If you read my TLJ review on Cult Faction a while back, you’ll already know I hated it with a passion and Solo has also already been reviewed on Cult Faction so why another article on it? Well with the Bluray about to drop and the heat dying off I figured it was about time I gave it a look.
It’s fair to say my expectations for Solo were already set fairly low. Adding to the fact that it’s not Harrison Ford (how could anyone but him ever pull it off?) and that prequels have a knack of f**king with our dreams. Well, you get the idea, winning me over was always going to be a bit of a tall task.
Let’s get it out of the way, Ehrenreich -is not-, -never will be- and doesn’t even really seem to try too hard to be Harrison Ford. But make no mistake, Alden makes this role his own and in my opinion was a good choice for a young Han Solo. He owns this role and at no point in the film do I feel disappointed by the casting or disbelieve that this really is Han. But is it any good?
YES! Much to my amazement I’m delighted to say that I love this film. In fact, I ab-so-lute-ly f**king love it. How anyone can be disappointed with it is beyond me. It’s got everything any 40-something TL-Jaded fan could ask for. So why the hell did it tank? Franchise-fatigue? Not released at Christmas? Competing with Marvel releases? Not Harrison Ford? Bad Marketing? A rubbish film? A male in the lead role? You name it, I’ve heard it all and it’s all bullshit. Some prick in a suit who probably doesn’t even know what a Kyber crystal is, dreamed up all that bollocks just so Disney could avoid admitting they f**ked up. The truth is simple and everyone knows it, Solo flopped (if $400m revenue on a $250m production cost is flopping) because lots of people hated The Last Jedi. The sooner Disney realise this and learn from their mistakes, the more cash they’ll rake back in from their $4 billion investment.
So Disney, after watching Solo I take it all back. Ok, some of it. As far as I’m concerned Solo is the best new Star Wars movie yet. Yes, even better than Rogue One and I am sorry (not sorry) for all the horrible things I said about you after that pile of shit you called Episode 8. Ok, so the new trilogy isn’t for me, but maybe I’ll let any children I ever have watch it after all and if they don’t hate it, I won’t put them up for adoption now. You sure know how to win a nerd over and for that, you’ve re-earned my respect. Well, until Episode 9 anyway 😉
Now, do me and the rest of the 40-something-men-children out there a favour and make sure you get cracking on Solo 2. Because our children will remember this film, and possibly its follow ups, as fondly as we remember The Original Trilogy.
If you’ve not seen Solo yet but are planning to soon, stop reading now. If you’re still boycotting anything Disney Star Wars after The Last Abomination, have seen Solo already, or just aren’t that much of a fan to give a shit about spoilers, then by all means, fill your boots.
*** MASSIVE F**KING SPOILERS AHEAD *****
The movie starts with a good old fashioned land speeder chase, awesome. I love Han’s square speeder too, it reminds me of the SW universe equivalent of an 80’s Ford Escort XR3i…. Not a bad thing for anyone of my generation, and I even bought the toy to display proudly in my man-cave. I don’t think the toys are selling too well lately either so I managed to pick it up for a song.
It took me a while to realise Emilia Clarke was Qi’ra (Han’s new/old girl). More famous for her role in Game of Thrones, and even though she’s just as much of a survivor in this film (and just as hot), she’s no Daenerys Targaryen here. She’d be more likely to run from, work for, or at least strike a deal with Cersei Lannister than send her mothered dragons into battle against her. She and Han want to get off Correllia and have a single Coaxium Phial to buy their way out.
Lady Proxima, a Grindalid matriarch of the White Worm, runs the black market from the sewer tunnels bellow Coronet City. She’s like a Fagan character to Han’s Oliver Twist. I didn’t really get her if I’m honest. I mean, who’d work for a big worm? Yeah ok, I know it worked in ROTJ, but she’s got the whole photodermatitis (allergy to light) thing going on and Jabba had his own sail barge and erotic dancers; surely everyone who ever crosses her would just shine a torch at her face and be done with it? Her minions seem to have authority in the region though, enough to lord it over storm troopers at the checkpoint anyway. That scene also reminded me of escaping from Tatooine in ANH. This is a good thing, I like nostalgia and this film has it in abundance.
