton gets to not trust them.
Alise: Yeah they do a whole montage of her talking shit about them in front of them for many thousands of miles. Like the conversation starts when they first get on the ship and ends when they're at Snow Planet. Han is cute enough not to be bothered by it thought.
Dan: Yeah and in her defense, she also now has to split the money more ways. They are here to run a big heist, you see, something that Han has been doing since he was 11. The ultimate sexy scoundrel will make it rich on this gig and then "buy a ship" and "go back to Corellia" for The Girl.
We should remind everyone that Han keeps talking about how he just needs to make some cash so he can go home and rescue Dany from the Sons of the Harpy in Mereen.
Alise: All he has to do is become a pilot and then it'll be no problem rescuing her. Luckily Han wins Thandie over by explaining that he is in love, which she understands because she is in love with Woody Harrelson. Also we learn that Chewie wants to go back and...free his family? Something that he ultimately only kind of does.
Dan: Yeah this is the scene where we learn everyone's motivations. There are many worse examples of this in cinema and this was a very inoffensive version of this scene. Good work, everyone.
Ok so the plan is: steal a car from The Snowpiercer and carry it away. Thandie tells everyone to be careful because the Infant's Cradle (did I remember that right?) might show up and ruin our heist. Like, the space pirates are named the Infant's Cradle?
Alise: I actually have no idea. But I do remember all of their jobs. Thandie has to blow up the bridge. Spider Monkey flies the plane. Woody Harrelson and Han have to shoot things. Chewbacca has to detach the train car with the chlorophyll or whatever from the other train cars so they can attach it to the plane and fly away.
Dan: That all checks out. This is a surprisingly simple gig. They also do a good job of showing us that don't worry there are no people on this train so if it blows up no one dies don't worry. Things are going nice and good and they open up the train to make sure that the prize is in there and holy cow it's full of HYPERFUEL. That's right, the same magic plot juice that a single vial of can buy you a one way ticket to outta the slums from earlier in the movie.
Things are still going nice and good until...the Infant's Cradle shows up on space bikes! Two quick things I need to say about everything that happens on Matterhorn Planet.
1) What was the point of this mega train? It drives stuff from mountain 1 to mountain 2? I dunno man, maybe just do whatever you need to do with the stuff at mountain 1?
2) This is something our good friend Nick Guercio talks about a lot but everyone in Star Wars wears big clunky armor: Storm Troopers, Infant's Cradlers, Other Storm Troopers, etc. This armor is clearly cumbersome but also custom made to help in battle. It is also always 100% useless against blasters, the only form of weapon that exists.
Alise: Right? The bad guy in charge of Infant's Cradle this wears a mask made out of bones and a fur cloak that that has to weigh ten pounds. Their visibility is seriously impaired here. Also I feel like the fur cloak is good for snow planet but at the end they're still wearing the same stuff on Beach HYPERFUEL Planet which also makes no sense. People do not dress for the climate in Star Wars.
Dan: All you need is one good LBC. So the job goes bad and it looks like not everyone is gonna make it.
Thandie is waiting on the bridge to blow it up and this is the scene where I decided that Thandie Newton had never seen a Star Wars movie before.
The reason I decided this is that she is blasting at some droids that show up for some reason and she is pulling her arm back after each shot like she is shooting a Westworld style revolver. In Star Wars guns don't have recoil Thandie! You just blast and blast and blast!
Shout out to the guy behind us building a literal table in this bar using what I can only assume is a gas powered hypersaw.
Alise: Powered by cloaxium or whatever.
Dan: This guy is tearing up concrete while the Kinks play meekly over the Sonos. Ok back to Thandie.
Alise: I feel like Thandie sacrificed herself so fast in this scene? Like she looks around and accepts death so quickly without even discussing an alternative. And it's not like she's dying for some noble cause. She's just dying so that the rest of the crew can steal the shit that they came to steal, which they don't even steal because Han cuts the wires to save them all.
Dan: Bye Thandie. By monkey pilot. Bye Coltraneium. The pirates get away and the booty gets exploded and Woody is PISSED at Han.
Alise: Oh yeah! Monkey pilot dies so Han gets to be the pilot. It had to happen. Han wants to be a pilot, you see.
