Solo: A Star Wars Story is up against some of the most visually impressive films of 2018 for an Academy Award. Here’s why it deserves to win.
2019’s list of Oscar nominations includes a mix of drama, action, and adventure. Its Visual Effects nominees include a Marvel movie, a popular sci-fi book adaption, and the Star Wars movie no one thought could leave a mark.
Solo: A Star Wars Story‘s Academy Award nomination comes as a surprise to moviegoers who prefer more mainstream titles. But for those who may or may not have seen the movie opening night, then five more times in a single weekend, it fits right in among its competitors.
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This is not the first time a Star Wars movie has been nominated for an Academy Award. A New Hope received 10 Oscar nominations in 1978, and it won six of them.
However, despite its numerous sound and visual effects nominations, the franchise only holds nine Oscars in total. All of them were given for its music (obviously), visual effects, sound design, and costume design.
So why does Solo deserve to be the first Star Wars film to win an Oscar since Return of the Jedi? Because whether you loved it or kinda sorta liked it, you have to admit its visual effects were GREAT. They are, after all, one of the things that make Star Wars movies stand out.
Visual effects are, of course, different than special effects. All special effects are part of filming and are applied on set, while visual effects are all the digital magic that happens in post.
Pretty much anyone can use iMovie of After Effects to make a YouTube video look cool, but it takes skill to apply visual effects on a Star Wars scale. Just look at this 49-second glimpse of the train heist scene’s effects.
Obviously there were no real trains, explosions, or blaster fire actually happening on set. But it’s up to the visual effects specialists to make you forget, for just a few hours, that none of this is real.
The actors and story are pretty important too, but Star Wars is set in a universe that can’t easily be brought to life without these digital additions.
But why should the Academy choose Solo over, say, Avengers: Infinity War? The answer involves one particular scene (you know the one) that carries over 40 years of film history in its cargo hold.
One of the first things we heard Han Solo talk about way back in 1977 was his beloved Millennium Falcon. But not just that it was a fast ship.
This ship made the blasted Kessel Run in less than12 parsecs. We didn’t have to know then exactly what that meant — only that it implied the Corellian freighter could outrun enemy spacecraft.
But now we’ve seen the Falcon make that run in less than 12 parsecs. In possibly one of the most anticipated moments in Star Wars screentime in quite a while — and with the help of those sweet, sweet visual effects — we finally got to see it actually happen.
That’s not just cool. It’s significant. George Lucas and his team could do a lot with what they had 40 years ago, but they couldn’t have done what’s been done with The Maw.
Tech has advanced enough for the Solo team to have been able to take a widely famous Star Wars fact and put it up on the big screen for all to see. And it’s more than a highly recognizable ship flying through space. SPOILER ALERT: It’s not the same ship coming out as it was going in. HOW DID THEY DO THAT?
I’ve probably watched that scene at least a dozen times so far. Those minutes alone deserve some kind of achievement. The best part of the movie? Eh. I suppose that depends on what you were looking forward to seeing most.
Based on Star Wars’ Oscar luck (or lack thereof) lately, it’s not likely we’ll see a win this year. But rebellions are built on hope, so we’ll keep our fingers crossed just in case.
Do you think Solo deserves an Oscar? What did you like/dislike most about the movie after rewatching it?