Review: Tomb Raider (2018) *spoilers*

While some of my reviews are a bit multi-part, I’m starting to do smaller “Capsule reviews” of films I’m not quite wanting to do a big essay on.


As I’ve written before, I’ve been a fan of the last two Tomb Raider games, although admittingly, I have not played the earlier incarnations of the character. The games mixed the climbing and gunning of the other archaeological adventure game series, “Uncharted” (although of course the older TRs had a bit of this as well), with the skill trees of various other games, and also a sort of gritty and gory nature.

Lara, in particular, is portrayed as more vulnerable than in past versions, starting out kind of bookish but eventually honing her survival skills on an island not only full of cultists and mercenaries, but also the undead spirit of an evil queen.

Image result for Lara croft survivor

On the surface, this was what the basic plot of the Tomb Raider film reboot is about. The movie even re-creates some sequences from the game, such as Lara’s struggle holding onto a rusted World War II plane…


Image result for Tomb raider plane World war 2

Image result for Tomb raider plane

, and like the game, Lara’s uses arrows and pickaxes for a good chunk of time, only getting her dual pistols at the end (although the dual pistols aren’t really used in “Rise of the Tomb Raider”. Her outfit is pretty much the same basic look too. No sunglases or shorts here.

Image result for Tomb raider 2018 jump

Image result for Tomb raider 2018 dual pistols

However, whereas Lara, as I mentioned before that game Lara was more archaeologist than hero at first, the movie kind of reverses it by having Lara be a sort of sporty, slightly rebellious woman who has little interest in her father’s profession until it offers clues to where he might’ve vanished to (The mysterious Yamatai, also the setting of the game, of course). Alicia does okay I suppose, although she seems a bit stiff, but I haven’t really seen her in any other films to really judge her acting.


Image result for Tomb raider bike

Image result for Tomb raider 2018 boxing

Likewise, the Endurance Crew-the nifty supporting cast (and unfortunately, part victims) are cut out/reduced….

Image result for Endurance crew Tomb raider

to just one guy, Lu Ren, whose father has also vanished while searching for the mysterious island of Yamatai. Apart from rallying up some fellow prisoners on the island, he really doesn’t get that much to do.

Image result for Japanese guy in tomb raider


Like the game, the villain is once again Matthias, although instead of the cult leader, he’s just a mercenary leader for “Trinity” (Introduced in Rise of the Tomb Raider) who’s only stuck on the island because his employer won’t send for extraction until he finds the tomb of Himiko. Although Walter Goggins does his best, the character just comes off a somewhat generic villain.

Image result for Mathias tomb raider  Image result for Tomb raider mathias

Speaking of Himiko, she’s pretty much downgraded here. There’s no super-storms keeping everybody stuck on the island, and apart from the two planes there’s really no sign of the heavy wreckage-or really any other sign of civilization apart from the tomb-on the island itself. Although a supernatural threat is implied, turns out that she’s no ghost creature trying to possess a new body and create storms. Likewise, there’s no real gore or any of the major violence of the 2013 game. Not that it really needed the somewhat excessive gore and violence, but in making this movie PG-13, they sort of ‘sanitized’ the game maybe a bit too much. It’s really a major contrast there.


Image result for Himiko Tomb raider


…..but actually a nice Queen who unfortunately carried some sort of bizarre virus which seems to make those who get it into crazed people with strange skin and nerve blemishes.

Image result for Himiko Tomb raider movie

Which, oddly enough, is pretty much exactly what happens in the conclusion the first “Uncharted” game!

Image result for Uncharted virus

The Tomb itself seemed kind of unspectacular and cheap-looking, with just a bunch of generic booby taps and puzzles. No giant Samurai here!

Image result for Tomb raider 2013 stormguard

Dominic West appears as Lord Kroft, and somewhat diminishes from Lara, as he’s revealed to actually be alive, although a bit nuts-on the island.Image result for Lord croft


Nick Frost, Derek Jacobi and Kristin Scott Thomas have supporting roles, with Nick as a sort of comic relief pawn shop owner, but it’s really just a tiny role. Same with the legendary Derek Jacobi who does the money stuff at Croft’s estate. Most interesting is Kristin Scott Thomas as Ana, who, like in “Rise of the Tomb Raider”-is actually the secret head of Trinity. However, unlike in ROTT-where she formed the organization in part to try to gain immortality as a disease (presumably cancer) was killing her, what exactly this version of Ana has to gain from it is unknown, or if she had anything to do with Lord Croft’s expedition to Yamatai in the first place.

