Breaking down the latest trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story

On Sunday, we got the second trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story, and it didn’t disappoint!

The trailer gives us more of a sense of the major plot points of the film, as well as gives us new looks at some of the characters and settings that we’ll be introduced to (or that we already are familiar with).  If you haven’t seen the trailer, check it out:

I am super pumped for this movie.  It’s had its share of problems in production, sure, but what matters is the finished product, and I’m really happy with Ron Howard being on board.  I think the visuals look great, the plot sounds intriguing, there seem to be some really cool scenes in the film, and I think the hardest part – selling audiences on the new actors as iconic characters (Han and Lando in particular) – seems very promising so far.

Oh, and by the looks of things in this trailer, Chewbacca might steal the show.  And I’d be totally ok with that.  Chewie and Lando might be the stars of this film, and that’s even though I think Alden Ehrenreich will make a fine Han Solo.

With all of that said, let’s jump into our breakdown of the trailer and look at some of the cool new images and see what we might learn.

Star Destroyer under construction

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One of the earliest shots we get in the trailer is a really cool one of a Star Destroyer under construction in orbit above a planet.  This is something we didn’t get to see in Rogue One but that we’ll get to see in Solo it looks like, which is exciting.

Han and Qi’ra

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The first voice we hear in the trailer belongs to Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra, as her voiceover says, “You’re after something.  Is it revenge?  Money?  Or is it something else?”  The line helps to set the tone for the movie, as we’re finding out what motivates Han and what he’s after.  A bit later, we get a look at Qi’ra talking face-to-face with Han, saying, “You look good.  Little rough around the edges, but good.”  I’m really excited to find out more about Qi’ra, as what we know so far is that she and Han are old friends and wind up on this adventure together.

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Enfys vs. Han?

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We get a brief glimpse of Enfys Nest in this trailer, standing in a desert terrain flocked by her gang, the Cloud-Riders.  And we see Han approach them and unlatch his holster, seemingly preparing for a duel.  The trailer as a whole (and the marketing for the movie) has more of a Western feel compared to other Star Wars movies, and a duel like this between the two characters would further that feeling.  It should also be noted that these shots are during the voiceover of Qi’ra saying “Is it revenge?” as to Han’s motives, which could be noteworthy or could just be nothing.  Does Han have some sort of rivalry or score to settle with Enfys?

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Lando Calrissian

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Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian gets some significant screen time in this trailer too, which makes sense considering the fact that he’ll have a significant role in the film and that fans are especially excited to see him.  Our first shot of Lando comes early on, during Qi’ra’s voiceover in which she says, “Money?” about Han’s motivations, as we see Han enter the lodge we’ve seen previously.  Lando is at the head of the gambling table and surrounded by a number of creatures, who all watch Han as he enters.  Someone (presumably Han) then pushes a bunch of credits onto the table.

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A bit later, Beckett asks Qi’ra if she knows how to get a ship and she says, “Yeah, I know a guy.  He’s the best smuggler around,” as it then cuts to Lando.  So presumably, it might be Qi’ra who introduces Han and Lando, and they might need him for both his smuggling abilities and his ship (which we know is the Millennium Falcon).  Then we see Han and Lando sitting at two ends of the gambling table, surrounded by a crowd (including Chewbacca), and Han says, “I heard a story about you, I was wondering if its true,” to which Lando responds, “Everything you’ve heard about me is true.”

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A bit later on in the trailer, we see Lando and L3-37 in the cockpit of the Falcon, with Han standing behind them, and Lando says, “You might wanna buckle up, baby,” before the jump to hyperspace.

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The last shot we get of Lando in the trailer comes a bit later, as he raises his blaster and fires at something while standing in front of the Falcon.  It’s not the only time in the trailer we see someone standing in front of the Falcon during a fight, so perhaps there’s a fight scene that takes place around the iconic ship while its on the ground.

Though we’ve seen a very minimal amount of footage and therefore must reserve our final judgments until we’e seen the film, I’m amazed at how well Glover nails the look and mannerisms of Billy Dee Williams’ iconic character from the original trilogy.  For me, Glover is a really believable Lando Calrissian.

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Dryden Vos

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Woody Harrelson’s Tobias Beckett – who serves as a mentor figure of sorts for the young Han Solo and who apparently helps the gang get together for their mission and adventures in the film – tells Han, “Heard about a job.  Big-shot gangster putting together a crew.”  We then see Dryden Vos, portrayed by Paul Bettany, and he’s overlooking an environment that looks really similar to the one that Han and Qi’ra are in earlier in the trailer.  But Vos has some nasty-looking striped scars on his face, so he’s perhaps had a rough run-in or two during his lifetime.  He’s described as a big-shot gangster by Beckett, so perhaps it’s him who hires Beckett, Han, and others for the job (which might be the conveyex heist?).

