“I’ve got a really good feeling about this.” So do we Han, so do we. With each new glimpse at Ron Howard‘s Star Wars prequel, I become more confident in LucasFilm’s approach to looking back into the history of our favorite saga. There will always be only one Harrison Ford, but I’m now willing to give Alden Ehrenreich the benefit of the doubt.
The Han Solo we see in the latest trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story is not the pessimistic, seen-it-all, done-it-all scoundrel we meet in A New Hope. Sure, this Han Solo has the ego and the self-confidence to put himself in situations he probably shouldn’t, but he has not been beaten down by the Empire just yet. He jumps into the fight, blasters blazing, ready to take on the entire galaxy. In a lot of ways, Ehrenreich’s take on Han Solo is a lot like Mark Hamill’s naive Luke Skywalker. On paper, I don’t want that, but after watching this trailer, I’m game.
The final Solo trailer feels a lot like the opening sequence of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. We’re going to get a lot of introductions to the bits and pieces that make Han Han. How did Chewie and Han become Best Friends Forever? Where did that blaster come from? We’re even going to get the origins of “I’ve got a bad feeling about this.” I’m betting this film will be a big downer for Solo’s outlook on life.
The opening shot of the trailer is the skyline of Corellia, the shipyard planet where little Han Solo was raised in filth and good doses of gray morality. We hear the sound of Tie Fighters wizzing around the atmosphere.
Cut to a Corellian rat scurrying across a power line, and in the sky above we can see a Star Destroyer in mid-construction. The shot is a little reminiscent of how the trailer for J.J. Abrams’ Star Trek opens with the Enterprise getting pieced together in Iowa. The difference being that where Kirk was groomed in an idyllic utopia, Solo rummaged in the trenches of an Imperial dystopia.
In voiceover, we hear Emilia Clarke’s Qi’Ra confronting Han, “You’re after something.” We see Solo squaring off with the female space pirate Enfys Nest. We’ve seen this scene before in the previous trailer and TV spots, but I love this Sergio Leone close-up on Solo’s famous blaster. Qi’Ra asks, “Is it revenge?”
“Money?” Han walks in on Donald Glover’s Lando. Is this the moment where Solo wins the Millennium Falcon in a game of Saabac? Or just the first game of many?
Qi’Ra gives Han a compliment on his looks, but he’s “a little rough around the edges.” Just the way we and she like him. We don’t know much about Qi’Ra, but we do know that she and Han grew up together, and she somehow made her way into polite society while he scrapped his scoundrel life together.
Our first good look at Crime Lord Dryden Vos. Previously cast with Michael K. Williams in the role when Phil Lord and Chris Miller were still running the show. When the actor couldn’t make reshoots, Paul Bettany was brought on board and we lost the half mountain-lion, half-human creature for this scarred iteration of the gangster. He looks properly menacing, and we can expect him to be running the show that puts Woody Harrelson‘s Tobias Beckett in front of Han Solo.
We hear Han’s self-confidence, selling himself as the best there is at what he does. “I’m a driver and I’m a flyer.” Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan has called Solo a heist film, and based on this shot, it looks like our crew will successfully make off with the score. There is a section of the train car being towed off into victory.
“I waited a long time for a shot like this.” Another rad Cowboy moment. Seated around a campfire, Beckett gives his trusty DL-44 blaster a kiss and tosses it into the hands of Solo. If a man gives you his gun you have to trust him, right?
Here’s our first proper introduction of Lando’s droid sidekick, L3-37 voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge from Fleabag fame. L3 does not appear to be a meek British protocol droid. She’s here to crack heads and watch Lando’s back. She doesn’t want to let go of the mean man’s face, but she follows the word of Calrissian (Donald Glover). She’ll be an action figure I’ll definitely need on my desk.
Possibly my favorite shot from the trailer. Solo stepping onto the Falcon for the first time. This is a wonderful mirror to when the Solo of The Force Awakens (Harrison Ford himself) returns to the junkier version. I thought I kept my room messy, but if the shine of this set has anything to say, it’s that Solo does not know how to keep his living quarters clean.
The heist will most certainly go wrong, and a firefight with the Empire is an inevitability. These Range Troopers look like they left the Scariff of Rogue One and stole the Snowtrooper suits from Empire Strike Back. Their magnetic boots will come in handy as this train takes some wild turns.
Beckett gives Solo some advice as a shot of Lando cuts to an AT-ST jumping into frame, “Assume everyone will betray you.” This film will be a massive lesson of hard knocks for our hero.
What’s this? Chewie has a lady friend? Is that his wife Malla from the Star Wars Holiday Special? I want to say yes, but where’s Lumpy? If that is Malla that means Bea Arthur’s singing barmaid is now canon. Ron Howard says, “You welcome.” I say, “Thank you.”
“I’ve got a really good feeling about this.” Turns out, once upon a time, Han Solo was an optimist. Yeah, those hard knocks are going to hit hard. Here is another quick shot of the new Tie Fighter designs with the duel cannons mounted to the left of the pod. They’re basically Tie Bombers, but their extra fire power is designed to take down larger threats than your average X-Wing. The Falcon better practice its serpentine pattern.
Han’s new BFF makes his first move for the co-pilot seat. “Since when do you know how to fly?” Chewie is no spring chicken, he’s been kicking butt through the galaxy for the last 190 years, and he looks damn good for his age.
The trailer winds down with a lot of action and flash. There might not be any lightsabers in the film, but Dryden Vos is packing a vicious looking weapon. His brass knuckles light up with a laser-blade similar to what we saw on the Pretorian Guards in The Last Jedi. Vos lashes out at a blurry opponent that may or may not be Thandie Newton’s Val. It doesn’t look like Han.
L3-37 screams “I’m so glad we took this job.” She’s ready for the battlegrounds of Apocalypse Now, but instead of loving the smell of napalm in the morning, she appreciates an old fashion fire fight. I bet she would also really dig that Rebel face-plant perpetrated by Chewbacca in the previous shot as well. Yes, Star Wars has room for a little blood lust.
The trailer concludes with Chewbacca in peril. Hanging off the convoy mid-heist, Solo desperately attempts to pull his new friend back inside the car before his melon is smashed alongside the snowy mountain. How many life debts does Chewie owe Han before this origin story wraps up?
Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters on May 25th.