This year I became a father and, as promised by all and sundry, it has irrevocably changed my life in big beautiful ways. But it’s the small things that have had the greatest impact, subtle shifts in the way I see the world, or how now my baby exists at the epicentre of my own personal universe and I’m in orbit around her.
As a Star Wars fan raising their first kid, Solo arrives for me at the perfect time. We meet Han as an idealistic kid, not unlike Luke in A New Hope, filled with a need to prove himself and accomplish something. Most of us will have experienced this, and I know was filled with the same feelings crossing the threshold into adulthood. The movie (written, incidentally, by a father-son duo) shows how Han’s heart was broken by the galaxy that soured him into the cynical smuggler we all know and love.
But for me, as a freshly-minted father, it’s knowing that Han later becomes a daddy that adds another meaningful layer to the forthcoming standalone story. Becoming a parent forces us to grow up and be better people. My own past is full of little regrets I still carry around with me, but the reckless abandon of youth has subsided. Gone now are the days of endangerment and excess. I want to be the best version of myself that I can be, for my daughter’s sake. So for me, Solo shows Han working himself out as he inches closer to fatherhood. And therein lies the real poignancy of Solo and why, no doubt, I’ll be a fit of tears throughout.