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Let’s break down the new trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story

The latest trailer for Solo: A Star Wars story has hit the web, and it’s our best look at the film yet. As with any new trailer for a Star Wars film, there’s a lot to see and unpack for fans of the franchise, so as we did with the first teaser, let’s break down what we saw.

Warning: there are spoilers and plenty of speculation for Solo ahead.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

The opening shots are of a night-lit, industrial-looking city, and one of the first things we see is a Star Destroyer under construction. We’ve seen shots like this in the last trailer: a younger Han (Alden Ehrenreich) and Qi’Ra (Emilia Clarke) riding around the streets at a young age, which makes me think that this is Corellia, Han’s home planet. Ron Howard tweeted a picture that teased the world, and this shot has the same look and feel.

We’ve heard of the planet before in a couple of the new canon novels — it was a location in the older expanded universe novels — and Han mentioned it in A New Hope.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Here’s another glimpse of a band of marauders that we saw in the first trailer on a desert planet. There’s definitely a Wild West vibe to this as Han prepares for a showdown against them. EW noted that they’re a bit of a rival to Tobias’ crew, and they will be part of the train heist, but we haven’t seen that in a trailer yet.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

We don’t know too much about these guys, but ComicBook recently uncovered some promotional material that says that this masked figure is named Enfys Nest, and she’s built a reputation for her and her pirates, who are called the Cloud Riders.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Up to this point, the voice-over has belonged to Qi’ra, who suggests that Han is after something: revenge, money, or something else? She strikes up a familiar tone with Han, and they seem to be catching up after being separated for a long time. During its reveal, Entertainment Weekly noted that she and Han grew up together.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

We also get a new shot of Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian in a Mos Eisley-esque establishment. There’s a lot to take in here, particularly in the form of new aliens and people. The next shot features Han joining the game with a pile of credit chits, and it looks like this might be the first time that the two meet.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Speaking of first meetings, the next shot features Han and Chewbacca looking up at the Falcon. We saw a variation of this shot in the teaser trailer, but Chewbacca wasn’t there, which means that Chewie was probably added during a recent reshoot.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

“You look good,” Qi’Ra tells Han. “A little rough around the edges.” This location looks as though it’s a bit more upscale than the places that Han has been hanging out. If that’s the case, the two have taken wildly different paths in life since they apparently parted as kids.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

We now see Woody Harrelson’s Tobias Beckett. This looks like the same planet that we saw the Cloud Riders on earlier in the trailer (and in the prior teaser), and he tells Han that he’s heard about a job run by a “big-shot gangster.”

It’s looking like Tobias might be a sort of mentor or father figure for Han.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Cut to “big-shot gangster,” whose name is Dryden Vos, played by Paul Bettany. He replaced Michael K. Williams midway through the shoot due to scheduling problems. Bettany described the character as a “very cool, intergalactic gangster,” and EW described him as a “figure who has found great success by breaking the rules — but isn’t the kind to get his hands dirty.” From the next shot, he’s got quite the face full of scars, which makes me wonder how accurate that description is.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Another shot, presumably on Corellia, and presumably with Han and Qi’Ra in their youth. Tobias says that they’re putting together a crew. EW says that they’re on the run from the Empire, which makes some sense, as we see them being chased in the prior trailer by a trooper on a speeder.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Han is telling a man that he’s a “driver, and I’m a flyer.”

Han’s garb stands out to me a bit: it looks almost identical to what the shoretroopers from Rogue One were wearing (the same buckles on the shoulders, and a very similar-looking chest). We’ve seen some leaks of toys that reveal that Han and Tobias are in disguise, and come with a “Mimban stormtrooper.”


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

A quick shot as Han says he’s a flyer. This looks like it’s part of that train heist set piece, and we see Han at work piloting the ship away from an explosion.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

“I’ve waited a long time for a shot like this,” Han tells someone. Seems like they’re on that snowy planet again.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

This is Val, played by Westworld’s Thandie Newton. EW described her as mysterious, saying she’s a long-term partner of Tobias. She also apparently doesn’t like him very much at first.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

We get another shot from the same scene, in which Tobias tosses Han a pistol. This is pretty cool to see: that gun is the classic DL-44 that we see Han use later on throughout the franchise, so this feels like a pretty notable moment.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

“What do you think?”

“RAWRGWAWGGR!!”

“Well, what do you know?”

This just strikes me as a funny moment, and judging from other moments in the trailer, the film certainly looks like it will have a lighter, funnier tone than something like Rogue One.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Back to the snow planet. That’s a big skull.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Tobias doesn’t just recruit Han (and presumably Qi’Ra). They need a ship, and Qi’Ra knows a guy. “He’s the best smuggler around.” This is Lando, and as we know, he was the first owner of the Millennium Falcon.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

“Everything you’ve heard about me is true,” Lando tells Han, which is utterly perfect. Added bonus for the floating drink dispenser.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

We’ve got a new character up next: Lando’s partner, L3-37, a droid played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge (from Broadchurch and Goodbye Christopher Robin). EW noted that she played the character via motion capture (like Alan Tudyk did with K-2SO in Rogue One) and that she’s “got a more idiosyncratic personality than your typical droids.” In another post, EW says that the droid has modified herself, while screenwriter Jon Kasdan says that “she’s a complete individual in the galaxy.”


