After what feels like months of absolute silence following the theatrical release of Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Disney has finally released the very first trailer — and a brief teaser trailer — for Solo: A Star Wars Story. It has been a rough ride through production on Solo, and in fact, there are a lot of signs that Disney is actually preparing for a major flop. But the trailer is a source for many, both good and bad, items of interest.
One such item of interest involves the return of a familiar character, who looks just incredible. More on that, plus other musings related to what we saw in the first Solo trailer (which you can see in its entirety on Page 5).
1. It looks different from the rest of Star Wars
Disney has gone all in on separating out the anthology films from the rest of the Star Wars universe. Rogue One: A Star Wars Story came with a certain level of familiarity, with music that played off the traditional John Williams themes and side characters picking up old roles. Even R2-D2 and C-3PO had cameos. But the lack of opening crawl and absence of the word “Skywalker” made it unique in the way it stands among the rest of the movies.
Solo appears to be taking us further in this direction. The scenes from the trailer that feature Imperial officers, a Star Destroyer, and TIE fighters are extremely familiar, to be sure, but there is little else that truly resembles the Star Wars saga. Unless you want to compare Han Solo’s street-racing with podracing, but I don’t think many fans want to go down that road.
Next: A very different sound.
2. It sounds different from the rest of Star Wars
Another key difference, at least as far as the trailer is concerned, is the music. It doesn’t open with the classic anthem, as it was constructed by Williams so many decades ago. Even the first Rogue One trailer, which was the first Star Wars movie not to have Williams doing the score, played to a very familiar tune.
Solo is very different. As the Lucasfilm logo is shown, we don’t hear that sweet, Luke-on-Tatooine melody. Instead, Solo brings an instrumental worthy of just about any movie featuring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and some sort of pseudo-militaristic, people-racing-cars-for-no-reason kind of plot. It’s not until we see the movie’s official logo midway through the trailer that we finally hear something familiar to Star Wars.
And really, all of that is great. The only way to make Solo a success is for director Ron Howard to separate it from the rest of Star Wars as much as he can, and this accomplishes that.
Next: A familiar spaceship with a clean look.
3. The shiny, new Millennium Falcon
Given that this movie is supposed to be set around five or 10 years prior to the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, certain aspects are easy to justify. The Millennium Falcon is as young as we’ve seen in any of the movies, unless you’re counting that cameo in Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith. That may no longer be official canon anyway, considering how that version looked like the Falcon as we know it and the Solo version is a bit different.
It’s pretty cool to see what Han’s beloved ship looked like prior to his taking possession of it (we assume). The walls of the corridor are a brilliant white, rather than the somewhat greenish-brown collar we see in the rest of the movies. Seriously, did Han just never bother to clean? Other key differences include a brighter white color on the outside of the ship, as well as the Falcon’s famous gap at the front of the ship being closed.
Next: Bringing a plot point out of Legends?
Han Solo, the Imperial pilot?
The first thing we learn in the Super Bowl teaser is that Han Solo — we assume — is sitting down and speaking to an Imperial officer about joining up and becoming a pilot. Not just any pilot, mind you, but the best in the galaxy. In the full trailer, Han’s monologue explains that he was kicked out of the flight academy for having a mind of his own. Just how close did Han Solo come to becoming an Imperial pilot?
In Star Wars Legends, which is the name for the many novels and video games created prior to the Disney purchase of Lucasfilm, Han was also a pilot in the Imperial academy. He was kicked out for stopping an officer from whipping Chewbacca, who was attempting to evade capture and forced slavery. There have been whispers that Howard has tried to pull here and there from the Legends stories, so it’s very possible that this plot point was left in tact.
Next: Check out those visuals!
Some pretty cool visuals
This is becoming kind of a redundant praise lately, but the visuals in the Solo trailer are top notch. If you weren’t paying that close attention to the teaser that appeared during the Super Bowl, you may not have even realized you were watching a Star Wars trailer until seeing the Star Destroyer emerge within that lightning storm. The entire scene featuring the Empire chasing the Millennium Falcon, as well as the different looks at several planets, were outstanding.
The early street-racing stuff is a little too Need for Speed, but still handled very well. The costumes are interesting, and the somewhat foggy background in a lot of the trailer’s scenes adds more intrigue to what has already been a very intentionally secretive production from Disney. One of the biggest positives of The Last Jedi, no matter where you fall in your opinion of the movie, is that it was visually stunning. Solo appears to be on the same track.
