Solo: A Star Wars Story is just over six weeks away now, and Lucasfilm has dropped the final trailer for the spinoff. Giving us our best look at the film so far, it’s a quick-cut and action-packed trailer that contains a lot you may have missed. Here’s just a few things that stood out to us at OnScreen:
Star Destroyer Under Construction
It’s still not clear which planet this is over (it could be a seedier side of Corellia, Han’s home planet, though as Corellia is a richer Core world it’s more likely the planet Mimban – one of the first non-film planets in the old Star Wars canon hailing from Splinter of the Mind’s Eye, a novel by Alan Dean Foster that was designed to function as a lower-budget sequel to Star Wars ’77 if the film flopped), but the incredible shot of a Star Destroyer during construction over a grimy and dilapidated world is the perfect reminder of how the Empire operates; feeding the galaxy sweet lies about bringing order and prosperity to planets, whilst draining resources and dangling technology in front of those most in-need.
Present in every trailer so far, masked leader Enfys Nest and her (yes, her) gang of dangerous, marauding swoop bike criminals known as ‘The Cloudriders’ show up here again. A very deep cut taken from before Disney acquired the license to Star Wars, The Cloudriders were originally from Marvel’s Star Wars comics back in the late-70s. A biker gang that ride large hoverbikes (if the speeder bikes from Return of the Jedi are akin to motorcycles, swoop bikes are the Harley Davidsons of the Star Wars galaxy), it’s likely that Nest’s crew will act as an antagonistic force to the mission Han and his crew will go on in the film.
Han enters a seedy-looking gambling den and comes across a game of Sabacc – the Star Wars galaxy’s equivalent of poker, making its big screen debut. This is clearly Han and Lando’s first meeting, but it’s exciting for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s unlikely this will be the only game of Sabacc we see played in the film – in Star Wars canon, Lando Calrissian lost the Millennium Falcon to Han in a variant of Sabacc that also used dice, dice which you’ll notice played a major role in last year’s The Last Jedi. Other than setting up their later game, which will almost definitely take place within the final scenes of the film, there’s one other little detail on the table that’s very, very interesting. One of the chips – clearly just a handful of random non-standardised galactic currency (most planets use ‘Credits’, but not all) – features the insignia of one Boba Fett.
Our first look at Paul Bettany’s gangster Dryden Voss, reportedly the criminal Han and his mentor Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) will be taking the main job for, shows a man who has been through some troubling times. Facial scars and visible metallic stitching holding his face together is a bold look, especially at this time in the galaxy’s history when someone with Voss’ seeming wealth would be able to get such a thing fixed. Bettany actually came in late in the production, replacing the previously cast Michael K Williams from the shooting with original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller. When the schedules clashed, new director Ron Howard called in Paul Bettany to reshoot the scenes instead.
Han’s DL-44 Blaster
One curious moment in the trailer shows Han and his crew around a fire, before Beckett kisses Han’s iconic DL-44 blaster and throws it to him. A bit much? Probably. There’s always the concern with prequels that every little piece of iconography will be imbued with some grand, tragic backstory. Let’s just hope Emilia Clarke’s Q’ira doesn’t give Han a vest jacket and tell him she thinks it will suit him.
Lando Calrissian Is Smoother Than Silk
There’s a level of trepidation amongst fans surrounding Solo: A Star Wars Story, with the recasting of Han Solo pulling in significant criticism from many who believe that only Harrison Ford and Harrison Ford alone can play the character. However, ask those same fans what they think of the inimitable Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian, and they’ll gush themselves silly. Glover’s Lando is a masterstroke in casting, and this trailer just goes to prove exactly how good he’s going to be. Getting all the best lines in the trailer, his greatest is easily his first. Han remarks over the Sabacc table that he’s heard a story about Lando, and he’s wondering if it was true. Lando’s reply? “Everything you’ve heard about me is true” whilst taking a drink from a floating serving droid. Effortlessly cool.
It looks like K-2SO has some competition in the sassy droid department, as we’re introduced to Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s L3-37. Ignoring the real-world silliness of the character’s name numerically spelling out the word ‘LEET’ (an abbreviation of the word ‘elite’ in gamerspeak), she gets some top-notch moments, and seems to be a genuine ally to Lando in his criminal endeavours – which unfortunately doesn’t bode well for her chances of surviving the film. She ain’t on Cloud City, people.
The Falcon Revealed
Finally, we get our first clear in-film look at the Millennium Falcon before Han gets his grubby mitts on it, and without it whirling through nebulae. The Falcon here is sleek, bright white with blue accents, and has a complete nose – much more in line with something Calrissian would fly. Now Lando’s line in The Empire Strikes Back makes perfect sense; “What have you done to my ship?”
A new Star Wars film will always bring new troopers, and Solo is no exception. Yes, we also catch glimpses of the new Patrol Troopers and Mudtroopers (Editor’s Note: Really? Mudtroopers?), but it’s the Range Troopers that really steal the show. Donning helmets similar to that of the Shoretroopers and Hovertank pilots in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and wearing fur-lined jackets and magnetised boots, the Range Troopers look like Empire Strikes Back’s Snowtroopers dialled up to eleven. They appear to take centre stage during the main train heist of the film, practically confirming that the cargo the crew are stealing will be Imperial. But what that cargo is specifically, and why it would need specially-armoured and heavily-weaponed troopers to guard it is currently anyone’s guess.
A New Imperial Walker
This one’s quick, but it looks like the Empire will be utilising a more lightly-armoured and seemingly open-top version of the AT-ST with protruding side-panels and thinner (presumably faster) legs. They look closer to the AT-RTs of the Republic from the Prequel Trilogy, but with that angular, bulkier design philosophy of the Galactic Empire. It’ll be interesting to see how much of an appearance this new walker makes in the movie.
Chewie’s Wife, Mala
For die-hard Star Wars fans, this was the moment that got the biggest reaction in the trailer. For the briefest of seconds we see Chewbacca embracing a seemingly-female wookie that it’s hard to imagine won’t be his wife Mala. Even in canon, Chewbacca has always had a wife and son, but in adherence to the wookie code had to leave his home and serve alongside Han Solo, to whom he owes a life debt. The Solo film seems to be upping the ante by making it not just Chewie that Han rescues from slavery, but his entire family, making the life debt that much more meaningful.
“A hundred-and-ninety-years-old?! … You look incredible.”
What seems like a fun, throwaway gag on the long lives of wookies is actually the first canon answer we’ve had for Chewie’s age, and more so than that, since it’s always assumed that the character was around two-hundred at the time of Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope, that places Solo: A Star Wars Story roughly ten years before the Battle of Yavin, and the destruction of the Death Star, thus finally confirming where this film sits in the timeline.
The Liberation of Kessel
Towards the end of the trailer we can see a bandolier-less Chewie wrecking fools and fighting in what appears to be a mine. Considering we’ve already had it teased by director Ron Howard that the spice mines of Kessel (originally mentioned in the first Star Wars film, and featured on screen for the first time a few years ago in Star Wars: Rebels) will be making an appearance, it’s a safe bet that this is where Chewie is liberated from slavery by Han during some kind of mission. It’s been canon for years now that the Empire uses wookie slaves to mine the drug known as ‘spice’ from beneath the surface of the planet, and considering we know the infamous Kessel Run (that Han completes in less than 12 parsecs in the Millennium Falcon) will also show up, this is a fair bet.