Image result for Nick frost Tomb raider

Image result for Derek jacobi Tomb raider 2018

Image result for ana Tomb raider 2018

Although I’ll admit some of my criticisms of the movie might be a little biased because I played the games first, and have largely been comparing them, I think the film on it’s own is kind of weak as well, just kind of a generic story and lacking bite despite a fairly strong cast, which unfortunately is a weakness of almost every video game adaptation these days.


Solo Part VI-Double double cross *Spoilers*

The group lands on the ‘refining’ planet Savareen, and Lando is pretty much upset by the cost of the trip-his droid co-pilot, and the damage to his ship. “I hate you” he says to Han, to which Han replies “I know”.


Image result for I hate you i know

The scene is of course a callback to the classic Empire Strikes Back moment…


Image result for I love you I know Star Wars

Which of course was also given another inverse callback in “Return of the Jedi”.

Related image

Shortly thereafter, the Cloud Riders show up, and Lando gets the hell out of dodge.

Image result for Cloud riders Solo

However, it turns out that the Cloud Riders are in fact a Rebel cell, and Enfys is actually a teen girl, played by Erin Kellyman.

Image result for Erin kellyman

Not only that, but one of her lieutenants is Teazel, one of Warwick Davis’s many Star Wars characters, making this the first of Davis’s characters that he’s reprised since Wicket. Weazel was one of Watto’s buddies at the Pod Race, but apparently he fell on some hard times once the Empire took control of everything and decided to join the Rebels.Also he played a different character in “Rogue One”, which was also part of a Rebel cell, although a somewhat more messed up one (Saw’s faction).

Image result for Warwick davis solo

The concept of Han having an early, if small, role in the formation of the Rebellion is something that’s also used in AC Crispin’s trilogy, which had Han’s former girlfriend ultimately become one of the first leaders of the alliance, and killed while stealing-you guessed it-the Death Star plans. (The comic series Underworld, which I covered a few weeks ago, also dealt with that).

Image result for Rebel dawn

Basically Han agrees to help the Rebels by giving them the Coaxium, and fool Vos with a fake shipment. However, Vos already knows that it’s bogus, thanks to Beckett.  However, Han already anticipates the betrayal, and the Cloud Riders are able to ambush Vos’s men on the group. A fight then breaks out while Beckett flees with Chewbacca, and Vos has these interesting red daggers, another case of the not-quite-lightsabers the film uses. Although the red color not only invokes the name “Crimson Dawn” but also might be a small hint as to who runs Crimson Dawn….


Related image

Qi’ra eventually saves Han by killing Vos, and Han leaves while she says she’ll catch up.

However, she decides to make a holographic call to the real leader of Crimson Dawn-none other than Darth Maul, in a scene that perhaps was the most confusing to casual moviegoers. Film-wise, Maul is seen cut in half in “The Phantom Menace”.

Image result for Darth Maul

However, the Clone Wars series brought him back, revealing that he wound up with some robot legs, and that he also had a brother (Savage opress). After going nuts for a bit, he was mentally healed by his mother on Dathomir, and then set about doing various organized crime things during the Clone Wars, (and has a few rematches with Kenobi)one of which brought him to the attention of his former master, whose plans had evolved beyond Maul at this point.

Image result for darth maul clone wars first appearance


After this, Maul continues his organized crime activities, and that’s the point where we are in “Solo”. The rest of Maul’s story is pretty much already been told, in “Rebels”-he winds up on the planet Malachor. After escaping, he eventually winds up on Tatooine again, once again facing his enemy, Obi-Wan, who kills him before he can reach Luke.

Image result for darth maul rebels

Qira just decides to leave with Vos’s ship/fortress, probably realizing that with her duties with the Crimson Dawn revealed Han would never love her again, or perhaps knowing that crossing Maul-who orders her to Dathomir-would be a very bad mistake. It’s kind of unclear what happens to her. It’s possible there will be “Solo” sequels but it’s not looking good with the Box office of this film. Maybe a novel or comic down the line will deal with her fate, if the movies can’t.