Dan: Another box checked. Ok so we learn that...uh...they weren't doing this job for themselves they had been contracted by Red Dawn and Han just really screwed the pooch by...saving their lives?
Specifically, they had been contracted by a guy named Dryden Voss (like the water). They have to go to Dryden Voss planet now and try to make things right, but before they do Woody does the thing where he tells Han that once he does this, he is in it For Life.
Like, what a dumb thing to say. Sorry Woody, Woody dumb. There are so many planets in Star Wars and they are all so easy to get to so just like, do whatever you want whenever you want right?
Alise: Once you start doing crimes, you can't stop. I thought it was interesting that Dryden Voss was so easy to find. Like, Woody Harrelson mentions that he's just floating around on his yacht (AKA a giant vertical space ship) and then there he is floating around on his yacht! It seems like an international crime lord would maybe be a little more stealth.
Dan: He ain't a scared of nothing! Except HIS boss, you see, who we will get to eventually.
So they go to Dryden's yacht and it’s a hella good space cocktail party. The vibe is rich dudes and whores but space style.
Alise: Yeah. It's very obviously a sex party but Han is too cute to recognize it. Next thing you know Daenerys is there and he's like "Oh my god what could you possibly be doing here?" even though it could not be more obvious what she's doing there. Poor Han. Blinded by love. Too plucky to live, too scrappy to die.
Dan: Woody tells Han to keep his head down and not talk to anyone and Han does like a cute sad face thing? Young Han's main character traits in case you forgot are: Cute and Solo.
And yeah the re-meet cute here with Dany felt....weird?
Alise: Yeah there was no gravity to it. She just like tapped him on the shoulder and is all smiles. It felt more like two people who live in the same neighborhood running into each other at a bar than two people who were violently separated running into each other in the least likely of places.
Dan: The entire Daenerys thread is easily the one piece of this movie that can help create a narrative where Han grows from the plucky cutie pie from slum planet to the slightly more cynical, jaded smuggler we know from Star Wars. From the first time they reunite, it's pretty clear that Dany is playing a deeper game here, that if not a pure double cross, an ulterior motive is working behind the scenes. Spoiler alert: unless I missed something big in this movie, Han never really changes, even after this thread comes to it's obvious conclusion.
Okay well it turns out Dany is a big dawg on the space Sex Boat.
Alise: Yep. She very clearly is the girlfriend of the yacht owner, Dryden, but Han can't see it even though literally every line she delivers in this movie is some variation of "Do not trust me you don't know what I've done." Anyway, they go chat with Dryden and it's actually surprisingly easy to convince him not to kill them, and to actually let them go do a new mission, and to let them take Dany along for the ride.
Dan: Yeah this is the scene where we meet Dryden Voss, who looks like Paul Bettany with scars and red eyes. Dryden is in charge of the sex yacht and is a big player in Red Dawn, some kind of space mafia. He also uses laser brass knuckles which seem useless in a fight in any setting other than his office. He is the Bad Guy.
One thing that I thought was dumb: Dryden is mad that they lost the shipment of HYPERFUEL and the only way to make things right is to get another shipment of the same size. The plan is to go get unrefined fuel from Mining Planet and then refine it on Gas Station Planet. The problem is that Mining Planet is run by another crime syndicate and Dryden can't start a war! (even though everyone is at war all the time). Luckily, nobody knows that Han and Woody work for Dryden so they can do it secretly! Whew! Oh but also let's send Daenerys, Dryden's top very recognizable lieutenant on this mission also for some reason and give away everything.
Alise: Yes! And also wouldn't the people from Mining Planet notice that Dryden suddenly has a fuckton of the HYPERFUEL? Also, for a shrewd crime lord he literally trusts Han immediately just based off his cutie-pie status. That goes for nearly every character in the movie, and is probably why he is not required to grow at any point. All his bullshit works. He just makes faces at things and they let him do what he wants.
Dan: Honestly, Han has cute privilege and I wish this movie addressed that or even acknowledged it. He is very charming and cute but also very clearly a child and is never made to understand that. I guess that's okay! I changed my mind. Whatever, it's just Star Wars.
Alise: People constantly tell him how stupid he is, but he faces no consequences to that stupidity. In fact he is rewarded for it constantly! Every cute decision he makes works out perfectly.