Comedy moments are chucked in with a protocol droid in the first 8 mins, so we know this isn’t going to be another TESB. Will there ever be? 🙁 At least in this film the comedy isn’t slapstick and doesn’t feel, if you’ll excuse the shit pun, forced. Rian Johnson could clearly learn a lot from Ron Howard here.
I love the look of the new troopers in this film and the speeder bikes too, a definite nod towards ROTJ. In fact the whole design work of this film is top notch, hats off to Lucas/Disney, the cinematography film is stunning throughout and very pleasing on the eye.
I’ve got to be honest though, I don’t remember Han’s dice as a kid, if they weren’t a thing back then (and I’d need to watch the original un-edited versions again to be sure – it’s been a while!) they certainly seem to be rather prominent in the new films. So much so, people keep trying to sell replicas to me on Facebook. Sorry folks, I loved Han, but Luke was my hero and Disney shat all over him like a toddler with a stomach bug on a brand new cream carpet. No dice!
Young Han is a very different lad from the cool cold charmer we’ll eventually get to know. If Qi’ra had told him she loved him, he’d have melted and jumped right under her thumb at the start of the film, but as the plot develops and they’re torn apart, his back-story comes to life and you can see why he played a little more harder-to-get with Leia. The on-screen dramatization of the benefit of time and experience is at work here and I for one can tell this script wasn’t written by a young or inexperienced man.
What happens next, surprised me, it’ll surprise you too and was frankly a welcome saga wide twist. After being given his surname, another nice touch, our hero signs up for the very Empire he’ll eventually help take down, as a kind of stormtrooper no less. The scene cuts to 3 years in the future where we meet Woody Harrelson’s Captain Tobias Becket on the battlefield and at this stage we have no idea how much of a strong influence he’ll become on an adult Han’s scoundrelling career. We also meet Thandie Newton’s Val, Beckets love interest, who’s a tough chick with a very fine afro… We can dig it! Han instantly proves, he’s not going to blindly follow the evil orders of the Empire though as he questions their role in “bringing peace to the galaxy”. He’d probably be accused of wearing a tin foil hat if he posted that shit on Social Media! Yep, this is our Han Solo alright and his adventure is about to kick in.
After rumbling Becket and Val as sheep in wolves clothing, Han is fed to ‘the beast’. A giant and terrifying, hungry, hairy monster, covered in mud with a terrifying roar. Good thing our boy speaks a little Shyriiwook eh? A brief fight and a little bit of subterfuge thrown in for good measure and our new pals are on their way to meet Becket, who isn’t quite the Empire man we’ve been lead to believe.
It wouldn’t be a good space pirate movie (and it is a good space pirate movie) without a heist and that’s where we’re going next. Becket hands Han ‘that’ famous blaster and he, Val, Chewie and Rio – a 4 armed Ardennian – are off on a great sky-train robbery. You can almost taste the Coaxium, enough to power a fleet, or blow them all straight to hell?
Everything is going to plan, even with a few Empire entanglements, when Enfys Nest and his Cloud Riders Swoop Gang show up to come and snake the score from under them. It seems Becket and Val aren’t the only marauders and pirates after the galaxy’s energy equivalent to a legit, unopened, mint-condition, ‘First 12’ Luke Skywalker action figure on eBay. Now would be the perfect time to have a baaaaaaad feeling about this…
Rio takes a fatal hit to the back and Han fails at his chance to back up the claim that he’s going to be the best pilot in the galaxy. We also lose Val here in an emotional suicide-bomb run as she attempts to save our remaining heroes and the Coaxium from the clutches of the Empire. Mean-while Enfys and Becket battle on for the Coaxium, but instead of the early retirement they’re all dreaming of, Han chooses people over profit and saves them all. What a guy! Becket however would have much rather died than not deliver on his promise to the fearsome Crimson Dawn.