Image result for Qi'ra maul

Han, in the meantime, confronts Beckett….and of course shoots first. The two have a short conversation, but Han shoots him (first!), although Han seems  somewhat agonized by the decision and holds him as he dies…

Image result for Beckett Star wars

Something he definitely wasn’t later on in the timeline with Greedo. (Then again Greedo was pretty much fried anyway). Although whether Han shot first or not depends on what version of Star Wars you’re watching.

Image result for Sorry about the mess Han

After declining Enfy’s plea to help with her rebellion, (something which he’ll of course, eventually reverse-makes you wonder if they ever met again?) he decides to have a rematch with Lando on a sort of jungle planet (Lando here is trying to charm someone with another anecdote that uses terms from the old Lando novels, again). Here we get a callback to ESB, with Han hugging Lando, although in this case, Han uses the opportunity to take Lando’s cheating device literally off his hands….and he’s able to win the Falcon.


Image result for Han lando hugg


BTW Lando’s outfit here is even more loud than his other one, with a kind of tacky pattern on it showing what appears to be some sort of glider underneath two suns. (Couldn’t find any in-film pics so I settled for this).

Image result for Solo lando ending costume

Now taking their rightful place as pilots of the Falcon, the two set upon a job that Beckett hinted at, with a gangster on Tatooine.

Related image

Of course it doesn’t take much thought to know who the gangster is….

Image result for Jabba

So that’s Solo. Unfortunately, it’s probably one of the weaker Disney Star Wars efforts. While it’s got a decent cast, some nice additions to Star Wars lore and nicely incorporates elements from the “Expanded Universe” into it, but Alden Emmerich doesn’t quite have the charisma of Harrison Ford or the presence, which I think unfortunately hurts the film. Also, although it doesn’t really incorporate much of the Jedi/Sith/force aspects of the larger saga, it still does feel a bit ‘recycled’ in some aspects, a criticism often applied to Disney’s films-the Kessel Run sequence in particular seemed to be a bit of a “Greatest hits” thing. It’s a bit unclear if any of these problems were due to the film’s director drama, or some other aspects. Unfortunately, SOLO wasn’t a huge hit, and Disney seems to be recessing their Star Wars release strategy at this point, although Episode 9 is still on track for a 2019 release and there are other projects in the pipeline apart from the “Story” films.


Solo Part V-Kessel run!


Although they manage to clear Kessel, the Empire has decided to pop up and block the Maelstrom with a Star Destroyer. It’s a pretty cool image that appeared in the trailers. Say what you will about Disney’s handling of the franchise, but they’ve really managed to get some cool Star destroyer imagery in these films. The Empire’s arrival is signaled by an ominous DUN, DUN DUN DUNNNN!!!! music, used in Star Wars and Rogue One at the beginning of most Death Star scenes.


Related image

And they’re definitely not letting Han and co. through, as they release TIE fighters. Among these is the TIE brute, a new model of TIE fighter that doesn’t particularly look as different as Rogue One’s Striker and Last Jedi’s silencer, seeming more like a downgraded version of the the TIE bomber from ESB and (briefly) ROTJ.


Image result for Solo TIE fighters

Han decides to go around the Destroyer, launching on the fabled Kessel run. Unfortunately, to me, this scene sort of plays a lot like a sort of greatest hits kind of thing for the films. First, you’ve got Beckett using the Falcon’s manual cannons, which of course we “later” see in A new Hope, Force Awakens and Last Jedi. It even uses the same “Here they come!” music, although with a bit more drums….and the cannon is somewhat not quite a ‘quad’ yet, but a single and mostly useless one.

Image result for Solo falcon turret

Then we get the Falcon trying to evade the TIEs in an asteroid field; naturally, of course, playing the Asteroid chase music! It’s a great piece of music of course, and it’s nice to hear it again in a Star Wars film (While “Here they come” shows up in ROTJ and TLJ again, ESB was the only other film to use this theme)….but still, couldn’t come up with something more original?

Image result for Solo kessel run

It’s here that Chewie takes his rightful place as Han’s co-pilot as well, set to the triumphant Star Wars theme. We also learn that Chewie’s 190 years old, which sticks with most non-film sources saying he’s about 200 at the time of the OT.

Lando plugs what’s left of L3 into the Falcon’s computer to help them navigate, allowing for her to pretty much become the ‘brains’ of the Falcon, so we know who Threepio was ‘talking’ to in ESB.