Dan: He does a good Harrison Ford impression. Okay so next stop they obviously need a space ship so it's obviously time to go visit bar planet where Daenerys knows a dude. We should mention briefly that Dany keeps telling Han: You don't know me anymore. I have done things you would never forgive. Etc Etc.
Alise: Which definitely means "Sex with scar face" but in the end he just continually thinks it’s just killing people, some thing that Han obviously has no problems with.
Dan: Yeah Han is definitely more worried that in the 3 years since he left her on garbage planet she hooked up with another dude. For example: Donald Glover!
Alise: Oh yeah as soon as we meet Donald Glover she starts talking about how hot he is and how big his dick is. This Star Wars movie actually had the most over sexual implications of any Star Wars I think. The sexiest stuff since Leia wore that bikini.
Dan: Yeah Lando has a Big Dick that is canon.
Alise: Two things this movie wants you to know about Lando: he's got a big dick and an extensive collection of capes. The audience went fucking crazy for the capes.
Dan: The guy behind us who clapped a lot went buckwild over those capes. Yeah so Donald is Lando Calrissian and I assume he is doing a very big Billy Dee Williams impression? I really have no connection to the original character but I am assuming he is meant to be Very Charming and Smooth.
But honestly? And I don't know if this is safe to even say in a permanent form like this but...he was kinda lame? Han was way smoother. Part of me thinks maybe okay, this is Lando before Lando was cool. But no, the movie makes it a point to say over and over how cool he is and how big is spacehog is. He comes across as a dweeb who calls everyone baby? Or am I on my own here? Solo, if you will?
Alise: I love Donald Glover but I was definitely underwhelmed. And again, no growth as a character. We don't see him change or learn anything. The most important thing that happens is that he meets Han. Oh and his robot gf dies.
Dan: Oh hell yeah. So blah blah blah Dany tells Han that Lando has a real good spaceship but he'll never give it up because he won it in a card game. Side note: if he will never give it up why are we here? Anyway, Han figures out that oh duh he can just win the spaceship IN A CARD GAME!
Obviously, no, Lando cheats, sorry dude, but since he and Dany used to have sex, he'll help them out a little. This is the scene where we meet the craziest character in this movie:
Star Wars, in the year of our lord 2018…
Created a droid with ass and titties.
There is a sassy british lady droid who literally wiggles her ass when she walks. She was built and designed to wiggle her ass when she walked.
Alise: This robot is stacked. Everyone needs to know that. She also takes the time later in the movie to confirm that robots and humans can fuck, if they want to. Also she's like, a civil rights activist or something.
Dan: She’s not even a sex droid she's a navigational service droid but they still give her wide set hips and pronounced decolletage. And yeah this is another weird race thing: she (L3 is her name) is super big on robot rights but it is only ever played for Laughs.
Alise: Yeah it's very much like the House Elf Liberation Front. You're not sure if you're supposed to be laughing at the droids' bid for freedom or like, cheering it on. Either way, the humans literally refuse to address it with her in any way which is pretty spot on for IRL racism.
Dan: Totally. No one ever acknowledges her droid rights stuff! They just straight up ignore it. Also I can't stress enough how much she moves her ass when she walks.
Okay so after some pointless negotiation, Lando agrees to help them in exchange for 25% of the cut. Off to mining planet we go!
Our road trip to mining planet includes the juicy details of the fact that there is a big space cloud in between here and there and you can't just warp speed over there, you gotta navigate through the space cloud.
Alise: But luckily Lando's robot friend with a fat ass has a brain full of maps, so she can navigate us to mining planet no problem. This gives Han another opportunity to tell us that he wants to be a pilot. Then L3 and Dany have a a little girl-on-girl chat where L3 hints at a relationship with Lando and confirms what we've all known since A New Hope: Robots and humans *can* and *do* fuck each other.
I, for one, was very happy to see this addressed.
Dan: If you think that droid technology evolved out of anything other than the Svedka sex robot you are naive.
This trip over to mining planet also sets up the concept of how the "Kessel Run" is measured in distance, rather than time. The Kessel Run involves navigating through space cloud, and takes on average 20 parsecs of travel distance to make it through. The fact that Han Solo famously did the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs (this is a famous thing, Alise) now makes more sense!