Han wants to run, he’s already a deserter for saving Chewie, but “The Empire doesn’t send a team of enforcers to hunt you down when you’re a deserter, Dryden Vos, will”. Becket asks Han if he has any idea what it’s like to live with a price on his head. If only you knew Tobias, if only you knew. The only thing they can do is go to the Crimson Dawn and find some way to make it up to Dryden.
Dryden Vos is a powerful, dangerous and violent gangster-lord with a scarred face and a short temper. We see him use one of his dual-signature-blades on a galactic governor moments before our 3 heroes join him at the party on his luxurious floating yacht. Think Jabba’s barge, but filled with corrupt politicians and the rich and famous, entertained by dulcet tones of Sci-Fi’s answer to Barry White and Sade, at least from an audible perspective. The plot thickens as we find out that Qi’ra, now Dryden’s slave-stamped top lieutenant, is fully under the influence of Stockholm Syndrome, which seems to be a true-to-life cliché for young attractive females and terrifying crime bosses that make regular bedfellows.
Dryden, played by a very convincing Paul Bettany, makes his interests in Becket’s excuses abundantly clear and for first time since Rogue One’s Director Krennic (Ben Mendelsohn) we have another convincing bad guy in a Disney Star Wars movie. Dryden’s Crimson Dawn boss (I wonder who that could be?) won’t be happy when he finds out that Becket now needs to give Dryden a reason not to kill them all. And quite frankly, Dryden really, really, REALLY just wants to kill them all.
They’ll be hard pressed to find the quantity of Coaxium they owe Dryden or his currently-unnamed master anywhere outside of an imperial vault. Scarif? Maybe… Mercy Island? Never… But Han has an idea. How about “Unrefined Coaxium?” Why didn’t I think of that? But the only known source of that is underneath a fissure vent beneath the spice mines of Kessel. Sure, it has what they need, but as everyone knows astatic-Coaxium will start to destabilise as soon as it’s outside of the vault . They’ll need to process it, fast, on Savareen. Han boasts that he’s the ‘brilliant pilot’ for the job, but where are they going to find an incredibly fast ship? Qi’ra, who doesn’t want to see her old-flame gutted like a Mon Calamari, has an idea; she knows the best smuggler around. He’s slipped through the empire’s fingers more times than anyone else. He’s attractive too, sophisticated with impeccable taste. Oozing charisma and not to mention his prodigious… Han stops her there “I get the idea”. So Dryden sends her along too and smiles, like any proper sociopath would, as he reminds them what will happen to them if they fail.
Sabaac, as you’ll also know, is a high stakes card game played with a deck of 76 cards. 4 suits of 15 and 16 special cards. If you’ve got this far through the review you already know exactly how Han wins his ride, you already know exactly who from and if you’re anything like me, you’ll be expecting to see that very card game right now. Or at least we would if Lando didn’t have a trick up his sleeve.
Captain Lando Calrissian, the coolest cat in the Galaxy, is played by none other than Donald McKinley Glover Jnr (no relation to Danny) and is more famously known as the musician, Childish Gambino. Quite frankly, he’s perfect for the role, he even sounds like Billy Dee Williams, and to some (whilst I disagree, it’s definitely Ehrenreich’s Han), he’s the true star of this movie. Lando loves that ship though and he has no intention of losing it without a fight, or the very least a bit of good old fashioned cheating. His Full Sabaac beats Han’s Straight Stapes, much to the shock of everyone watching on.
