That he had to take on this herculean task more than halfway through principal photography after its original filmmakers (Phil Lord and Chris Miller) were fired, makes the effort seemingly all the more insurmountable.
As far as "Solo" is concerned, this dutiful excavation of Han Solo's early years performs all the necessary feats of fan service that viewers have come to expect from seemingly endless iterations of the series.
Han's former girlfriend Qi'ra resurfaces and joins the team, but her story is complicated and her loyalties are divided. Check. His first meeting with Chewie? A similar issue afflicts Beckett, who is a waste of Harrelson's talent as he's relegated to simply playing a exhausted old crook who's still looking for that one big score.
It's a film that's battling between two different intentions. We spend some time in the prologue running with Han on the mean streets of Corellia, ruled by gangland factions in the time of the Galactic Civil War. This is the Star Wars of the Mos Eisley Cantina and Jabba's Palace; a lawless place where criminal empires run rampant, and there's lots of jobs with big scores to be had. He is in love with beautiful Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) and they plan to bribe officials with a stolen phial of ultra-valuable fuel crystal Coaxium to get smuggled out.
When Solo plays to its strengths, its an entertaining little adventure - little being the key word here.More news: BT overhauls consumer business with bid to combine mobile and broadband
Solo: A Star Wars Story starts out with a young Han and his desperate desire to become a pilot and escape his home world with the girl he loves. However, he is desperate to get away. Even a Star Wars version of poker plays a significant role. If nothing else, Solo: A Star Wars Story features some fabulous clothes, courtesy of costume designers David Crossman and Glyn Dillon.
Unlike "Solo", which ambles from one set piece to the next in a spirit of genial in-betweenness.
But it's not all a smooth ride, cowpokes.
Actress Emilia Clarke poses for photographers upon arrival at the premiere of Solo: A Star Wars Story in Cannes.
Thandie Newton may be a Solo star - but she's celebrating those who have come before her!
Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian: "And Han also chances across a charismatic dandy-ish smuggler, gambler and flier called Lando Calrissian, a very amusing performance from Donald Glover". He's basically trapped in amber, and when he makes a significant decision, we're left scratching our heads as to why.More news: Sacha Killeya-Jones lands at North Carolina State
In short, it's clearly a movie made by committee with many hands on deck.
They were sentiments echoed by British film magazine Total Film.
Michael Rechtshaffen, The Hollywood Reporter: "Of course, one need not look any further than the poster to know that, along the way, Han will also meet up with faithful companion Chewbacca (former basketball player Joonas Suotamo) and, equally notably, Lando Calrissian (the wildly magnetic Donald Glover doing Billy Dee Williams proud in a casually scene-stealing turn)". The role is not dissimilar from those Harrelson previously played in the Hunger Games franchise or Zombieland. The rest of the cast is very strong though. As Han's morally compromised love interest, Q'ira, Emilia Clarke earns her paycheck nearly immediately when Han mentions a stolen spacecraft and, with a delighted purr, she asks: "Why?"
The Star Wars franchise is one near and dear to the hearts of audiences, as it's a series that has been passed down across generations.
When Solo: A Star Wars Story star Thandie Newton attended a screening of the film at the Cannes Film Festival on Tuesday, she hit the Palais wearing past faces of the franchise. That said, the movie is at its best when it works towards the stylistic influences of the original film, allowing for the idea that new life can be woven into these well-known characters and histories.More news: 'No flats policy': Kristen Stewart ditches heels on Cannes Red Carpet