Alise: There's also a scene on the way to mining planet where Dany and Han make out in Lando's cape closet, and Han sort of motions to the bed area. This Star Wars has the most overt sex stuff since Leia wore that bikini while chained to a giant penis slug.
Dan: Yeah Han is short for Horny mAN.
Alise: I didn't know the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs was famous, but based on the number of times they said it in this movie and the literal standing ovation the guy behind us gave every time it was brought up, I figured out that this was a crucial detail.
Dan: Eventually they land on mining planet and Dany basically does the I'm here to buy your Unsullied Slaves trick from Game of Thrones. Which, since Star Wars is in the past, actually came before Game of Thrones.
Alise: I know that Star Wars takes place a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away but when I'm watching I always feel like it's happening in the future on Earth.
Dan: Nah it's the past. Sorry but it's right there in the beginning if you pay attention.
Alise: Maybe if the original text had had the PROPER CAPITALIZATION I would have INTERNALIZED more of the INFO.
Dan: Are you listening RON HOWARD?! Along those lines, I have a couple questions about mining planet, and manual labor in general in the Star Wars universe. I mentioned this earlier, but literally everyone has a million droids, even poor people. Why do you still have humans and humanoid aliens swing pickaxes in the space mines?
Alise: Right? And this is where the whole robot civil rights plotline gets muddled because it seems like the problem of real living slaves has not yet been addressed. Like, L3 I’ma let you finish but, there are literally thousands of human slaves.
Dan: It's a little weird! As crazy as it sounds, Star Wars did not solve slavery or race relations...yet. But yes, while the mission to...steal tubes of...HYPERFUEL is underway, L3 instigates a robot rebellion!
Alise: Which does, incidentally, free a lot of human slaves too. Though I don't think that is L3's main goal.
Dan: These little dork ass droids have their "do not rebel" switches switched off and they start going buck wild. It was very funny! They are all super janky and throwback style with little dorky legs. There is one droid who is just stumping around on the computer terminal and it was truly good.
Alise: Meanwhile, Chewie and Han are trying to steal the HYPERFUEL and Chewie ends up running into...his family? I'm actually not clear on if the wookiee he found is like, a member of his literal family, or just another wookiee.
Dan: Oh yah. During this whole escapade, Chewie and Han have a weird goodbye moment. It was established that Chewie is searching the galaxy for his kin, the last of the Wookiee who were stolen from Kashyyyk. He says goodbye during the riots and Han says goodbye buddy! Then like 5 minutes later Chewie just shows up with an army of Wookiees! I'm glad the mining colony was well labeled and had an information kiosk to direct him to the Wookiee wing.
To your question, I think all Wookiees are related and Chewbacca is everyone's dad.
Alise: Also I will say that I did watch the Star Wars Christmas Special once and in it you meet Chewbacca's family (they are Christian and celebrate Christmas) so I guess he is reunited with his family eventually.
Dan: That makes sense. Is everyone in Star Wars Christian?
Alise: The certainly celebrate Christmas. It's canon.
Dan: Blessed are the sex droids, for they shall inherit the galaxy.
Eventually everyone makes it out safely and they are running back to the Millenium Falcon when a silly thing happens. L3 wants to keep fighting and freeing more robots but they are all under heavy fire. One by one our heroes start running out from the ship to help her. Literally one at a time as it keeps getting worse. I guess this is a good time to talk about who we thought played the voice of L3, since she is about to get blown up.
Alise: Oh yes, I was absolutely certain at this point that Sue from Great British Bake Off was the voice of L3.
Dan: I thought it was Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), but she was already in another Star Wars so that would be weird. Turns out we were both wrong and it was someone else.
Alise: Whoever she was, she's not in the rest of the movie because she gets blown up while running around trying to revel in her own rebellion, and Lando almost dies himself trying to drag her fat ass back to the ship. Further confirmation that they banged. When L3 first mentions her relaysh with Lando it seemed like it was being played as her being delusional, but his reaction to her death made it seem like they definitely had a romance of some kind.
Dan: Would you have sex with a robot? Not like, a sybian, but a sentient droid type thing with thoughts.
Alise: Hmm...maybe? C3PO has a nice build, but I'd have to see one that they designed to have a penis the way L3 has tits and an ass. Also I think that fucking a sex robot is different than getting fucked by one, which is just a hetero male/female difference that Star Wars is going to have to grapple with if they go down this path.