Now, the only thing Lando loves more than the Millennium Falcon is his robot side-kick L3-37. A lot of fuss was made about Lando before the movie was released too. The anti-pc brigade, or whatever people who care far too much about other people’s sexuality are called these days (Bigots? Ed.), made a huge fuss about Lando potentially being ‘pan-sexual’. So when it turned out that ‘pan-sexual’ actually meant Lando was in love with his droid, I personally laughed my arse off. L3-37, whose name means ‘Elite’ in 1990’s computer game/instant messaging flame-war-land, is also a massive Social Justice Warrior. Some people have complained about her, but I personally thought this was Disney’s way of admitting the mistakes they made in Kathleen Kennedy’s fem-centric-approach to The Last Jedi and was a bit of a piss take.
L3, as she’s affectionately known, voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (or ‘Fleabag’ of BBC fame) is a campaigner for Robot’s Rights and is as militant as that girl on that famous ‘triggered’ meme. You know the one, her eyes are practically popping out of her head and she’s a bit upset about her gender being assumed. Brilliant work Disney, not everyone got the joke, but I certainly did and I’m pleased that you’re learning to subtlety admit the mistakes I mentioned above, albeit probably too late for the new trilogy, even if JJ has more tricks up his own sleeve than Lando. L3 is Lando’s co-pilot and both have agreed to fly the Falcon in the famous Kessel Run for a 50, no 40, no 25 and eventually 20% cut of the juicy raw-Coaxium. I wonder how fast they’ll do it in? Anyone know? And will that pesky Enfys Nest have any plans to piss on their parade one more time?
The Falcon, in all her brand-new-shiny-glory, is a site to behold. She’s even got a different beak! Han tells us in TESB that he’s made a few modifications and the front end is the most obvious, but right now, the ship is still Lando’s and L3 doesn’t mince her words as she tells Han to get out of her chair. Meanwhile Becket teaches Chewie how to play
Dejarik, or err… Space-Chess to you and me and Han reminds us all that it doesn’t matter if you’re a slave-crime-lieutenant or a plucky princess. When he makes his move, you pucker up! Becket walks in on this and isn’t happy. “Assume everyone will betray you and you’ll never be disappointed” – wise words, that could come back to haunt them both.
As the plan plays out we see some more great touches. Lando in his Skiff Disguise, Han sporting a similar number to Leia’s Boushh bounty hunter costume (with Chewie on a chain to boot) and L3 removing restraining bolts from other droids. Just enough of a nod to previous flicks to keep me happy without copying the script entirely *cough* JJ *cough*. L3’s antics start a full blown robot-revolution, exactly what you’d expect from a fem-bot demanding equal rights and just the distraction Han needs. Chewie however doesn’t stick to the plan, he discovers his tribe have been imprisoned here and Han loads up just enough Coaxium to cover their costs whilst Lando relaxes on the Falcon to update his holo-blog before joining the kind of grand-escape-shootout you expect from a Star Wars movie.
In the midst of the foray L3 takes a hit though and Lando gets another trying to recover her. Lando is clearly distraught by the loss of his robo-lover in this brief but touching scene, but it gives Han the chance to finally fly the Falcon. Watch out, Imperial blockade ahead, looks like a star destroyer to me. Is that TIE-Fighters deployed to chase? It must be, we’re getting our first taste of the traditional John William’s Empire music. Phwaarrrr!!! Lando tells Han they need to make up time, but how?? “You can’t make the Kessel run in less than 20 parsecs…” – “Watch me!” Han declares. Into the maelstrom then? Surely not? That’s a spectacular way of killing them all. But as Lando said himself, L3 had the best navigational database in the galaxy. Could they remove her neural-cord and download it into the Falcon’s Navo-computer? Theoretically… and only one way to find out.
Chewie tells Han he can co-pilot, apparently he’s picked up a thing or two in his 190 years! Becket is in now in Luke’s Quad-Laser-Cannon chair, dropping TIE-Fighters like a wannabe-Jedi, before the difficult years when you’re reduced to a green-milk-drinking, miserable coward. Then BOOM the magical Star Wars anthem we all adore kicks in and Suddenly I’m 8 years old again. This is definitely the best new Star Wars movie yet and to confirm it, Han has a good feeling about this. Me too buddy, me too. They’re not out of the woods yet though, the Coaxium is starting to overheat and L3, now an integral part of the Falcon, alerts that they’re in trouble as the lights come back on and a GIANT space octopus (Summa-Verminoth) starts to attack as they race towards a dangerous looking gravity well. Hold onto your helmets, troopers!