Image result for i don't know where your ship learned to communicate

Finally, we get to the big finale-which involves a giant space monster. While monsters-including ones out in space-have been a sort of Star Wars trope for a long time, it still feels a bit ‘greatest hits’, especially after the last two parts of the chase.


Image result for Solo giant space monster

Although “Solo” does add something new, or rather, something reworked from the novels; the Maw, a massive black hole that soon snares both the monster and the Falcon. I’m pretty sure this is the first time we see or have a black hole mentioned in a Star Wars film, although they’ve been around quite a bit in the EU-especially this one, the Maw. In the Jedi Academy novels (now non-canon) it’s revealed that the Maw is host to an isolated Imperial weapons factory, which had a prototype version of the Death Star (something obviously completely retconned by “Rogue One” and even further back, “Revenge of the Sith”) and also a super-powerful “Sun crusher” which has torpedoes that create supernovas. (One such torpedo destroys Carida in the trilogy; Carida is actually mentioned earlier in this film as one of the Imperial academies).

Image result for Maw black hole Star wars

The Maw pretty much ‘eats’ the giant space monster, and almost the Falcon, but by ejecting some of it’s extra weight and a little coaxium, manages to escape the Maw….in 12 parsecs. Sort of. Of course, all this wear and tear pretty much gives the exterior of the Falcon it’s “classic look”. Sort of.


Image result for Millennium falcon Solo end

Solo Part IV

Kessel! We first see our characters go through the Akkadese maelstrom, a sort of big gas tunnel. Funny thing is, it almost sounds a lot like the “Antares Maelstrom” the way it’s pronounced, which puts me in the mind of a quote from another “Star” franchise.



Image result for He tasks me


Here’s some sort of character downtime, where we get a look at the much cleaner interior of the Lando-era Falcon. We also learn why the holo-chess is a bit flickery later on-Chewbacca hits it, thinking the “pieces” are in fact, solid.

Image result for Solo holochess

We also get Qi’ra and Han reminisce on old times-and share a kiss-in Lando’s closet, which of course is full of many capes and outfits. She also states that she’s reluctant to restart her relationship with Han because she’s done terrible things for the Crimson Dawn syndicate (Not really elaborated on, but it’s a criminal organization so probably some bad stuff).

Image result for Lando's closet Qi'ra

I wonder if the Cloud City outfit is in there?

Image result for Lando cloud city


The white interior of the Falcon and the clothes put me in mind of yet another sci-fi franchise; the Doctor Who series, where the Doctor keeps a closet of multiple outfits handy in the TARDIS, which comes in helpfully when the regeneration alters his personality-and fashion sense-sometimes, not for the better.

Image result for Twin dilemma closet

I also wonder if this is the same area where Han and Leia first kiss later on. I’m not about to dig out a technical manual or anything to look that up. Kind of makes sense though, that Han would scuttle the closet once he gets the ship. Han basically has two main looks in the OT-the vest and jacket (The jacket also made a comeback in The Force Awakens), so he probably has little need for a fancy closet.

Image result for Han leia kiss

We also learn that Han is familiar with the YT-1300 design because his father worked on the docks. That’s pretty much all we learn about Han’s father (Who is of course Kylo Ren’s paternal grandfather, and probably didn’t end up anything like his maternal grandfather)…..that would be an awkward family visit.

Image result for Vader

We also learn Lando was raised by a single mother as well, a slight detail from the old Lando novels (not the only mention they’ll get). We also get a bit of an awkward conversation between L3 and Qi’ra, and how L3 and Lando seem to have feelings for each other.

Finally, we come to Kessell, where the group pose as slavers selling Han and Chewie to the mines. The mines actually look fairly cheap for a Star Wars film, just kind of a regular mine.  Sorry to bring Star Trek into this yet again, but they don’t look all that different from the Rura Penthe mines in “Star Trek VI” (although with out snow).

Image result for Rura penthe mines

Here we get a little bit of an easter egg-Becket’s disguise here is pretty close to the one Lando wears to infiltrate Jabba’s palace in ROTJ.

Image result for Beckett skiff guard Solo

Chewbacca briefly splits to help out another Wookie, a sort of more hairless one (possibly from being in the mines so long)….who is played by none other than Anthony Daniels, AKA C-3PO! When Daniels was cast, everybody naturally assumed he’s be playing 3PO in a cameo similar to his “Rogue One” appearance. Nope! This is the second time we see Chewie among others of his own kind, after “Revenge of the Sith”. Of course, The Holiday special set the precedent (and some assumed from the trailers that the other Wookie was a member of Chewie’s family, as seen in that special)….but that’s best forgotten.