Dan: Hmm ya good point but also when L3 says it *works* she might be the one doing the fucking.
Alise: True. We actually don't know what the genitalia situation is.
Dan: Like we assume she has holes but also maybe not and she has penetrating modules. I'll buy the art book and let you know.
Alise: It makes more sense for her to be penetrating I think unless whatever holes she has are set up to be like a fleshlight. From what I could see she is mostly metal and wires so I don't get how that is comfortable.
Dan: Ya maybe with the force you could do it? Oh and actually, The Force isn’t really in this movie at all which is GREAT. Just a side note. I don't need The Force in my movies.
Alise: Oh yeah true I forgot about the Force factor! They don't mention The Force, Jedi, or anything of that nature at all in this movie.
Dan: Nope! So now they all have to beat feet and scram from Mining Planet before The Empire shows up or something. It sucks that L3 is injured because oh no who will fly the spaceship they need a pilot! Alise where are they gonna find a pilot?!
Alise: Wait...Dan...I know of a pilot...or should I say, an aspiring pilot, just daring enough to take the wheel.
Alise: Here's another question that I have: so eventually they take out L3's map brain so they can upload it into The Falcon and Han can do the Kessel run in 12 parsecs, but if L3's brain is still good couldn't they just rebuild her (bangin') body and plug in the old brain? Also does that mean that L3 *is* the Millennium Falcon and if so why doesn't it talk like her?
Dan: I think that yes, if they make more of these Han or Lando movies they will definitely rebuild her hotter and curvier. I also think they would have added a voice but then to your point, why doesn't The Falcon talk in the later movies? Maybe they just offloaded her maps app but left her Siri on the main chassis. That explanation satisfies me.
Alise: Okay I can go with that as well. Her death just felt very final but the whole time I was kind of like...but can't she just get rebuilt? Do droids have souls that can be lost to death?
Dan: Maybe Lando was just really upset that her lower half got blown off because that’s where the fleshlight is. And I think Droids are baptised yes so they would have souls.
Either way, Han becomes pilot and Chewie becomes copilot in that classic setup that we all know and love. Unfortunately the HYPERFUEL they stole is low on batteries and needs to be plugged in ASAP or it will all explode. The only way to make this work would be if someone could...do the Kessel Run...in under 12 parsecs!
Space Cloud has a nice highway carved into it but that will be too long so Han drives straight into the wall of the Cloud even though he was warned there might be space monsters in there.
Alise: Oh and boy is there ever! There's a big octopus AND a black hole.
Dan: Honestly the space octopus was fun. It felt less like a Star Wars monster and more like...a big Gears of War boss fight. That's a video game where you have a chainsaw gun, for some context and texture.
Alise: I feel like the idea that there are giant octopuses in space is like, a Jungian archetype at this point. We see it over and over again. There's the hero, the anti-hero, the giant space octopus.
Dan: Ya the giant space octopus represents the feminine subjugation of the ego.
Alise: Chaos is feminine. Chaos is a giant space octopus. I think if Homer had known about space when he wrote the Odyssey, there would have been a space octopus.
Dan: I mean. Charybdis is the proto-space octopus. A sea octopus if you will.
Alise: Oh true i'd forgotten about the sea octopus.
Dan: Wow and they said Star Wars was for kids. Okay so not only is there a giant (bigger than you think) space octopus but there is a black hole that is so AWESOME that it's not even black. It's made of LAVA. Han tricks the giant space octopus by ejecting an escape pod into the center of the lava hole and the giant space octopus, get this, falls for it.
Alise: This plan requires Han to combine both his pluck and his piloting skills, in many ways transforming him into the man we know him to be.
Dan: Ya and then they also have to crack open their HYPERFUEL and do a Fast and Furious style Nitro booster to get out of the lava hole.
I did go to engineering school but I never understood how you can just inject stuff into an engine and make it go hypersonic. Why not make the whole fuel out of the HYPERFUEL? And don't say it's too expensive.
Alise: It does seem like if one drop of HYPERFUEL is enough to get them out of a lava black hole, the fact that they're not using it as their every day fuel is pretty dumb. Like, what are they using it for then?
Dan: I think the idea is...um...it's expensive and only rich people ships or military stuff get to use it. That's why it's HYPERFUEL and not FUEL. It's like Monster Energy for your ship. Rich people only. Maybe it's more like Street Kings.