Han’s clever use of jettisoning the escape pod, sees the space-squid take the bait, getting sucked into the monstrous vortex. The tension mounts as the Falcon still isn’t clear and Beckett needs to put a drop of Coaxium into the fusion reactor, because it might just give them the kick they need. That brand new Falcon sure is going to look like a ‘piece of junk’ if it makes it out of this; an extremely tense moment considering we already know The Falcon will go on to appear in at least another 3 amazing movies and a piss poor reboot with too much focus on social-agendas, no bad guy and a really wooden female lead.
12 parsecs later, if you round down, they make it to the coastal refinery of Savareen. The Falcon is the worst you’ve ever seen it, but still “one hell of a ship”. Lando looks at Han: “I hate you”. Han replies: “I know”. Genius, absolute genius. Cut to Han and Qi’ra, she explains that she’s not ‘with’ Dryden Vos, but she can’t escape him either, a teaser towards the cliff-hanger ending that is now fast approaching.
Looking all but safe and dry, Enfys Nest arrives on the beach and he wants the Coaxium. Becket threatens them with the soon-to-land Crimson Dawn, but in yet another twist in the tale Enfys isn’t really a he at all, or a bad guy! He’s a she – and a good gal! She proves this by removing her mask and explaining that her and the Cloud Rider Swoop Gang are all struggling allies from planets ravaged by the Crimson Dawn. They need the Coaxium to restore their stricken worlds, but with Dryden fast approaching, Han hatches another shady plan and Becket decides the best move is to run, as he heads off to Tatooine for one last sting. He’s heard about a big-shot gangster out that way and he doesn’t even need to mention the Hutts to get us fanboys salivating.
Han, Chewie and Qi’ra return to Dryden who’s waiting for his newly refined Coaxium. Han hands over the goods and Dryden fakes concern for a Becket that our protagonist is pretending is dead. Dryden smells a rat though and insists the Coaxium is fake! At the same time we discover Han’s plan, it appears to have back fired and he’s double crossed a complete psycho who was itching for an reason to kill him anyway. But how could he have possibly known?
Becket, that’s how! Whilst Han was planning to double cross Dryden, Beckett was covering his own arse. What a douche! Becket reminds Han what he’d told him on the Falcon “Never trust anyone”. Who saw that coming? Becket even told Dryden that Han had given the Coaxium to Enfys Nest and our attention is drawn to the Crimson Dawn guards surrounding the beleaguered marauders.
Then the unthinkable happens, even Qi’ra turns on Han! Et Tus Brutes? She tries to get out of the muck by sacrificing Han. How could you Qi’ra?? He loves you? L3 even told you she’d noticed his heart beat change around you during your girly-chat on The Falcon! Is there no loyalty left in the galaxy?
But Han has the last laugh, he knew Becket would double cross him, he’d already told Enfys Nest and her gang this too. The pirates that the Crimson Dawn have surrounded are not the Swoop Gang at all. It’s the old folk from the refinery in disguise and the Coaxium isn’t even there. Hurrah! The real Enfys Nest and her band of battered men now surround the Crimson Dawn guards – the old double-double cross! But how will Han save his own bacon? Qi’ra smiles at Han, did she know all along? Where do her allegiances really lie here and can Han forgive her? The suspense is literally killing me in this thrilling and unexpected crescendo to the movie. Surely that’s the last of the twists? This is a Star Wars movie for crying out loud. At this point I wouldn’t be surprised if Kevin Spacey walked onto the set and announced that Keyser Soze was behind the whole thing, before inappropriately stroking Han’s hair.
