Breaking down the Solo: A Star Wars Story teaser trailer

On Sunday during the Super Bowl, our very first look at Solo: A Star Wars Story was revealed in a 45 second TV spot.  Then the next morning on Good Morning America, the full teaser trailer was released.

If you missed either of them, catch up here:

 

Additionally, on Monday the character posters were released as well, and they look beautiful:

So with a teaser trailer and TV spot now released, let’s take an in-depth look at what was seen as we break down the new shots:

Han the pilot

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.25.41 PM

The teaser opens with several shots of Han Solo piloting a speeder through the streets of a town on what figures to be Corellia.  Along for the ride is Emilia Clark’s Qi’ra, and it looks like Han gets caught by the Imperials.  A trooper pursues him on a bike, but Han maneuvers his speeder so as to cut the stormtrooper off and create an explosion.  Based on these shots, it looks like Han will get a chance to show off his piloting skills while on Corellia, whether it’s simply through running from Imperials on a joyride through the city, trying to pull off a scam, or an organized race.  It also looks like he might already have a history with Qi’ra, or at least that she’s also from Corellia.   And one last thing to point out that is easy to miss: look what’s hanging in the window of the speeder in-between Han and Qi’ra… the gold dice.

We hear Solo say in a voiceover: “I’ve been running scams on the streets since I was ten.  I was kicked out of the flight academy for having a mind of my own.” And the voiceover gives us a very important tidbit about Han Solo’s character in the movie.  That line, plus the one from the Super Bowl teaser.  In the latter, we see an Imperial officer talking with a young man (presumably Solo) and says, “So you want to make a difference?  Trust me, you’re going to love it.  And which branch are you interested in joining?”  Han then responds, “I’m going to be a pilot.  Best in the galaxy.”  The Imperial officer looks unimpressed and silently dismisses the comment, but for our purposes those two lines from the voiceovers are very significant, because it shows us that Han will indeed have an Imperial past.  This was the case in the EU as well, and it looks like at least part of that will be kept.  Han wants to join the Imperial Academy to become a pilot, but he’s kicked out (so he doesn’t actually quit or defect) because – in a line that seems very Solo-like – he had a mind of his own.

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Han in the snow

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.43.54 PM

I’m guessing that this is still on Corellia, but it’s hard to say for certain.  Either way, it’s a cool visual and a nice shot of Han Solo.

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Falcon

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.46.23 PMScreen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.44.37 PM

The iconic Millennium Falcon also features heavily in the trailer (of course), and we see a shot of Han Solo looking up at the cockpit amidst smoky fog (could this be on Kessel?), and we also get an interior shot of the ship looking pristine and super clean.  Based on the appearance we’re used to, it looks like the Falcon takes quite a bit of wear and tear in-between the events of Solo and A New Hope, but that makes sense given a time gap – and plus, perhaps Han doesn’t clean the ship quite as much as its previous owner(s).

Beckett

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.46.55 PM

We’re introduced to Woody Harrelson’s character, who plays Solo’s mentor Beckett, telling Han, “Hey kid, I’m putting together a crew.”  Once again, there are some really cool visuals.

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Qi’ra

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.47.36 PM

Here’s a shot of Qi’ra looking quite fancy and regal, perhaps signifying a history of wealth, significance, or power?  You can see the Falcon behind her, but also the droid L3-37, played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge.  It looks like the droid might belong to Qi’ra, and we see a better shot of her later in the trailer.

 

Lando Calrissian

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.47.56 PM

Well hello, what have we here?  Donald Glover picks up the cape as he plays the iconic Lando Calrissian, and if there’s one thing that has been widely praised from Solo so far and the trailer, it’s Glover’s Lando.  You have to admit: he pulls it off excellently, and everything we’ve seen so far (which isn’t much) just totally feels like Lando Calrissian.

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 9.11.53 PM

The rest of the crew

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.48.13 PMScreen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.48.28 PM

We get a look at the rest of Beckett’s crew, as joining Qi’ra and Lando are these two characters.  The first, played by Thandie Newton, picks up a blaster.  Many fans speculated that she might be Sana Starros, perhaps better known as Han’s ‘wife,’ and admittedly she does look very similar and it would make sense – though she’s supposedly playing a character named Val.  The second is a creature who mans a gun, and many fans initially wondered whether it was Maz Kanata.  That’s not the case, however, as you can clearly see upon further examination that this is a new character (one that has four arms).

Chewbacca

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.49.24 PM

Oh, and the crew wouldn’t be complete without everyone’s favorite Wookiee, Chewbacca.  Sporting a double bandolier, we hear Beckett ask “you in?” to which Chewie roars, leaving Han to translate: “That’s yes.”

We know that Han will meet Chewie in the movie, and in the EU Han rescued Chewie from slavery and defected from the Empire.  It seems the movie might not follow that completely (since it seems Han got kicked out of the academy rather than defect, for one), but it will be interesting to see how much of his backstory with Chewie is similar.

 

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Lando piloting the Falcon

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.50.50 PM

We get a shot of the Millennium Falcon jumping to hyperspace, with Lando and L3-37 at the controls.  Also, in a real nice touch, L3 and Lando give the same salute that Lando famously gave in Return of the Jedi.  I’m sure the film will feature plenty of those subtle nods.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A strange new environment

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.51.19 PM

There looks to be a club of sorts that Han and Qi’ra end up at during the events of the movie, and many fans are excited because in the wide shot we see a twi’lek (a classic Star Wars alien).  We also see a dancer decked in gold, and behind her is a floating head in a jar.  Quite the environment.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Qi’ra knows who Han Solo really is?