Eventually they all escape and make their way to Gas Station planet to refine the HYPERFUEL and meet up with Dryden Voss the mafia guy.
Alise: Dryden Voss has a lot of inexplicable scars on his face. I'm not sure if we've gone over this but he definitely got slashed by some kind of animal in his past.
Dan: Nah dude I think some Star Wars people just have scar faces. Like, he is an alien and that is their thing. Like how sometimes aliens are just normal looking but have a tail coming out of their head or something. He is normal but scars and reddish eyes. Star Wars is very Homosapionormative.
Alise: Hmm I never considered that. I assumed he got the scars during his life as a mafia guy who flies around on an extremely distinctive yacht-ship.
Dan: My assumption in Star Wars is: if you are human you have to be super hot, otherwise you are just some brand of alien I don’t know the name of.
Like, Ron Howard's squirrely brother Clint was in this as the Robot Dogfight orchestrator and he was just an alien that looked like a wacky human, to me.
Alise: Wow. My mind is blown. Anyway, Gas Station Planet really seems like the pits. Like maybe even worse than Mining Planet. Everyone looks so sad there.
Dan: Yeah Gas Station Planet is...not a dream destination! But it does set up a few crazy Plot Events!
First: Lando decides to hang out back in the ship while Han and Dany and Chewie go to convert their HYPERFUEL into HYPERFUEL Maxx.
Second: The Baby's Cradle Pirates or whatever they are called show up again to hijack the HYPERFUEL again!
Alise: Every single time Baby's Cradle shows up, someone in the gang is like "Wow we should have planned for Baby's Cradle to show up."
Dan: They're always surprised even though they've shown up at the end of 100% of their missions. Han needs to turn of location services.
Alise: Hahaha yeah Woody Harrelson doesn't realize he shared his location with Baby's Cradle months ago when he was drunk.
Dan: Too late now, they show up at Gas Station Planet and want all the goodies. There is a weird shot / scene where the lead Baby Cradle pirate takes their helmet off and it's...a girl! I say girl, not woman, not to be dismissive but rather because that's really what the shot is trying to convey. Like, suspenseful helmet removal gives way to...cute freckles! I think I heard a record scratch.
Alise: This reveal was so strange to me. Like when she took off her helmet and they showed her face I thought that she was going to be someone they recognized - I even briefly thought she was Woody Harrelson's long lost daughter with the Westworld lady but literally the only reveal was that she is a girl, and by virtue of being a girl, she is implicitly trustworthy and not bad.
Dan: Yeah they have this half-hearted reveal that sort of implies that Gas Station Planet is...her home planet? Basically she announces / reveals that Dryden Voss, the evil mafia lieutenant of The Crimson Dawn is actually...a bad guy. And the evil mafia Crimson Dawn is actually...a bad group!
She says something like, "They steal from people to get what they want." Uh yeah duh! But anyway this has the desired effect of Han deciding that he will give the HYPERFUEL to The Baby Cradle instead, through a convoluted plan which we will now try to recap.
Alise: Honestly this whole movie makes me question Han's critical thinking skills. He doesn't realize Crimson Dawn is bad even though they only make people steal things, and their leader threatened to kill him within 30 seconds of meeting, and Dryden Voss low-key owns Han's girlfriend. Han also doesn't appear to get that his girlfriend belongs to Dryden Voss now, or what that entails, despite her only lines in the movie being some variation of "You don't get what I've done."
Dan: It is canon that Han is cute and not a thinker. He is a hot lifeguard that really wants to be a marine biologist one day and always talks about that. You can hook up with him for the summer but in your heart you know there is literally no way he can even pick up a starfish without killing it.
At some point Woody Harrelson decides: Uh uh no way dude. I'm not part of this plan I am NOT double crossing the Crimson Dawn and he peaces out.
Alise: Han also tries to pull several cute moves a-la his pretending to click a bomb move in the beginning, but they don't work because the Baby's Cradle girl is herself cute, and therefore immune to cuteness.
Dan: Ya you can't cute a cuter. Eventually Dryden Voss shows up in his space yacht and Han and Dany (and Chewie? who knows) take the big canister of refined HYPERFUEL up to his office. Dryden takes a tube of HYPERFUEL and does the old "wow pretty good HYPERFUEL...too bad it's a fake!"