Next: The one outstanding character who is perfectly cast
Donald Glover as Lando is as great as we thought
When the casting decisions for Solo were first announced, most of the actors and their characters were met with anywhere from a ‘meh’ to a ‘huh?’ But in the case of Donald Glover, set to portray a young Lando Calrissian, Disney hit the bulls-eye. Glover is an excellent actor with the chops to pull off the role, while possibly even adding a bit more of the layered suave that the original trilogy only hinted at.
The trailer confirmed all of that. While we have yet to hear Glover speak in his best “Billy Dee Williams circa 1980” voice, the look is absolutely spot on. Just the few images of Lando from the trailer are enough to make some fans wish we were getting an origin story about our second-favorite scoundrel, instead of Han. After all, there’s so much more to explore with Lando, who really has seen very little screen time in the entire saga.
Next: Ehrenreich doesn’t capture Ford’s voice mechanisms.
Alden Ehrenreich doesn’t sound like Han Solo
Speaking of casting decisions, the role of the title character was given to Alden Ehrenreich. The actor is best-known for his role in Hail, Caesar!, working alongside such well-known industry names as George Clooney, Josh Brolin, and Scarlett Johannson, just to name a few. But one big thing really stands out about Ehrenreich in the Solo trailer: He sounds nothing like Han Solo.
That’s not really Ehrenreich’s fault, because it’s on Disney to cast the character. And there is certainly a big difference between tone and inflection. But Ehrenreich’s voice doesn’t have the same gravel in it that Solo possesses when we first meet him in A New Hope. It remains to be seen how well Ehrenreich does mimicking Harrison Ford’s unique style, which includes both mannerisms and voice inflection, but the trailer doesn’t inspire faith.
Next: Was there a better option for young Han Solo?
Was the most important role miscast?
So, if Ehrenreich’s natural voice doesn’t sound anything like a young Harrison Ford, was the most important role in the movie miscast? This isn’t a new question that we’ve brought up with the release of the trailer, but something that fans have been wondering since the original announcement was made. It seems that Disney made a leap of faith with Ehrenreich, and the fact that an acting coach had to be brought on during production was enough to raise a few eyebrows.
Of course, there is another actor that many believe would be perfect for the role. Anthony Ingruber actually played a younger version of Harrison Ford’s character in the 2015 film, The Age of Adaline. Not only does Ingruber look just like a young Han Solo, he does an excellent impression of the smuggler. It remains to be seen how Ehrenreich’s performance is received, but it’s not hard to imagine fans being more excited about Solo had Ingruber been cast instead.
Next: Is there a slight change in the backstory?
Could they be retconning some of the story?
At one point in the trailer we see Lando — wearing his weird, 1970s style mustard colored outfit — piloting the Millennium Falcon alongside a droid. Briefly, Han can be seen sitting in the back seat that would years later be reserved for C-3PO. But toward the end of the trailer we see Han and Lando in the same outfits, and now Lando is in the back seat with Han and Chewie doing the piloting. One thing doesn’t add up about this.
All diehard Star Wars fans know that Han won the Millennium Falcon from Lando, so the idea that the ship switches pilots in the film shouldn’t be new. All that confirms is that we will, at some point, see just exactly how Han steals it away from his good friend. The problem is that we see Lando on the Falcon with Han piloting it. That kind of tramples all over the faux-fight between Lando and Han at Cloud City in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
When the heroes land on the platform, it’s clear that Han and Chewie don’t exactly know what to expect. Lando obviously thinks he was swindled out of possession of his ship, although Han maintains that it was done “fair and square.” Had the Empire not beaten them to Calrissian’s mining colony, it’s almost certain that the reception would not have been so friendly. After all, Calrissian had no qualms about selling his friend down the river. Having Lando riding along with Han and Chewie after losing possession of the Falcon retcons the original story a little bit.
Next: Hard to get a grasp on this one.
What is this movie, really?
After seeing the teaser and then the first full trailer, we’re left with a lot of questions about Solo. It feels like three very different movies, all pieced together in one minute-and-a-half video compilation. During the street-racing scene featuring Han’s monologue about being kicked out of the Imperial academy, it feels like a true origin story. But shortly after, Han’s meeting with Beckett (played by Woody Harrelson) takes the story into an Oceans 11 kind of direction.
After that, the trailer finishes out with that really cool scene inside the lightning storm. A Star Destroyer and several TIE fighters are chasing the Millennium Falcon, and also some giant space squid comes into play — the Kessel run? In this moment, it feels very much like a Star Wars movie. So which is it? An origin story, a heist movie, or a Star Wars prequel? It might be all three, but that’s probably pulling in too many directions for a movie that really only needs one focus: making the fans happy.
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