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Next up, it looks like we’re back to Han meeting the Falcon for the first time. We’ve got a nice overhead view of the newer ship. The scene reminds me a little of Luke seeing the Falcon for the first time in years in The Last Jedi, and novelization for that film seems to hint at a bit of a connection between the two films.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

“If you come with us, you’re in this life for good,” Tobias tells Han. This seems to be an early encounter between the two, and it lines up with another scene from the first teaser, in which Han translated Chewie for Tobias.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

There’s a neat shot of the engines flaring.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

“You might want to… buckle up, baby.” Glover is turning Lando’s charm up to 11.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Back to the snow planet: here’s that train running through the mountains. This seems to be the target of a major heist, and it’s protected by Imperial soldiers. I’m getting a bit of a Firefly vibe here. (Either that or Snowpiercer.)


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Those troopers are called Range troopers, and it looks like they’re well-equipped for the snowy weather. They also apparently have magnetic boots to keep them firmly attached to the top or sides of the train if needed.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Tobias exchanges some shots with the troopers on top of the train.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Here’s a good look at the Range troopers. Their armor is a weird mix of various Imperial armors: the helmet is a lot like that of the shoretroopers from Rogue One, while the chest looks a lot like that of a snowtrooper from Empire Strikes Back. That makes sense since they’re working on a cold planet.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Tobias is back with a voice-over here: “Let me give you some advice: expect that everyone will betray you, and you will never be disappointed.”

This doesn’t bode especially well for Han, and I wonder if this means that someone in the crew ready to turn on them. But long-term? We see this happen to Han down the road: Lando turns him and his friends over to the Empire in The Empire Strikes Back, and he’ll be killed by his own son in The Force Awakens.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Just a nice shot of the Falcon flying through clouds.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

A quick shot of an AT-ST (All Terrain Scout Transport) dropping onto a battlefield. The trooper in the foreground looks a bit like one of the leaked images of a mudtrooper on Mimban. EW showed off an image and describes the world as a misty swamp planet. We’ve seen this world before: it was featured in 1978’s Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, and there was a brief reference to the planet’s role in the Clone Wars during The Clone Wars cartoon series. It’s another example of a new Star Wars story cannibalizing the older, non-canon expanded universe.


Two Wookiees! Speaking of cannibalizing old parts of Star Wars lore, it’ll be a fun nod if this is Lumpawaroo, Chewbacca’s son, who was first seen in The Star Wars Holiday Special.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Here, Han is at the controls of the Falcon, which we saw in the first trailer, followed by a bunch of shots of them being pursued by TIE fighters. “I’ve got a really good feeling about this.”


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Chewie gets fed up and starts flipping controls, leading to another funny moment:

“Since when do you know how to fly?”

“RAWRGWAWGGR!”

“190 years old? You look great!”

This actually helps place the movie in the larger Star Wars chronology: Chewie was apparently 180 years old during the Battle of Kashyyyk in Revenge of the Sith, which in and of itself was 19 years prior to A New Hope / Rogue One. So, we’re about nine or so years out from when we first met Han and Chewie in the 1977 film.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

We’re back at that desert location. We’ve got the Falcon here, which means that they’ve linked up with Lando. Maybe this is the place?


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Lightsaber-knuckles? We see Bettany’s Dryden Vos slice up some crap in his den.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

This looks a bit like we’re back at Mimban, with a group of mudtroopers, where we saw the AT-ST earlier, and the pitched battle. Chewie throws a trooper.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

More pitched battles, though it’s not clear if we’re still on Mimban or somewhere else.


Image: Disney / Lucasfilm

Finally, we’re back to this big train scene, where Han saves Chewie from getting his head smashed in by a rock along the rails.

The biggest takeaway from this trailer is twofold: one, that the movie really will have a swashbuckling, Wild West vibe. There are heists, high-flying action, and a fun cast of characters. The other is that the movie seems like it’ll be a bit more upbeat than Rogue One. These standalone films offer the potential for a lot of different themes and genres within the larger playground that is Star Wars, and it will be interesting to see how this differs from the other installments.

Overall, it looks like it’ll be a fun ride: there are plenty of familiar sequences like space battles, shootouts against the Empire, and the galaxy’s criminal underworld. But the story also looks like it’ll be pretty divergent from the typical good guys fighting the Republic / Empire / First Order that we’ve seen in pretty much every other Star Wars film. What remains to be seen is whether or not this dynamic works. We don’t have long to wait before we can see the rest of it.

Solo: A Star Wars Story opens in theaters on May 25th.

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