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Find out what swaggering space pirate Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) got up to in his early days in this rollicking Star Wars spin-off.

Ehrenreich proves a good fit as the younger version of Harrison Ford’s iconic character as the story takes us back to a time a decade or so before he first threw in his lot with Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia.

We first encounter him as a rascally orphan living by his wits on his scummy home planet Corellia. He’s desperate to escape with his sweetheart Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) but events transpire to separate them.

The story sends Solo all over the place, throwing him into the path of some familiar characters from the original trilogy and several new ones, including Woody Harrelson’s wry bandit Tobias Beckett and his crew, whom he joins for a daring raid on a train carrying the ultra-valuable starship fuel coaxium.

He also runs into Paul Bettany’s ruthless intergalactic gangster Dryden Vos and a militant droid called L3-37 (a motion-capture performance by Fleabag and Killing Eve creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge), who is urging her fellow robots to shake off their cybernetic chains.

For all the sci-fi trappings, however, the movie has the feel of a Western, which is apt enough given Solo’s image as the coolest gunslinger in the galaxy.

All told, it hangs together very well, despite the fact that Ron Howard took up the helm mid-way through production after first-choice directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, of Lego Movie fame, were fired over creative differences.