Alise: Turns out Woody Harrelson went and told him everything, which honestly they should have all realized was a possibility. But again, there's a lack of critical thinking skills here.
Dan: Yeah Han thinks that Dany sold him out but actually no it was the other character who was off screen for a few minutes.
Alise: This is the first of several Did-Dany-Betray-Han? fake outs that happen in rapid succession.
Dan: I literally forget what happens next. Woody is instructed to...take the HYPERFUEL somewhere with Chewie? The Baby Cradle shows up outside to secretly ambush Crimson Dawn? Who knows. Do you knows?
Alise: I don't, but they end up on the beach while Dany takes a very important phone call.
Dan; Mmmm, yeah basically Han reveals that he had a secret plan, Dryden gets mad, etc etc. Han has to fight Dryden, etc etc. Dany stops Han from killing Dryden so she can kill him herself. Han goes to catch up with Woody and Chewie.
And then Dany facetimes with Darth Maul. (The Insane Clown Posse Guy)
Alise: Yes! This is apparently a big deal but I didn't know that so I just thought it was a random phone call she was taking in the middle.
Dan: Maul is / was a random bad guy from the Phantom Menace prequel. He was important because he had cool face paint and a double ended lightsaber. He was a lot like Heath ledger's joker for a while in that he was on a lot of black t-shirts.
Alise: Oh okay now I understand completely.
Dan: Anyway we learn that the Crimson Dawn is run by Violent Jay and it's a big reveal.
Alise: While Woody and Han have a scuffle on the beach that ends in Woody's death, Dany calls up Darth Maul and they agree that she should get a promotion and sail the yacht back to him, which she does.
Dan: When you play the game of Han you win or you die.
Alise: Han sees the yacht fly away and has a minimal, if any, emotional reaction. You'd think after he escaped the worm lady with her, joined the army to find her, sailed the galaxy to save her, and did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs for her he'd be more upset when she ditches him without even saying goodbye but he just kind of looks at the sky like "huh?" Meanwhile I start crying if my boyfriend doesn't answer a text within 30 seconds.
Dan: Yeah he certainly doesn't care and or understand what's happening. But he makes nice with Baby's Cradle and they literally say something like "with the sale of this HYPERFUEL we can start A REBEL ALLIANCE.”
Alise: And he's like "Nah I don't want any part of that," and essentially looks directly to camera and winks. He might as well have said "OR WILL I?" and blown the audience a little kiss.
Dan: Yeah and again, this is a cute moment but it does beg the question: why does he never mention in any of the other movies that he basically paid for the entire rebellion? He seems like the type of dude who would mention that.
Alise: Yeah he mentioned wanting to be a pilot a thousand times in one movie, so you think he'd mention funding the rebellion at least once over the course of his life.
Dan: But alas, no time for Rebellion just yet, because Han has to do one last scene where he plays Space Poker against Lando again.
Alise: Does he chase down his long lost love to figure out where tf she went on that giant yacht? Nope. He traverses the galaxy to find Han and win the Millennium Falcon once and for all.
Dan: I think that's one of the main points of this movie? That he wants to fuck the ship? They hint that yes, a human can fuck a droid. But what if a droid's brain is in a ship? Could a human fuck that?
Alise: I think Han is just cute enough to try.
Dan: Roll credits!
Alise: We end on the classic shot of Chewie and Han in the falcon onto a lifetime of adventures! I feel like our review might make it seem like I didn't like this movie, but I actually did.
Dan: Same! I know this movie is already considered by FANS to be a LESSER Star Wars and not as good as whatever other movie they liked in the series but actually they are wrong. It was not Serious, and in being such avoided the biggest misstep of all.
Alise: Yeah I think the reason Star Wars fans didn't like it was the reason that I did. It was extremely silly, had no stakes, and required zero knowledge of Star Wars. The Force is never mentioned once.
Dan: Well Alise, for better or worse, that is everything that happens in Solo: A Star Wars Fanfic. We should let everyone know that like suckers we sat around for the entire 20,000 person credits hoping for some bonus action. We did not get any action.
Alise: This seems like the type of movie that would have something at the end of the credits -- maybe Lady Worm comes back or something -- but nah. There's nothing there.
