Folks, believe it or not, there’s another Star Wars movie coming out in a little over three months. After three years of Yuletide adventures in a galaxy far, far away, Lucasfilm and Disney have decided to revisit the franchise’s summer-flick origins by releasing Solo: A Star Wars Story on May 25, exactly 41 years to the day after A New Hope hit screens. As per usual, substantive info about the picture has been on heavy lockdown, but fears were aroused by the fact that initial directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were fired from the project and replaced by Ron Howard. However, Solo finished on schedule and the first teaser trailer was released this morning. It doesn’t tell us a whole hell of a lot, but it does seem to bill itself as a kind of The Fast and the Furious in space. Let’s hop in the Falcon and take a gander, shall we?
We begin with a hand flipping switches and pressing buttons with the deft confidence of one of Reynolds Woodcock’s seamstresses. Whose paw could this be? We’re never directly told, but I mean, come on.
We’re abruptly following what might be a different craft, given the change in lighting and its relatively compact size. “I’ve been running scams on the street since I was 10,” a voice intones. The vehicle is speeding through a setting that looks an awful lot like Chicago’s Lower Wacker Drive, am I right, Chi-towners? Okay, so who’s bragging and riding this whip?
Why, it’s none other than Khaleesi and the cowboy from Hail, Caesar! By which I mean it’s Emilia Clarke and Alden Ehrenreich, who are playing Qi’ra and Han Solo, respectively. We know nothing about Qi’ra other than her name, and Han is a relatively minor figure from the Star Wars universe who isn’t worth describing. They’re serving some top-notch coat action, with Qi’ra in a kind of intergalactic bomber jacket, I think, and Han in a leftover outfit from the original Battlestar Galactica show. “I was kicked out of flight academy for having a mind of my own,” he says in his continuing voice-over.
They’re on the run in their Landspeeder-esque car, with a Stormtrooper in hot pursuit on a floating bike that looks like a miniature version of the Razor Trains from Half-Life 2. Honestly, I’d trade a Star Wars spinoff movie for Half-Life 3, and I know I’m not alone.
The bike crashes into some junk in the alleyway and the Stormtrooper fulfills a proud Stormtrooper tradition of flailing around like an idiot while being flung into the air. I was especially fond of seeing this habit in the wonderful, pre-Disney game The Force Unleashed. Again, I know I’m not alone.
They’re not out of the woods yet, as evidenced by this larger, blue-engined craft swerving up behind them as they drive onto what looks like some kind of marina. Y’know, they call the Empire’s fleet the Imperial Navy, but I don’t think we’ve ever seen an Imperial boat. Yet.
Now we’re on some kind of mountain planet at dawn or dusk; gimme a break, I don’t have a compass. “I’m gonna be a pilot,” Han continues. “Best in the galaxy.” Jeez, we get it, buddy. The first two notes of the Star Wars theme blast at an Inception-esque volume.
We only see this dude from behind, but I’m assuming he’s Han. He’s clad in a coat comprised of many a pelt, in open defiance of the social stigma against fur established by PETAA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and Aliens).
The familiar corridors of the Millennium Falcon. “What’s that?” you say. Well, maybe your memory will be jogged by …
… the exterior! Han, still in his fur, looks up at the ship he’ll at some point win from Lando Calrissian, if the original lore is obeyed. Did you know there was once a story treatment for a Star Wars prequel that featured a ship called the Century Eagle? (Dammit, why do I know this stuff but have trouble remembering people’s names like five minutes after I meet them?)
Now we’re on a beachy coast with two figures who I’m guessing are Han and Qi’ra, based on the height differential. There’s something that looks like a space lighthouse in the background. We may have seen space beaches before in Rogue One’s Scarif, but while those felt like Florida, this one has more of an off-season Cape Cod vibe.
Presumably nearby, Han meets up with a coated figure near some ancient-looking spires. Who is this windswept gent? Why, it’s …
… yet another wise older mentor character played by Woody Harrelson! Hey, why mess with a good thing, right? This time around, Harrelson is embodying an experienced criminal dude named Beckett. We’ll have to wait for the press tour to find out if Woody’s stuck to his new no-marijuana policy. He says he’s putting together a team, which seems to consist of …
… Qi’ra, here seen in a truly astounding cape; an as-yet-unnamed droid (could it be voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, whose role in the flick is allegedly very CGI-based?) …
… the great Lando Calrissian, played by the one and only Donald Glover … hey, Siri, can you show me the galaxy’s greatest smile?
There’s my guy. Okay, back to the team lineup. We’ve also got …
… Thandie Newton as a character about whom we know nothing, other than that she seems to tolerate zero nonsense …
… and maybe this little multi-armed alien dude? But that looks an awful lot like an Imperial behind him, so maybe he’s working for the bad guys? Speaking of which: It doesn’t show up in this trailer, but in last night’s commercial spot, we learned that the franchise is sticking to the pre-Disney story that Han at some point works for the Empire before setting out on his own. And that does it for the team montage. Or does it?
Next, we see Han in what appears to be the obligatory Cantina knockoff. Boh-ring.
A-ha, we have one more member of the team to get to, perhaps the most important one: noted bandolier model and Porg murderer Chewbacca! Give us a growl, buddy.
Lando and the droid are in a ship and do Lando’s little two-finger salute from Return of the Jedi, which I will admit to doing multiple times every day.
We’re in a space club of some kind, where a performer wears a gold dress and headgear that looks like it’d fit right in on Slave to the Rhythm–era Grace Jones. Next to her is a gross little creature in a floating jar, presumably part of the act. I’m sure the song’s good, but it’ll never top “Lapti Nek” from the theatrical cut of Return of the Jedi.
Qi’ra is also present, sporting what looks like an intergalactic LBD and a slightly frizzy perm.
Now we seem to be back on that Cape Cod planet, where Han has run afoul of a bunch of armored dudes who look like they were designed by late-period Jack Kirby. I mean that as a very high compliment.
Our heroes fly away from some nasties in yet another ship. I’m guessing the array of vehicles in this sucker will rival that of any flick starring the Family.
“I might be the only person who knows what you really are,” Qi’ra tells Han. “What’s that?” he replies with a laugh. The answer is, of course, “A guy who looks and sounds absolutely nothing like Harrison Ford.”
Han & Co. make a getaway yet again while tailed by some Imperials in a pretty rad-looking space cloud. As the Bard would say: exit, pursued by a …
… crowd of TIE Fighters the likes of which we haven’t seen before. As was the case with lots of Imperial stuff in Rogue One, we just have to assume this tech’s absence in the Original Trilogy implies that the Empire used up the last of the line by film’s end.
No one can believe the stunt that Han’s about to pull off, especially Lando, who’s giving us one of the all-time great Star Wars facial expressions here.
But pull it off Han does, although I have to say, the maneuver is somewhat underwhelming. Then again, I crave constant stimulation and am only satisfied when everything is extremely high-octane, because I have a problem.
Han gets cocky, against his own future advice.
And sure enough, his cockiness is rewarded by a flight into a series of enormous space tentacles. If you’re into tentacle erotica, Solo will clearly be the Star Wars film you’ve always waited for.