Image result for Solo other wookie

Image result for Anthony daniels

L3 causes the droids in the control room to revolt while Becket and the others steal the “Coaxium”. While some have been mixed on L3 as a character, I really liked that the droids in this had a sort of  boxy ‘retro’ look, like they could’ve walked out of the 1977 film…

Image result for Droid designs in Solo

or even one of the knockoffs, such as “The Black Hole”.

Image result for Black hole droid

Chewie also rips a guard’s arm off, the first time we really see him do such a thing, although JJ Abrams did intend for him to do that to Unkar Platt in a scene deleted from Force Awakens.

Image result for Chewie rips arm off

So all hell breaks loose, and the group are soon shooting for their lives. Lando, meanwhile, talks about the chronicles of Lando Calrissian to a holographic recorder, I think talking about the Mindharp of Sharu. Pretty much puts the old Lando novel ‘more or less’ back into canon, I guess, if you substitute L3 for Vuffi Raa.

Image result for Mindharp of sharu

Unfortunately, during the escape, L3 is fatally shot down, one of the saddest droid ‘deaths’ in the series along with K-S20 (R2 and 3PO were frequently damaged in the series, but ‘got better’ for the most part). While K-S20 sort of had a brave sacrifice and his ‘light’ went out, L3’s is far more shocking, as she starts talking in ‘malfunctioning’ language and seems to be in great ‘pain’ as she ‘dies’.  Lando is also injured as well….which of course now means it’s up to Han to take his rightful place…..


Image result for Solo cockpit

Next: Kessel Run

Solo-My thoughts-part two *SPOILERS*

As Han and Chewie join Beckett’s crew, we then come to the world of Vandor, which is a snowy planet a bit like Hoth and Starkiller, but this time with a lot more mountains, making I guess you could say, “The Himalayan planet”.


Image result for Solo snow planet

We get a nice bonding scene between the crew, who are out to steal a train cart of Coaxium. There’s some real chemistry between Woody and Thandie here.

Image result for Solo campfire scene

Here we come to the film’s next big set piece, as they attempt a heist of the conveyex, which, like the AT hauler, looks a lot like an offshoot of the Walker family. However, things get somewhat complicated. It’s a fun scene, with a lot near-misses for the characters. But things soon get even more complicated.

Image result for Conveyex

Chewie nearly falls off and gets crushed by the surrounding rock, which I’m not entirely sure, but it could be a slight nod to Lucasfilm’s other famous franchise where a character was stuck between a rock and a hard (vehicle) place….

Image result for Conveyex chewbacca



Related image


A group of marauders, the “Cloud Riders”, arrive. The Cloud Riders are another sort of call back to the old Marvel comics. Although this group-who have armor that looks like a mix between Boba Fett and Phasma-are definitely not anything like the old Marvel versions, except for their use of airspeeders and speeder bikes.

Image result for Cloud riders marvel

We see Enfys gets into a brief fight with Beckett. She has a lighted (heated?) blade, so it sort of gives off a lightsaber aesthetic without actually being a lightsaber. She’s also got an interesting theme, a sort of  high-pitched, somewhat Eastern European sounding choral music which sounds a bit like a lighter Duel of the Fates.

Image result for Enfy's nest


In other words, pretty much exactly like these guys. (although there’s more of this to come)


Related image


And the Empire is complicating things too. Stormtroopers-“Range troopers”  on the train itself, which look mainly like somebody “kitbashed” the Rogue One stormtroopers and gave them a bit of a fur coat. They also get part of the old school Imperial theme from ANH.

Related image

….and probe droids (although these look a bit different than their ESB/ROTJ/Rogue One counterparts, far more heavily armed and given more of a sentry/security function), which prove too much of a challenge for Val, who is hopelessly pinned down and destroys the rest of the Conveyex’s rail, and herself. Exit Thandie Newton.

Rio also gets shot and dies, leaving Han to pilot the AT hauler, but the Cloud Riders also get the haul too. Han is forced to jettison their cargo (but rescues Beckett and Chewie), which results in a spectacular, mountain-destroying explosion, which looks and sounds a lot like Jango Fett’s seismic charges from AOTC. Maybe those things had some coaxium in ’em too. Although considerably how valuable they are in this film, I guess the stuff was less scarce before the Clone Wars and the Empire?