Dan: Like maybe after the soundtrack details we see Lady Worm take her helmet off and it's Young Leia and she is like, wait a minute what if I wore my hair....like this! Missed opportunity IMO.
Alise: Yeah there were a lot of potential fun tags that could have happened here but, in a way, all of Solo is just a fun tag at the end of the Star Wars franchise.
Dan: Solo: TAG: Based on a True Story #tagmovie.
Before we get to the closing questions, anything we missed? Anything you want to mention to our lovely readers?
Alise: I think in general I wanted more from Donald Glover in this movie. I felt like his charm did not match up to that of Han which is odd because Donald Glover is very charming.
Dan: Do we think Donald played Lando with too much depth, or am I giving him too much credit? Like, is he actually an insecure man child compensating for his lack of direction? Han is just a goofy cutie and Lando never seemed in control of himself.
Alise: I feel like Lando was all capes in this movie. Without the capes he was nothing.
Dan: Wow all Cape, no Cod. Okay Alise, what were your 3 favorite things about this movie?
Alise: 1) Han Solo's cute lil face.
2) Sexy Robot Woman.
3) Honestly...the yacht. Oh the yacht is tied actually with Lady Worm.
Dan: Oh interesting. For me:
1) I liked that they played space poker a couple times, which is like regular poker except the cards are not rectangle. A lot of Space Entertainment Properties do this with cards and it's pretty dumb! What do they do with the little corner pieces that they cut off the rectangles? It seems very wasteful and harder to make these octagonal cards that are all the rage in Space.
2) I truly love that Disney was brave enough to finally make a droid with an ass.
3) I like that all of Chewie's family are just Chewie with different lips.
Ok next question! If you could change one thing about this film, what would it be? It can be a new scene, a different character, anything at all!
Alise: I would have had Han's gf die, or like publicly betray him. Not just fly away on the yacht. I think it makes more sense if she is dead and not just like, out there working for Darth Maul.
Dan: I think she ghosted him which is even worse than death.
Alise: The scene just had no emotional impact which is crazy because the whole movie was leading up to it. We all knew they weren't going to end up together because they can't so the fact that that scene had no weight at all was lame. TBH the best ending would be if she BECAME Darth Maul.
Dan: Whoa. Yes sick. She finally breaks up with Han, gets a sick haircut and some face tattoos.
Alise: Yeah like instead of the last scene being her calling him the last scene is her finding a bunch of black and red paint and the double lightsaber and being like "hmm..."
Dan: Since You Been Gone starts playing. But like orchestral.
Alise: Oh yeah the movie also had zero Kelly Clarkson, which was a shame. I LOVE an orchestral cover of a pop song. LOVE it. The short lived CW series Reign made good use of that, but that's neither here nor there.
Dan: I would have added a scene where they are back on poor person planet where Han grew up. He finally returns to Space Customs where he snuck out all those years ago. As he is walking past the Empire recruiting booth, we see a young moisture farmer with a side part walk up to the desk. "Hi my name is Luke and I want to join the army."
"Who are your people?"
"I don't have any people I just want to be a pilot and WALK on the SKY"
Then they both turn to the camera and wink.
Alise: Hahahah, I would have loved that. TBH there could have been more Easter eggs like that -- overheard conversations where they're like "The princess of alderaan is in trouble again!" or like "I got this rock from the Skywalkers on Whereverthefuck."
Dan: Or like, wow I finally just ordered my R2D1 and of course now they come out with the R2D2!
Alise: Yeah that's the one. C2PO.
Dan: Ok final question! If you could rename this movie, what would you call it?
Alise: Space Cuties: A Star Wars Story.
Dan: Solo: A Top Gun Story or Droids on the Side.
Well Alise we did it. We gave the people the in depth analysis of this hot media property that they all know and love. Any final thoughts for the fans?
Alise: I don't understand why this is the least popular Star Wars movie. It was so fun! And Rogue One was like, the most boring thing I've ever seen.
Dan: Interesting and controversial! Okay goodbye everyone! And remember: droid rights are human rights!
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Alise Morales is a comedy writer and performer living in Brooklyn NY. You can catch her hit show The Roast of Your 15 Year Old Self 6/25 at Union Hall or in a city near you. For more info check out alisemorales.com/the-roast.