Last night, I brought you my first impressions of the first teaser for Solo: A Star Wars Story, which aired during the Super Bowl and promised a trailer this morning. Today’s second look, just as visually dense as the first, did not disappoint.
This new teaser delves more directly into the history and origins of our favorite scoundrel. We all knew that the Millennium Falcon had to have been new once, and we get a flash of a pristine white ship’s corridor. Han (played by Alden Ehrenreich) gives us some of his back story in voice over. He’s pretty much the same person Luke Skywalker meets in A New Hope. “I’ve been running scams on the street since I was 10. I was kicked out of the flight academy for having a mind of my own. I’m gonna be a pilot. The best in the galaxy.” Amelia Clarke gets Han pretty nervous confronting Han in the inexorable bar scene. We see tantalizing flashes of Lando Calrisian (Donald Glover) in fur, and a pilot character who appears to be entirely CG. Meanwhile, Woody Harrelson is “putting together a crew,” and wants Han and Chewie to join.
Rarrr means yes.
It looks like the signature line from the new film is going to be this one:
I thought we were in trouble there for a second, but it’s fine. We’re fine.
NO WE’RE NOT!!
First of all, there are some shots where it’s not the case, but here, come on, Alden Ehrenreich looks like Han Solo. He may not be a dead ringer for Ford, but if you showed me that shot and told me it was from a Star Wars movie, even if I didn’t know Solo was coming, he’d be my first guess. All through the trailer, he sells the mannerisms and the facial expressions that make Han who he is. He says that he’s been running scams since he was 10 and got thrown out of the Flight Academy “for having a mind of [his] own,” which stays surprisingly close to George Lucas’s original 1977 backstory notes (as detailed in J.W. Rinzler’s The Making of Star Wars, Del Rey Books, 2007), where a young Solo was orphaned as a child and was expelled from the Academy for selling test answers and racing his teachers. Also, notice those dice hanging in the center?
Han and Qi’ra (Emilia Clarke) are pursued in his hardcover book speeder (seriously, look at it and tell me it isn’t based on that, with the spine on the one side and everything) by this guy, likely one of the rumored Imperial range troopers. This fits well with the Imperial aesthetic established by Rogue One and the original trilogy, and his speeder is believable as a forerunner of Rey’s with an angular bad-guy bent.
On a sunny beach covered in ancient-looking monoliths, Woody Harrelson’s Tobias Beckett tells Han he’s assembling a crew. We then get some looks at, of course, Lando Calrissian, but also…
Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra looking regal (rumors that she is part of the galaxy’s upper tiers of society come to mind) walking with a droid we see quite a bit of who is rumored to be Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s motion capture character…
…Thandie Newton prepping a weapon. In a photo with Ron Howard from set, Newton had previously appeared to have Imperial insignia on her jacket, but only time will tell if she’s part of Beckett’s band undercover or a true Imperial soldier.
We cut to this unfamiliar creature with four arms mounting a speeder of some kind. The placement amidst Beckett’s speech would indicate that it plays a prominent role, but I’m not sure which of the announced cast it could be, if any. Michael K. Williams was playing a creature before being recast to Paul Bettany during the reshoots, but this doesn’t really match with the costume we’ve seen Bettany wearing in photos from Ron Howard’s Twitter.
One thing we know for sure: this is a crew of outlaws, because it should be illegal to be this cool.
This classic staple of Western movies suits a young Han Solo film perfectly. Hopefully he shoots first in his quickdraw against…
…this imposing warrior, who, based on these two teasers, seems to be the main antagonist of the film. I love this design. There’s bits of scavenged Imperial armor, but on the whole it’s something new but very much Star Wars. The fur suggests the coats we’ve seen Han and Lando wearing…do they infiltrate this gang?
The film has had its troubles. Halfway through filming, Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy fired original directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord (The Lego Movie) over creative differences (they had been going for a farcical slapstick tone), replacing them with Ron Howard, an Academy Award-winning director with some serious geek credentials.
As the Millennium Falcon evades Star Destroyers and TIE fighters, possibly doing some kind of run in the Kessel system in a dozen or so parsecs, fourteen at most, Han assures the crew, “Thought we were in trouble there for a second, but it’s fine. We’re fine,” speaking either about the risks of evading the Empire or the perils of replacing directors when you’re three-quarters of the way through production. We know most of these characters will come out no worse for the wear, of course, and by the looks of things, so will Solo: A Star Wars Story.
The last minute scramble has a lot of us concerned, but from what we’re seeing now, it looks like the hyperdrive is fixed, for real this time. You can see for yourself when the film opens this summer.
Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters everywhere May 25, 2018.