But, we’re not done yet, far from it. This masterpiece of a film still has more to give and Han still has to proverbially lift his coffee cup, revealing the word’s ‘Darth Kobayashi’ on the bottom as he tells Becket and Dryden that the real stash of Coaxium was actually in the room with them all along. Han begs the question “I hope you didn’t send all your guards?” And that’s all the blaster ammunition Becket needs as his greed gets the better of him and he starts taking out all of Dryden’s’ remaining guards. Becket makes Chewie grab the heavy Coaxium at gun point leaving just Dryden, Qi’ra, Han and what appears to be a Mandalorian bounty hunter’s outfit hanging on a rack in the background. Sexy! It looks like we could have a Mexican stand off too, but who will Qi’ra side with now?
Han leaps for his blaster, Dryden leaps for his blades. We know he knows how to use them, Qi’ra mentioned earlier that Dryden had taught her Teräs Käsi, which I assume is a kind of space kung fu. We know he likes to use them too, we already saw him slice open the governor. What we didn’t know though, is that they appear to have a Kyber-crystal (lightsaber fuel, keep up..) edge to them! This could be a tricky fight for our double-double crossing, nerf-herding hero!
Han is instantly disarmed and desperately dodges the dual-wielding Dryden’s sabre-sharp blades. In the distance we see Qi’ra grab a sword. She has to help Han now, right? Han makes another leap to his gun as one of Dryden’s blades flies through the air narrowly missing his head. They exchange words but Han has his trusty blaster and seemingly now the drop on Dryden and he rushes out to finish him off.
But just as Han goes to shoot, Qi’ra launches herself towards him, protecting Dryden!! “YOU BITCH”, I cry out loud in my head as Han flies to the floor and his blaster scuttles across the floor for the 2nd time in the melee.
Ok, that’s me done. I’m no longer sure if this is a double-double or triple cross, but either way, anyone who says they saw this coming is lying. I have no idea who’s on whose side anymore and literally everyone but Chewie has now fucked over Han in this movie. It’s starting to become very clear what turned him into the cold-hearted, self-centred, egotistical fly-boy we know from The Original Trilogy. Qi’ra puts the blade to Han’s chest as he looks at her in disbelief. She’d warned him she’d done bad things for Dryden, but to cross the man she loves, or loved, or… did she ever even love him at all?
Dryden gloats and goes into bad-guy-speech-mode, the kind that usually ends up being their down-fall. He explains that only he truly knows Qi’ra and that what happens in Crimson Dawn, stays in Crimson Dawn, including Qi’ra. Han pleads with Qi’ra, “this isn’t you, I know you”, but Qi’ra relents, “it’s what I was taught, find your opponent’s weakness and use it, and today…” She raises the sword to kill Han, but turns and slashes out at Dryden “I’m yours” – Wooohooo!!!! She’s not evil, she was playing Dryden all along, eventually using the sword to slam Dryden’s own weapon into his chest. The old double-double, double-double, double-cross!! I knew it!!! (I didn’t and am still not sure when she decided to help Han. In fact, I’ve dated girls like this in the past and would probably be more likely to trust a newly-turned Anakin Skywalker to babysit my younglings more right now!)
Qi’ra explains that she had to gain Dryden’s trust in order to kill him. Ok, she’s really hot and she did kill the bad guy, I guess she’s not like my crazy exes after all and we can trust her now, right? One last snog wouldn’t hurt either… I mean, Han’s a young man, he’s in love and she’s proven her worth at last. Even if it was touch and go for the last 10 mins. Qi’ra sends Han after Becket to save Chewbacca and the bounty; she has to rob the ship if they’re going to give the Coaxium to Enfys Nest and will be right behind Han. Phew! We’re going to get our happy ending after all. Qi’ra removes the ring used to brand her as Dryden’s slave from his cold dead finger. Probably a keep sake for all the hardship he put her through?