Image result for Seismic charge solo

With two of his friends dead and the loot lost, Beckett now has a price on his head (Not unlike what will happen to Han later on) and has to face the guy who hired him, Dryden Vos. Vos’s ship shortly arrives, and has a main hall that looks like a cross between Jabba’s sail barge and the more classy Star Wars places like Cloud City and Canto Bight. It’s one of this film’s Cantinaesque scenes, complete with weird singer.

Related image

Vos himself is played by Paul Bettany, who unfortunately comes across as a bit one-dimensional.  BTW that Mandalorian costume back there is just for show, it doesn’t really do anything 🙂

Image result for Paul bettany Solo

Bettany was a late addition to the cast, replacing  Michael K. Williams as Vos when Ron Howard took over the film.

Image result for Michael K Williams

Here, although Beckett tells Han to sort of lay low-similar to Han’s own warning to Rey year’s later (“Don’t stare at any of it”)….but he can’t help it when Qira suddenly, and unexpectedly, taps him on the shoulder…

Image result for Solo Qi'ra

Next: Reunions and Lando!


SOLO: My thoughts Part one *SPOILERS!*

Solo is the second of the Star Wars Anthology, or “Story” films. This time, like with “Rogue One” we’re once again in the Episode III-IV gap, but this time at an earlier point, and tells the story of Han Solo, a character whose background has been explored in multiple “Expanded Universe” media (Now mostly non-canon) but mostly ignored by the films apart from the fact that he was a smuggler who worked for Jabba the Hutt, and wasn’t much for causes, just money. At least at first.


The film starts in Corellia (Pretty much a planet producing a ton of Star Destroyers at this point-we see them being assembled in many shots), establishing Han (presumably in his teens?) working for Lady Proxima, who pretty much controls a bunch of kids/orphans/ne’er do wells in the slums of the planet. She’s kind of like Fagin in Oliver twist, in other words. However, Han manages to get “Coaxium”-a valuable “Hyperfuel”-and plans to leave with his girlfriend, Qira and get off planet. Her den sort of has a slight “Mad Max” look to everything.

Image result for Han and Qira

Well, now we know what exactly TPM’s hyperdrive was leaking….

Image result for Hyperdrive is leaking

….and exactly what TLJ’s fleet was running low on. Interesting sort of addition to the lore, I guess.

Image result for Last jedi fleet

Han manages to escape using a bit of a bluff (Similar to one Leia would use in ROTJ) and we get our first chase scene with Han and Qira. Although there have been many, many chase scenes in Star Wars films with fighters, pods, speeder bikes, airspeeders and of course the Falcon, I’m pretty sure this is the first one to actually use landspeeders, pretty much the Star Wars equivalent of a car.

Related image

Although they’re able to make it to a spaceport OK, getting through and onto a ship appears to be the rough part. This is also the only part of the film to really feature your traditional stormtroopers as well…speaking of….

Han and Qira get separated, and she’s taken back to Lady Proxima while Han, out of options, decides to enlist for the Imperial navy as a pilot (This is also the origin of his last name-the old books revealed he came from an old royal family line or something, but here it’s kind of just an Imperial designation, not unlike Finn)….the Imperial propoganda commercial even includes a somewhat lighter version of the Imperial march, the first time I think it’s been used “in-universe” so to speak.

but like Finn, Han doesn’t become a pilot, but actually a Stormtrooper(!) this is actually a break from previous origin stories for the character, which made him a TIE fighter pilot. (Although Han’s imperial background wasn’t mentioned in the earlier films, it was included in Lucas’s own backstory for the character and elaborated on in various “Expanded Universe” stories).

Image result for TIE fighter pilot Han Solo

No wonder he and Finn hit it off-they both have similar backstories-although in a weird way, Han’s backstory also echoes Rey, as he urgently wants to get back to Correlia once he manages to get a ship, much like Rey wanted to get back to Jakku so her family could find her (In both cases, fate-or the force?-has other plans)

Image result for mudtrooper Han

Kind of funny that Han’s look here isn’t all that far off from his disguise in “Return of the Jedi”. Heck, there’s even AT-STs in this scene, too!

