May the Force be with you, readers! The first Star Wars movie to open in the traditional May slot since Revenge of the Sith is here, and Solo: A Star Wars Story is that very film that will try to make some Lucasfilm summer gold. And in this new era of the war among the stars, we always find ourselves pondering that big, Star Destroyer-sized question: to 3D or not to 3D?
If you're looking to learn more about what we thought about the film itself, you can head over to our official review. That said, if you're looking to find out if you should spend the extra credits on a 3D showing, or if you're better off playing a couple hands of Sabacc, you're in the right place. So prepare for the jump into the third dimension!
Solo: A Star Wars Story, like every other Star Wars movie, is perfectly cut out for 3D. The high flying adventures of Han and his crew are filled with eye-popping effects, and the way that action is captured, you can tell a 3D version was kept in mind. It's even quite possible that out of all of the franchise's entries in the 3D era, Solo is the most fit for a version in this premium format.
While Solo: A Star Wars Story has a movie that's well worth a proper 3D conversion, the actual product sadly falls short of the mark. In particular, the brightness of the picture is a field that the film struggles with, as its natural color palette gives the image some ground to catch up on from the word "Go!" On top of that, the potentially eye popping factors are rather lackluster. Rounding out the presentation are the mid-level presentation in depth of picture, as well as the audience health factor, which aren't horrific, but aren't terribly special either.
There are a lot of pieces to the visual puzzle that is Solo: A Star Wars Story which should have came right off the screen. This is a film where blasters are drawn and aimed, debris and explosions fly through the screen, and atmospheric effects attempt to make themselves known. While there are some aspects that stick out during the film's 3D presentation, for the most part, it's as if there's nothing popping out at the audience. And that's a bummer.
Depth of picture is a field that 3D films can also take advantage of, as the right tweaks to a picture can make the world of the movie seem limitless. Solo: A Star Wars Story manages to do a decent job of fleshing out the backgrounds in its picture. It also clearly delineates fields of spatial reasoning between characters and their environments, as well as between individual characters. As far as the actual depth of picture goes, it's not a limitless canvas, but it's deep enough to make the images visually interesting.
Heading into Solo: A Star Wars Story, the dark and dim quality of the film's image seen in 2D sneak peeks already spelled trouble for any 3D conversion. Putting a pair of tinted classes on for a film with prominent browns, yellows, and blacks in its color palette can be a pretty bad time if you're not careful. There's some pretty clear sections of Solo's 3D picture, but there's enough moments where the film's picture is washed out. This isn't totally on the folks behind the conversion job, as your mileage may vary depending on how well your theater maintains its projector between 2D and 3D screenings.
Should your eyes need a break during a 3D movie's presentation, you'll notice a lot of things. First and foremost will be the fact that the picture is blurred, which is normally a good sign of the degree a film's 3D image has been manipulated. In the case of Solo: A Star Wars Story, there's a good amount of blur, but not a terribly complicated one. Also, there are sequences that are so low on blur, it's almost like looking at a 2D version of the film.
If your 3D picture is too disorienting, it's going to screw with your audience's eyes. With the fast-paced action that Solo: A Star Wars Story presents to its audience, it's a good thing that the images on screen don't mess with the viewer's eyes too much. However, the dimness of the picture does strain the eyes a bit, and a panning shot towards the end of the film does manage to come off as an eye-confusing mess.