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There’s also a really intriguing shot of Vos later in the trailer, as we see what looks something like a lightwhip or shockwhip (with knuckles) and Vos using it to smash an object.  What’s going on here?  Is it possible that something like this is the cause for his scars?  Is he a slaver?  Or is this just his preferred weapon of choice?

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Han’s a pilot

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We hear Han telling someone, “I’m a driver.  And I’m a flyer.”  After that, the trailer cuts to some quick shots of Han driving the speeder on Corellia (the same one seen in the first trailer) and then of him piloting a ship away from the conveyex and an explosion (also seen in the first trailer).  We already knew that Han’s a pretty great pilot, however, so the real question is who he’s talking to when he says this.  He looks dressed in Imperial gear, so he could be undercover on Mimban here.  If that’s the case, he could either be talking to Beckett or an Imperial… or perhaps someone else entirely we don’t know yet.

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Han gets his DL-44

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This looks like it could be a very significant moment in the film for longtime Star Wars fans: Han getting his classic DL-44 pistol.  We see him sitting by a campfire saying, “I’ve waited a long time for a shot like this,” and it seems that at least Beckett and Val are both there.  Beckett kisses his blaster – a DL-44 – and then tosses it to Han, who grins.  This is really significant because this might be how Han gets his iconic blaster, from his mentor at some point during the film.

What does Chewie know?

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Some of the trailer’s best moments come from Han Solo’s interactions with Chewbacca (which is a good sign for a movie that will star the two iconic figures quite prominently).  One such interaction is when Han asks Chewie, “What do you think?”  After the Wookiee’s reply, however, Han just says sarcastically, “Well, what do you know?”  It’s a humorous moment that really feels natural to Han’s character, and as the film goes on he’ll presumably learn that Chewie does know quite a bit.

L3-37

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Lando Calrissian’s partner droid, L3-37, also gets some new shots in this trailer, including one humorous scene in which she grabs a man’s face and presses him against a wall, prompting Lando to call out, “L3!  Let go of the mean man’s face.”  L3 does so, and turns and asks, “Who are these guys?” about Han, Chewie, and Qi’ra, who are with Lando.

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We of course also see L3 in the cockpit of the Falcon with Lando, and then later in the trailer we see her pumping her arm in the air and exclaiming, “So glad we took this job!” while making her way through a fight of some sort.

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The Millennium Falcon

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This film will explore the backgrounds of many iconic Star Wars legends: Han Solo, Chewbacca, Lando Calrissian, and even the Millennium Falcon.  The classic and beloved freighter will undergo development of its own, as it passes from Lando to Han throughout the course of the film and will undergo some design changes as well before A New Hope (losing the extended nose and having the blue paint worn), so we should see plenty of the ship.

The new trailer doesn’t disapoint when it comes to showing off the Falcon either, and there are plenty of highlights:

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The way Han slowly walks into the cockpit of the ship and takes it in leaves one to wonder: is this the first time that he walks into the ship?  If so, that’s obviously a huge moment.

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There’s also a cool shot of the Falcon starting up and preparing to take off.

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With Lando and L3 at the controls, the Falcon jumps into hyperspace.

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I’m not entirely sure what planet this is, but it’s a really cool visual of the Falcon flying in the atmosphere.

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This could be in the same atmosphere (the clouds make me wonder if it’s Mimban?), and it gives us a good look at the Falcon with the extended nose.

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As we saw in the first trailer, the Falcon will encounter some strange and nasty space creatures with tentacles in what we assume is the Kessel Run.

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During the same sequence in which the Falcon is pursued by TIEs (again assumed to be the Kessel Run), we see the ship’s gun blow up a pursuing fighter…

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… we see the ship swerving to avoid fire…

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… and we see a TIE closing in and firing upon the Falcon…

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… before we get this awesome shot of the Falcon turning around as a Star Destroyer and TIE Fighters pursue, with a lightning storm ongoing in the background.  As we speculated after the first trailer, if this is the Kessel Run (which we assume it is), is this something similar to The Maw that Han and the crew have to pilot through?

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This planet seems to be the same one that is seen earlier (so is it Corellia?), and the Falcon flies close overhead a small settlement.

“I’ve got a really good feeling about this”

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While on the subject of the Falcon, there’s a quick but good shot of Han piloting the ship and, with a smile on his face, saying, “I’ve got a really good feeling about this.”  That’s obviously a twist on the popular Star Wars saying (that Han was fond of), “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” and assuming it’s done right it could be a humorous moment that obviously pokes fun at the classic saying while also helping to highlight Han’s cocky confidence.

The Conveyex

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For reasons currently unknown, the gang of smugglers and scoundrels put together by Tobias Beckett (and, given the info previously in this trailer, perhaps Dryden Vos too) launch a heist attempt on the conveyex train.  In the trailer, we see Beckett atop the train saying, “Here they come!” as we see several Range Troopers also atop the train and firing on Beckett, who returns fire.  This figures to be a really cool sequence.