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.51.39 PM

In that same environment we get a shot of Qi’ra, and then we see a shot of her talking to Han, saying, “I may be the only person who knows what you really are.”  Han chuckles and responds, “what’s that?”  And, by the way, that glimpse of Han when he responds is to me the one moment in the trailer where Ehrenreich looks most like Harrison Ford, as he seems to have the expression down well:

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.55.44 PM

The dialogue brings about more questions, however, as what is Qi’ra getting at when she says she’s the only one who knows who he really is?  Does that mean Han Solo isn’t his real name?  Does that mean there’s some sort of secret past?  Does that mean that she has a history with Han and thus can see through the facade he puts up?  It will be interesting to see what she means about the real Han Solo.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The villain

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.52.09 PM

We get our first glimpses of the film’s villain in the trailer, though we still don’t really know anything about him.  There are two significant shots of the villain in the teaser/Super Bowl spot, though.  (1) In one, We see one shot of Han’s hand hovering over his blaster in what looks to be the imminent beginnings of a Wild West-type duel, and we see the villain standing amidst the sand surrounded by a number of similarly-clad people.  Are these his followers?  And are they bounty hunters?  Smugglers?  Undercover imperials?  (2) In the other (and more interesting), we see a train on a snowy planet and on top of it Beckett facing off against the villain.  Beckett fires, but the villain deploys some type of shielded wing that blocks the blaster fire as he charges Beckett, pulling out an electro-staff of sorts as he gets closer.  It looks like he certainly presents a formidable foe, though why exactly he’s involved is unknown, since we don’t know anything about him.  But presuming Beckett dies at some point in the film, it’s possible that it could happen at the hands of this villain – and perhaps even in this train sequence.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

A massive explosion

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.55.21 PM

On what looks to be the same planet as the train fight sequence, we see a ship (presumably piloted by Han) dropping some cargo (which looks like it could be one of those train cars?) and triggering an explosion as the ship flies away.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Kessel Run!?

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 8.56.30 PM

Is that… THE KESSEL RUN?!?  It sure looks like it.  One of the most iconic moments of Han Solo’s life may very well be seen on the big screen for the first time, as it looks like we’ll get to see him make the Kessel Run.  Han famously made the Kessel Run in 12 parsecs while flying the Falcon, something he brags about in A New Hope.  Han used that as a measure of time but parsec actually refers to a distance, so the EU retcon of this was that the Kessel Run was so dangerous that pilots had to go around it, so the closer to the center you got the more dangerous it was – but, of course, it would be a shorter distance overall.  So Han making it in 12 parsecs would have put him in immense danger but would have been a heck of an accomplishment.

Of course, we don’t know whether that’s going to make it into canon again, but we get a shot of an Imperial Star Destroyer and TIE Fighters (plus a new version of a TIE Bomber) pursuing the Millennium Falcon in the middle of a cloudy lightning storm.  Additionally, there are asteroids and giant tentacled creatures – all elements that add up to make a pretty daunting challenge, and that’s not even factoring in the Imperial pursuit!  It sure looks like this is the Kessel Run.

We get a shot in the teaser of Han and Chewie piloting the Falcon in this storm, and Chewie roars while Han says, “Get ready!”  The Falcon then does an awesome 360-degree spin and knocks a TIE out of the way as it blows up.  That leads to perhaps the most Han Solo-like line in the trailer, as Han turns to the others in the cockpit (Qi’ra, Beckett, and Lando) and says, “I thought we were in trouble there for a second, but it’s fine.  We’re fine.”  That’s obviously very reminiscent of Han’s remarks while on the Death Star in A New Hope, and it’s an example of his cocky bravado in the midst of dangerous circumstances.  Of course, it’s not as easy as he thinks, and no sooner has he said that than the others in the cockpit let out cries of surprise and fright as we see giant tentacles across the sky, leaving Han and Chewie to maneuver around them.

These shots of the presumed Kessel Run are absolutely the coolest and most exciting in the trailer, and I imagine it may wind up being one of the coolest and most exciting parts of the movie as well.

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The new (old) Falcon

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 9.03.46 PM

This is worth pointing out in a separate section, as we see the new (or old?) version of the Millennium Falcon.  It’s got a blue paint job (which is hard to see in the midst of the lightning storm) and it has the extension on the front, presumably for smuggling purposes.

Overall thoughts on the trailer:

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 9.12.52 PM

I can say that the trailer has gotten me more excited to see the movie, which is the purpose of trailers in the first place – so in that regard, it did its job.  And I can say that the Kessel Run looks phenomenally exciting and I can’t wait to see it come together on screen.  Additionally, I’ll say that this trailer continues the tradition of Star Wars films (especially recent ones) of giving us some really breathtakingly beautiful shots, as there are some really cool ones featured in this trailer too.  So the look of the movie is awesome, the feel is really cool, and it seems the story hints that we’ve gotten will make for an entertaining film.  But I’ll also say this: I think the movie’s critical success and acceptance hinges dramatically on Alden Ehrenreich’s performance as Han Solo, and I’m still undecided on that after this trailer.  We should never judge an actor based simply on a trailer without seeing the movie, but it doesn’t sound like many people are sold quite yet, and I’m not either.  He may wind up being terrific, but it’s hard to tell from this trailer.  And without being able to tell for sure, it’s pretty hard to tell exactly how good this movie will be.  But the trailer certainly has me more intrigued and more excited to see it.  Because, if nothing else, we should get some amazing visuals, Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian, several new characters, Han Solo’s backstory (as well as Lando’s and Chewie’s), and more of the Millennium Falcon.  That’s not bad.

Screen Shot 2018-02-05 at 9.12.21 PM

 

 

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s