But wait… What’s she doing with it? Why is she ignoring the gems she said she was staying behind to steal? Hang on, is she using it to call someone? WHO is that hologram?? What. The. Actual. Fuck??? I recognise that voice… No, it can’t be, it’s the wrong timeline, I mean.. he’s been dead for…. Fucking hell….IT IS!!!! IT’S DARTH F**KING MAUL!!!
Now, if I hadn’t been next to my completely oblivious wife in the cinema, who only comes along with me out of pity for my big man-child obsession with these films, I probably would have jumped out of my seat and screamed “YES, YES, FUCKING YES” at the top of my lungs and looked for appreciation from the other men-children in the audience. I don’t care what people say about Episode 1, it’s still got the most bad ass bad guy in the whole of the Star Wars Saga in it and nothing has delighted me more than to realise (after about 20 mins of bewilderment and then some googling) that Darth Maul didn’t die on Naboo when Obi-Wan sliced him in half at all. Turns out he’s pretty resilient. Turns out Sith Lords are not Gerneral Kenobi’s speciality!
Qi’ra tells Maul (Ray Park’s face & Sam Witwer’s voice) that Becket has killed Dryden, covering Han’s tracks. This is one messed up girl, but now I guess it all makes a little more sense. Maul was a bit of a martial artist himself, enough to paint Qui-Gon-Jinn a nasty shade of dead anyway, he must have been teaching Dryden all of his moves. Qi’ra clearly loves Han, well enough to snog him and lead him on a bit anyway. Actually that sounds more like an average night out in a Wetherspoons than love, but whatever, she’s in with a very bad crowd and is naturally too terrified of Maul to cross him. I mean, who wouldn’t be? He’s a Dathomirian Zabrak male, trained in the dark arts of the force by Darth Sidious himself, a Jedi killer and he and his brother ‘Savage Oppress’ (cute name for a kid) even had tattoos before their first birthdays…
Maul expresses his doubts that Becket was working alone and dictates to Qi’ra that they’ll “be working much more closely, from now on”. She doesn’t look too happy about this, but I, for one, cannot WAIT for that story.
Time for one last fight? What the hell, most of us are in shock at this point anyway. Han waits at the shoreline grasping the very blaster Becket had given him at the start of this adventure. Becket tells Han “you’re nothing like me” and just as he winds up to tell Han the “most important lesson of all” Han does what anyone raised on the un-edited originals knows Han does best; he shoots first! Hoisting Becket with his own petard, before rushing to comfort his some-time-enemy, some-time-friend and some-time mentor’s side. “That was a smart move kid, I would have killed you.” A lesson Greedo will wish Han hadn’t of picked up in a future film, depending on the edit.
In the distance, Dryden’s ship, now piloted by Qi’ra, takes off leaving Chewie and Han to watch and learn that the scoundrel doesn’t always get the girl. Our 2 remaining heroes, now brothers for life, return the Coaxium to Enfys and Weazel (Warrick Davis’ 4th Cameo in the Star Wars universe, or 5 if you count Willow, which I don’t). Enfys thanks them both, hands them back another Coaxium phial to match the one Han had started all this with and tells them the rest will be spent on starting a rebellion. Pesumably a really good one, in a Galaxy not so far away.
This superb nostalgia driven, multi-twist story is at an end, but there’s still one more thing left to tie up… The Falcon. We all know it ends up in Han’s scruffy lookin’ hands, but Lando ran off with it during Enfys’ big reveal. One more game of Sabaac needs to be played to fulfil Han’s destiny and a single Coaxium phial could be just enough to buy in. Remember the frosty hug Billy Dee Williams’ Baron Administrator Lando gave Harrison Ford’s Han in TESB, when we first met Calrissian on Cloud City in 1980? Yep, that very same hug. This time it’s Han’s turn to pull the old you’re-not-my-friend stunt-hug and in the process, he grabs the little green Sylop Sabaac card hidden up Lando’s sleeve.
The rest, as they say, is the future.