Image result for The rebels have been routed return of the jedi


Han notes a group of three troopers who seem out of place, and sees this as his opportunity, especially after telling off his superior officer.  These scenes in particular have a dirty, war torn look that’s actually not something we’re used to seeing from the Imperial side of things, who usually look a bit cleaner (if still a bit worn at times).


Related image

They initially reject him, and this leads to Han getting caught and forced to fight a certain Wookie-who else? (It’s also implied Chewbacca actually eats unfriendly humans!)

Image result for Chewbacca

Han manages to persuade Chewbacca to help him escape, as he can understand Chewie’s roars and vocalize them to a degree to talk to Chewbacca. Although not much is made of this, or why Chewbacca seems to understand English or whatever the Star wars version of it is for the rest of the film.

It sort of makes a change from the original version of the story, where Han frees Chewbacca from slavery and that’s the reason he loses any future he had with the Empire. Now, it’s mainly just a mutual jailbreak.


Image result for Han frees chewbacca

We’re introduced to the three criminals again, who steal an AT-Hauler (Used to drop AT-STs, and sharing many design similarities with it’s big brother, with a bit of the folding wings of the Imperial shuttles) and become part of the crew.


Image result for AT hauler

Image result for Beckett's Star wars

The head of the crew is Beckett, played by Woody Harrelson, kind of playing the sort of rogue role you usually see him in these days. His partner-both in crime and romance- is Val (Thandie Newton) who, despite her increased profile these days in film and TV (Westworld), doesn’t really do that much.

Image result for Thandie newton solo

Rounding this out is Rio Durant, a kind of cool six-armed Orangtuan like alien, who’s a bit like Guardian’s Rocket Racoon, but a little less snarky. He’s voiced by Jon Favreau, who previously voiced Mandalorian baddie Pre Visla in the Clone Wars, and now has been given the helm of an upcoming post-ROTJ Star Wars TV show.

Image result for CG Han solo creature favreau

But like Thandie, his time in the film is limited, despite what the trailers might’ve given the impression of. I’ll get into that in my next installment….


Avengers: Infinity War-Where do we go from here? *SPOILERS*

“There was an idea, Stark knows this, called the Avengers Initiative. The idea was to bring together a group of remarkable people, see if they could become something more. See if they could work together when we needed them to to fight the battles we never could.”-Nick Fury

Related image

Infinity War has been released; and it’s possible that the Marvel universe has changed dramatically, although it’s also fair to say that a lot of the deaths-in particular the ‘ashes’ deaths created by Thanos getting all the stones-won’t stick-especially since most of the deaths are those of characters who are still relatively new to the new MCU-Dr. Strange, Spider-Man, Black Panther all have had successful solo films that could branch into future sequels-especially true in Spider-Man and Black Panther’s case (and sequels of course have already been greenlit).Also, with all the Guardians ‘dead’ except for Rocket, I’m pretty most of them will be restored by the also greenlit Guardians of the Galaxy 3. Although Gamora might be absent, seeing as she died a different way. This could perhaps mean a new female lead for the series. Although the comics briefly used the X-men’s Shadowcat as the leader, she was mainly a stand-in for her fiance at the time, Star Lord (Hence, “Star Lady”) who was jailed; and of course there’s the whole thing of the X-men not yet incorporated into the MCU yet….

Image result for Shadowcat Guardians of the galaxy

…or maybe a certain Captain who Nick Fury just summoned to Earth to maybe help with the conflict….

Image result for Captain marvel guardians of the galaxy

Anyway, the Avengers aren’t in great shape either, but it’s worth noting that, despite all their losses, the original lineup-provided Hawkeye didn’t die offscreen-is fully intact, although Hulk doesn’t want to emerge from Banner quite yet (although Banner still could perhaps easily restore the Hulkbuster armor, and it’s possible the green Goliath could still make an appearence).

Related image

It’s also possible that maybe-maybe-Vision isn’t as far gone as we think-his body is, after all, still intact minus one mind stone, although it’s possible Shuri was somehow able to isolate his persona from that. The androids was incapacitated in the classic Kree-Skrull war storyline (Which we might see in some form in “Captain Marvel”.)….and Ant-Man was brought in to fix things (Although this was the Hank Pym version). So maybe Scott Lang-who perhaps still has a part to play-will be doing something similar.


