I initially enjoyed Solo: A Star Wars story, and agree (along with Ben Shapiro and Redlettermedia) that Solo is by no means the worst Star Wars film out there. However, there were a few issues with it – and oddly enough, after a lot of thought, I came to the decision that I didn’t like the Kessel Run. This was hashed out in a conversation with a close friend of mine. Read the following chat log to learn more!
[has been edited a tiny bit for clarity]
At this point in our conversation I answer the following question from my friend:
what did you think about how they handled the Kessel Run? good enough?
Me: re the Kessel Run. I would have done it differently, but it was still exciting
Friend: i’m glad you enjoyed it. i mean overall it was fun. i would love to hear how you’d change the Kessel Run, but if it’s part of your review i can wait…
Me: yeah. i’m always happy to be pleasantly surprised. i’m not sure what my blog will comprise of, prolly not what i would have done… I feel like… this Kessel Run is complicated.
SO Let’s say Kessel is point A and the hyperspace jump point is point B. I always saw the Kessel Run as 1 of 3 things – or a combination of the 3.
thesis: Kessel Run requires a speedy ship and a very good pilot. ergo: the result of a 12 parsec run is due to how awesome the Millenium Falcon is as much as it is how awesome a pilot Solo is
so, in order to show both qualities, I always imagined a few things. #1 – a set objective amount of space to cover within a short period of time – which other smugglers have run and timed themselves on; #2 – a perpetual Imperial presence which is like a blockade to deter smugglers and presents an obstacle to Kessel Runners; #3 – space objects that also challenge a ship and pilot’s readiness
in this film, we have 2 of the three – Imperial presence (not fully explained) AND space objects (the Maw or whatever)… unfortunately, this Solo takes a short cut, albeit through a difficult piece of space territory, so the Kessel Run becomes less about TIME and more about DANGER.
So when he says to Obi-Wan in Ep 4 this is the ship that did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs, it means nothing now cuz he did a “shortcut” and had help from a bunch of people to keep the ship together and used hyperfuel (coaxium fuel) to boost the Falcon.
so it’s a complicated scene that was fun, but I would have done more what was in the books – a standard smuggler ship vs super star destroyer going down a very dangerous piece of space surrounded by black holes, making complicated jumps and stuff like that
Friend: yup. i didn’t love the uploading of SJD [social justice droid] into the ship a) shortcut now does not equal any skill, b) weird & forced story
Me: yeah omg, yes, exactly oh gosh i forgot about SJD’s help there
Friend: i hated the use of the unrefined fuel b/c: a) takes no pilot skill, the ship is not special – the fuel is
Me: oh gosh yeah
Friend: b) he needed, nay, relied on others being there to do it. so, not his fault he ‘accomplished’ the run in 12 parsecs
Me: so… in a sense, Han is lying when he says to Obi-Wan that he did the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs, but then I have to wonder if he felt like he could brag about it when he had help… >> like, he’s a scoundrel, so what you expect… i just wished he could have been a teensy bit more awesome. like just not have the SJD there and have him doing all the fancy maneuvers. like Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy vol 1. but no, SJD had to be awesome
Friend: you nailed ‘how it should have gone’, i wouldn’t have minded a shortcut thru a wormhole, or tunnel of some sort – that required skill + risk. i do feel his use of risk is key as well. but man. thinking more on the kessel run, it kinda ruined things
Me: sigh. which is sad BECAUSE IT IS THE SET PIECE OF THE WHOLE FILM
Me: i loved their reaction to the spoctopus. the space octopus was cool… and them screaming over its revelation was funny, but once again…
Friend: hahaha, there were a lot of cool things
Me: i feel like Han Solo was… undercut in the moment just a bit. it could have been simpler and cooler to do it my way. eh
Friend: that’s pretty much EXACTLY what M— said too
Me: i give the movie kudos for being smooth enough that I could ignore stuff, but on closer inspection there are problematic things going on. which is sad. still… better than other stuff like [The Last Jedi] Luke trying to kill his nephew or being unable to lift an x-wing out of the water…
Friend: [dollars for eyes emoticon]
[end of conversation]
Yes, so there you have it. Although Han Solo had awesome and heartfelt moments in his film, the Kessel Run could have been tweaked to showcase his awesomeness. I guess I’ll have to go back and reread the original Han Solo trilogy to enjoy those special moments.