Solo #5 Review

by Dennis Keithly

Solo #5 find Han Solo and his allies fleeing from the Empire through the Maw as they desperately try to deliver the coaxium in time.

This article contains plot points for Solo #5.

Solo #5 Cover

Solo #5

Writer: Robbie Thompson | Artist: Will Sliney | Color Artist: Federico Blee | Letterer: VC’s Joe Cramagna | Cover Artist: Phil Noto | Assistant Editor: Tom Groneman | Editor: Mark Paniccia

Solo #5 is the penultimate issue of the Solo: A Star Wars Story comic adaptation. The action is faster than ever as Han and his allies race against time to deliver the coaxium they stole from Kessel to Savareen for refinement and delivery to Dryden Vos. However, just when their escape from Kessel seemingly put their troubles behind them, the Empire arrives. Solo #5 is a high speed chase and a fast paced comic that largely follows the story from the film.

Imperial Pursuit

The opening sequence of Solo #5 features the escape from the Empire. This part of the story is almost entirely as it appeared in the film. However, there are a few different angles utilized by Will Sliney, and it is not a shot-for-shot adaptation of the film. For instance, when Qi’ra realizes she is in over her head as Han’s copilot, Chewbacca steps in. In the film, this was the moment that Han and Chewbacca moved beyond partners in a heist and really became a team. Solo #5 doesn’t quite capture the chemistry between the two that was evident on the film, but it is the next best thing. Han and Chewie just look comfortable together. They seem like a polished team. The profiles of the characters are slightly different, but it works.

Solo #5 The Imperial Blockade

Misplaced Comedy

Before Ron Howard took over as director for Solo: A Star Wars Story, the film was in the hands of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. Rumors abound as to why the pair were fired from the film. Many of those rumors should be taken with a grain of salt, but one key rumor was that the directing duo deviated from the script and improvised quite a bit of comedy that Lucasfilm didn’t care for. With that in mind, consider an odd placed comedic moment in Solo #5.

Han and Chewbacca have successfully piloted the Millennium Falcon and evaded the Imperial TIE fighters. Now, they only need to escape the Maw and get the coaxium to Savareen for refinement before it explodes and kills them all. However, they have to wait for L3-37, who has been downloaded to the Falcons computers, to plot them a course. Just before they run into the monster that prowls the area near the Maw, the ship is struck by lightning.

Up until this point, these scenes are playing out exactly like they did in the movie. But, it is at this time that Solo #5 makes a crazy, although minor, divergence. In the film, the lights flicker on the Falcon and it appears the ship goes to backup power and they move on. In Solo #5, there is a shot inside the cockpit of the Falcon. Everyone’s hair, save Lando’s, is standing on end. Even Chewbacca’s. It is rather ridiculous. Perhaps this is a remnant from the original script, or perhaps this is something Lord and Miller improvised. It doesn’t really matter. It is a weird interruption in tone.

Solo # 5 I hate you

Final Thoughts on Solo #5

The remainder of Solo #5 follows Han, Chewbacca, Qi’ra, Lando, and Beckett as they desperately escape from the monster and the Maw. This issue does a great job capturing the tension from the film and the action and elation as they make their escape. Everything from the Maw’s gravity pulling them in and Beckett’s frenzied attempt to inject coaxium into the hyperdrive to the escape through the carbonbergs is there.

The art for the escape from the Maw is particularly well done. The colors are the highlight as Federico Blee uses oranges and reds to give the Maw its volcanic power and intensity. They are offset by the bright blue of the lights inside the Millennium Falcon and the thrust of the Falcon’s engine.

Solo #5 ends with the delivery of the coaxium to Savareen. This issue preserves some of the best lines from the film. The first occurs when Han explains to Chewbacca that they made the Kessel Run in less than twelve parsecs “when you round down.” The other classic line is the alternate take on Han and Leia’s “I love you” “I know” exchange when Lando, disgusted with the condition of the Falcon, tells Han, “I hate you” and he responds, “I know.”

Overall, Solo #5 should please fans of Solo: A Star Wars Story. It is mostly faithful to the spirit of the movie. The final panels set up the showdown of the final act of the film when Enfys Nest arrives to confront Beckett over the coaxium.

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