USS Angeles makes ‘Solo’ flight to Torrance theater

Paul Szymborski watches and Jenny Taylor reacts as Chris Mulrooney celebrates his birthday with a dessert at Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar in Torrance after the USS Angeles mission to see “Solo: A Star Wars Story.” (Photo by Dave Mason)
USS Angeles members gather after seeing “Solo: A Star Wars Story” at the AMC Del Amo 18 in Torrance. Holding small posters for the movie are, from left, Paul Szymborski, Chris Mulrooney, Janice Willcocks, Jennifer Cole, Dave Mason and Lisa Sobien. (Photo by Jenny Taylor)

By Fleet Capt. Dave Mason
TORRANCE ­— Now we know how Han Solo and Chewbacca met!
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” gave USS Angeles members and a guest the background on how young Han Solo started his life of smuggling and how he obtained the Millennium Falcon.
Janice Willcocks, Jennifer Cole, Lisa Sobien, Chris Mulrooney, Paul Szymborski and his girlfriend Jenny Taylor (the guest), and I watched the movie June 2 at the AMC Del Amo 18 at the Del Amo Fashion Center.
The Torrance theater was about half full, and the movie has had the poorest box-office performance of the four “Star Wars” movies made since Disney bought Lucasfilm.
Critics have speculated the film’s poor box-office performance could be because of the short, five-month period between “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” and “Solo” and/or the reluctance of some fans to see anyone but Harrison Ford play Solo.
Other Angeles members and I thought that Alden Ehrenreich (“Hail, Caesar!”) succeeded as the young Solo, and we were particularly impressed with Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian.
Ron Howard directed the film and continued his tradition of giving a small part to his brother, Clint. The cast also included Emilia Clarke as Qi’Ra, Woody Harrelson as Tobias Beckett and Thandie Newton as Val.
We laughed as we saw the fierce independence of Lando’s droid, L3-37. Voice actor Phoebe Waller-Bridge did a great job.
Jay Gerber saw the movie at another theater before the Angeles mission and was impressed. He called it “awesome” and said it was as good as “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” (2016), but in a different way.
“It is fun, and there are many nods and foreshadows to the original trilogy,” the Angeles member wrote on the Angeles-chat list.
“Don’t expect a lot of Jedi/Sith idealism,” Jay said. “This is a down and dirty story firmly set in the criminal underworld. Han and Chewie’s origin story differs somewhat from the books, but this version is still quite satisfying.”
The movie was co-written by Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan. The latter wrote the screenplays for “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980), arguably the best “Star Wars” movie, and “Star Wars: Return of the Jedi” (1983). He also co-wrote “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (2015).
After the movie, we enjoyed hamburgers and more at the nearby Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar. We celebrated Chris’ birthday as a server brought him a dessert with a candle. May the Force be with him!

Dave Mason

Commanding Officer, USS Angeles NCC-71840