The non-spoilery comment on Solo: A Star Wars Story is that it was forgettable and more shallow than I am accustomed to getting from a Star Wars universe story.
Now for the more detailed comments that you'll want to save for later if you haven't watched the movie yet.
It is true that I wasn't expecting much from this movie and that I wasn't excited for it. I thought that out of all of the possible angles to take for a new film, focusing on Han Solo's early days was the most boring one. So when you go into a movie with that attitude, anything that is good you enjoy and you tend to focus less on or be less disappointed by anything that isn't. I expected little and I got a little, so it worked.
Opening crawl. Everyone said that Rogue One was the movie that actually needed an opening crawl, so I do like the way that Solo avoided the traditional opening crawl of the saga films while still giving a piece of that effect. That was good.
Han's last name. Um, that naming story sounds good if you're a middle schooler writing a short story. But not here. It was overly contrived. Maybe it Han had chosen his own last name it might have worked. But to have an Imperial officer name him? No. An Imperial wouldn't care enough to put thought into naming an unnamed someone, and this officer had probably come across many unnamed someones with no family connections so Han wouldn't have stood out as someone to give a cool lone wolf name to. Anyway, Solo isn't the only Star Wars name that has character meaning (I always liked Finis Valorum, or "the end of valor"), so to draw attention to the meaning of his name, to me, felt like detracting from it rather than enhancing it.
The movie was fun. Sure. I kept on kind of waiting for it to gain some sort of significance, even though I had to remind myself that it probably wouldn't (and it didn't). So it kind of plays out like one long side sequence. You know, a plot thread within a film that in itself doesn't mean too much but is a cool bit. Except that that was the whole movie. A whole movie made out of a little side story.
I don't normally bring up things like this, but I'm starting to agree with everyone: why are all of the main female characters in Star Wars movies white Brits? (Okay, they're not all Brits, but the recent ones are. And yes, not everyone, we're mainly talking about just three characters here.) Nothing against any of the individual actresses. And with Rey, sure, we did want someone who could look like she was a Skywalker just for all of that early speculation. But Qi'ra? She could have had any look. Unless (I have to mention it) they still want us to speculate that she's Rey's mother (if, you know, she and Han met up again some years later). They did, after all, give her the name (just spelled differently) that they'd originally used for Rey's character (but every female character in Star Wars has been getting some version of the name Kira lately). Not that I at all subscribe to that theory, but it has to cross our minds, right?
Lando. I don't know if it's because I watched Star Wars from a young age, but I never had much interest in Lando. The whole suave thing never caught me. And honestly, I always thought of him as the new guy, the guy who had kind of been the bad guy but was now the good guy. However, Donald Glover was pretty great as Lando. The charisma, accompanied by the humor of the over-the-topness got me this time. And Han? Han also never overly interested me as a character on his own--so I literally have no comments to make about Han in this movie.
Corellia. We've head that Han is from Corellia, but this is the first time any of the films have shown the planet. I always enjoy the chance to see how "regular people" are living, so the Corellia scenes were kind of cool. Han is a person who grew up during the Empire's reign; what did that look like? How did he get by? How did other people get by? It reminds me of the images of Jedha in Rogue One and of the Lothal content in Rebels. Seeing these young people (not just Han and Qi'ra, the others, too) trying to survive and seeing what the transportation center is like helped color in the image of life under the Empire. I liked that.
Chewbacca's introduction I liked, too. That kind of caught me by surprise. Kessel? I mean, the shots of the Falcon going through the whole maelstrom thing looked cool, but we finally saw the infamous Kessel run and saw how Chewbacca got his life debt to Han and that was all we got? I'm the one who said there were more interesting stories to pursue and yet I felt like there was more content here to flesh out. We didn't even get a single mention of the life debt, after all (and there's a whole canon novel named after it, too, so it doesn't make sense to me to not bring it up).
And Darth Maul. Ha, ha, who doesn't like that he had a cameo? It would seem that we'll be seeing more of him in the future, too.
Hmm. These are all just random, disjointed comments because my only cohesive comments are what I said in the beginning: this film was shallow and unmemorable. I remember with Rogue One, I didn't think that I would like the movie that much after hearing that it would be more of a war film but I was also looking forward to seeing what they did with a Star Wars movie apart from the saga. And they delivered something with significance, something that brought that Star Wars feel even while it brought other things, too. Solo didn't bring much of a Star Wars feel. I'm not saying that it all needs to be about putting your life on the line for the rebellion and all that. But we need that important character moments and the beautiful cinematography and the nature imagery and . . . I don't know. Something else. They tried by putting in the Cloud Riders, but that felt slightly contrived and not connected enough with the current story in order to give the current story heart; all that gave was a sort of nod to the rebellion with which we're all familiar. And when I say that stories don't need to be all about life for the rebellion, the books and TV shows are the examples of that. There are other stories that have that feeling, even if they're not about Cassian and Jyn stealing the Death Star plans or Luke defeating the Emperor by throwing aside his lightsaber or whatnot.
It's a cool idea to have Star Wars films apart from the Saga. There is so much to explore. And they don't all have to be as good as your favorite Star Wars film. But what's the point in having so many new movies if they have such a small, fleeting significance? What did Solo really add to the mix? Very little.
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