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One interesting thing to note about the sequence is that in one of the shots (the above image) you can see a ship hovering aboard the train, which looks like the same ship that Han pilots in other shots away from the planet.  This could mean that Han arrives in the ship, or perhaps he steals a ship to escape.

New troopers

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The trailer gives us two glimpses of new Imperial troopers (which we’ve seen images of in marketing and merchandise material), the first of which are the Range Troopers.  They seem to have similarities to snowtroopers and shoretroopers, among others, and they’re obviously well-equipped for the snowy terrain we see them in during the trailer.  They’re pursuing Beckett (and probably the others, too) on top of the conveyex, which looks to be a thrilling heist sequence with some really cool action.  But the Range Troopers might have one advantage: we get a shot of their boots on top of the conveyex, and with a red light on them it hints that they may have some sort of magnetic clamp that keeps them from falling off the train while its moving.   They couldn’t be too easy for this band of scoundrels, after all.

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We also get a look at the Mudtroopers on what is presumably Mimban, fighting in the planet’s murky/foggy setting.  They blend in quite well to their environment.

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Oh, and also on Mimban: an AT-ST!  The Imperial walker is dropped onto the planet, and it seems there’s a fight already ongoing with the Mudtroopers involved.  It looks like it may be a different AT-ST model than we’ve seen before (since this film takes place years before the OT, after all), but it’s still clearly distinguishable.  The Empire’s serious about this effort on Mimban.

Don’t trust anyone

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Beckett gives Han some advice: “Let me give you some advice.  Assume everyone will betray you, and you will never be disappointed.”  Of course, given Han’s family situation, he probably doesn’t need more reason not to trust people, but this movie might give him some.  The viewer knows that Lando eventually would betray Han briefly but to big consequences in The Empire Strikes Back, but the extent to which that happens to Han during this movie remains to be seen.  It’s a good guess, though, that it’ll happen.

Chewie’s family?!

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One of the most exciting shots in the trailer is a brief one, of Chewbacca and another Wookiee sharing an emotional embrace in front of the Falcon, while blaster fire surrounds them.  We know that both Malla (Chewie’s wife) and Lumpy (Chewie’s son) are canon and are still around post-ROTJ, so it’s very likely that this Wookiee is one of those two.  I’d probably lean toward it being Malla, but we’ll have to see.  Either way, we likely will get some much-welcomed development and backstory for Chewbacca and will get to see at least a glimpse of his family.

Chewie’s age

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The most humorous moment of the trailer comes in an exchange between Han and Chewie (remember how I said their interactions were well done?).  In the cockpit of the Falcon (perhaps during the Kessel Run sequence?), Chewie seems to get impatient, rises from his seat, and flips a switch.  Han says, “Since when do you know how to fly?”  Chewie responds, and Han gives a stunned look back at him while saying, “190 years old?”  Chewie says something back, and Han says, “You look great!”  This is a funny moment, but it also gives us some really important context: it tells us when this film takes place in the Star Wars timeline.  Chewie is 180 years old at the Battle of Kashyyyk, which took place 19BBY.  So Chewie was then 199 years old during the Battle of Yavin, and with the trailer establishing his age in this film as 190 years old, it means that Solo occurs nine to ten years before the events of A New Hope (and that Han is approximately 19 years old).  That’s a significant length of time, meaning that there are more stories to be told in the years in-between (should they wish to do a sequel to this film), assuming that there’s not a big time jump in the film from that point.

Chewie smash!

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There are a lot of Chewbacca highlights in the trailer, and one of them is on what looks like Mimban when he lifts a trooper above his head and then smashes his head into the ground.  That’s gotta hurt.

Han saves Chewie?

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The trailer ends with a few final shots of the conveyex sequence, this time focusing on Han Solo and Chewbacca.  Chewie begins to fall and Han yells, “Chewie!” and grabs him.  We then see Chewie leaning off the side of the train and looking at a boulder approaching rapidly.  It gives the clear impression that Chewie is about to be killed, but we know that’s not the case.  So, assuming that these shots actually happen together in the movie and aren’t just cut this way for the trailer, it’s possible that Han saves him by pulling him back onto the train.  Is this how the life debt begins?  Until we hear otherwise I’d still lean toward the life debt happening as a result of Han saving Chewie out of slavery, but if the filmmakers don’t want to go in that direction this could be when it happens.

Worldbuilding

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One last thing that I’ll point out from the trailer is that it gives us some glimpses of the worldbuilding going on in Solo, and it looks really cool so far.  There’s Corellia, Mimban, and other locations that look really awesome, and I’m excited to see the new locations that we’re given in this film.  Visually, it looks great.

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