Image result for Ant-Man kree skrull war

There’s the possibility however that the revived Vision will lack some of his humanity, something that happened in the “Visionguest” storyline in the late 80s/early 90s.

The resulting Vision had a white look for about five years before returning to his familiar look, and also did not have any real emotional links. His relationship with Wanda/Scarlet Witch fell apart and-despite eventually getting emotions again-never really recovered in the comics. But we’ll see if this happens in the films, if he’s even revived at all.


Image result for Vision white Marvel

As for the refugees from Asgard….well, I think the writing’s on that wall from the last Avengers movie. People at the time assumed that this was going to be a reference to Thor Ragnarok, but it looks like it was this instead, with the Asgardians all in “Hel”.

Image result for Thor's vision age of ultron We are all dead

  • Heimdall: Is it him? Is that the first son of Odin?
  • Thor: Heimdall, your eyes?!
  • Heimdall: Oh, they see everything. They see you leading us to Hel. Wake up!
  • Thor: I can still save you.
  • Heimdall: We are all dead. Can you not see? You’re a destroyer, Odinson. See where your power leads.

Add to that, Tom Hiddleston and Idris Elba are extremely busy actors at the moment, and I believe in several interviews they’ve stated they’re not likely to come back, at least for now.


…..although there’s still one lady unaccounted for…

Image result for Valkyrie thor ragnarok



There’s also the guestion of new players on the field. In “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2″‘s post-credits sequence, we’re introduced to the cocoon of Adam Warlock.

Related image

Warlock plays a big part in the original Infinity Gauntlet storyline….in fact, he pretty much ends the whole thing. However, I doubt they’ll bring him in. He was important to the original Guardians storyline in part because he had a history with Thanos already in the comics, whereas in the MCU he’s not technically ‘born’ yet so it’d be kind of weird to have him stick around.

Image result for Adam Warlock let the conflict end

….and of course Captain Marvel. Both the Carol Danvers incarnation and her predecessors have tangled with the Titan.

Image result for Captain Marvel vs thanos

Image result for Thanos vs captain marvel

….and then there’s Nebula. In the comics, Nebula is reduced to a corpse-like state by Thanos at the beginning of the saga. This isn’t all too dissimilar from what happens to her in “Infinity War” with her cyborg implants all removed and messed up in order to coax the location of the soul stone from Gamora.

Image result for Nebula gets the gauntlet

Thanos keeps her as a sort of grotesque pet, but when deciding to use the gauntlet to become omnipotent (but apparently not omniscient) he has an ‘out of body’ experience, that leaves of course his body prone-and the stones perfect for the taking….




Image result for Nebula infinity gauntlet

This puts Thanos in the unlikely position of actually siding with the heroes (Who eventually are resurrected entirely). However, Thanos manages to use Nebula’s own inexperience and madness against her, and ultimately this leads the gauntlet falls to Warlock (in the original storyline, that is).

Thanos retires to a peaceful life for a time, although he eventually returns to his villainous ways, especially  by the time of  2013’s “Infinity”, a storyline which used the Black Order we saw in Infinity War. However, “Infinity War” does sort of show that Thanos, although kind of nuts, does feel a sort of remorse for his actions. So maybe Farmer Thanos isn’t too far off an ending….


Image result for Farmer thanos


Image result for Farmer thanos

….as for the stones themselves, either they might get destroyed, or perhaps they’ll fall into new hands. In the comics, each stone was given to the Infinity Watch-a line-up which included Thanos for a while as well!

Image result for Infinity watch Thanos

….although eventually-and perhaps this is a more likely outcome-they were split among Marvel’s “Illuminati”, a group of Marvel’s “smart” heroes or major leaders. (Although in MCU, Dr. Strange already has the time stone of course). Although Namor, Professor X, and Reed are absent from this lineup in MCU, and I’m not quite sure they’d use Black Bolt given the ‘meh’ the Inhumans TV series got,…


Image result for Marvel's illuminati gems

…..Image result for Marvel's illuminati gems


the Marvel series’s lineup of Illuminati has changed over the years anyway…so you can easily substitute Bruce Banner, T’ Challa (or Shuri, even) Hank Pym etc.

But we’ll see what happens. MCU doesn’t always follow the comics, but it certainly borrows many ideas from them, or flips them around. Nevertheless, it’s one hell of a cliffhanger in “Inifnity War”, and we’ll see how it all eventually ends next summer.