This summer’s blockbuster movie-going season will get a galaxy-sized injection of origin story when Ron Howard’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story” arrives in May, promising to fill in all sorts of backstory-centric questions regarding lovable rogue Han Solo (played here by Alden Ehrenreich). The film has notably taken its time rolling out marketing — last night’s Super Bowl spot was the first official footage to be released, followed quickly by a much longer teaser that expanded upon some of the more intriguing elements of the film.
So what was a young Han Solo like? And how did he become the beloved scoundrel who has for so long been one of the best parts of the “Star Wars” mythos? “Solo” has some ideas, and not all of them appear to hinge on the introduction of other classic characters (though Chewie and Lando are both very much here) and locales (can you count the Millennium Falcon as a single locale?).
The feature has, of course, not been without its controversy. When original directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord were hired to helm the film, it was expected that they’d bring their signature humor and free-wheeling style to “Solo,” an idea that proved out in the worst possible way: they unexpectedly left the project in June, with weeks of production still left.
Howard was announced as the new director of the Han Solo film in late July. “I’m beyond grateful to add my voice to the Star Wars Universe after being a fan since 5/25/77,” he wrote at the time. “I hope to honor the great work already done & help deliver on the promise of a Han Solo film.” In October, he shared on Twitter that the production had finally wrapped.
That promise is a big one, and here are 8 intriguing parts from the newest teaser trailer for “Solo” that further hint at what to look for when the standalone film arrives later this summer.
Some Good, Old-Fashioned Misdirection
Last night’s first look at “Solo” hinted at Han’s perviously unknown past with the Empire, care of a kind of intergalactic job fair that saw our hopeful pilot apparently signing up to join the bad dudes in order to snag some much-needed on-the-job training.
But that might not be what’s actually going down here, as the new teaser is much more focused on Han joining up with a merry band of rogues (including Donald Glover as Lando, though sadly without his space cape) put together by his maybe-mentor Tobias Beckett, played by Woody Harrelson. Our guess? That visit to Empire Jobs R Us was likely a ruse, and one Han and his new friends will use as a way to infiltrate the dark side in service to some currently undefined mission.
“I’ve Been Running Scams on the Street Since I Was 10”
Brace yourself for at least some revelations about Han’s very early years, apparently spent as a rabble-rousing street kid who had to make his own way in an unforgiving world.
“I Was Kicked Out of the Flight Academy For Having a Mind of My Own”
When Harrison Ford’s Han Solo was first introduced in “A New Hope,” he was portrayed as a man relatively agnostic to issues regarding the Empire and the Rebellion, the dark side and the light, just a dude trying to get by, decidedly not a joiner. But “Solo” seems to alter that canon, building in a backstory in which Han at least attempted to join something bigger than himself before being kicked out for, well, being himself.
A Brand-New Millennium Falcon
One of the biggest reveals of the first teaser trailer also made it into the second: a shiny, factory-new Millennium Falcon that seems more to the taste of its flashy first owner, Glover’s young Lando Calrissian. The modified YT-1300F Corellian light freighter is bound for big changes during its various quests throughout the galaxy — at some point, it not only gets almost hilariously dirty, but it also loses a major chunk of its front (Kessel run? are you to blame?) — but in the land of “Solo,” it’s as dazzlingly swanky as any ship in the “Star Wars” universe.
Putting Together a Crew
Harrelson’s Tobias Beckett appears to be on the hunt for a new crew to gallivant with him across the galaxy, one that includes young Han, Emilia Clarke’s Qi’Ra, Lando, and more (perhaps Phoebe Waller-Bridge in that rumored CGI role? and what of Thandie Newton in her still-undisclosed part?). But what do you need a crew for, Tobias?
An Already-Strong Bond With Chewbacca
When Tobias offers up a chance to join said crew, that includes an ask to young Chewie (Joonas Suotamo), who responds in his usual Wookiee fashion. Who translates that classic roar? Han, who seems to already be very comfortable indeed with his furry first mate.
A Possible Romance
Clarke’s Qi’Ra is all over this new look, including riding along with Han during an early speeder chase, joining up with Tobias’ crew, and hitting the scene during a particularly intriguing visit to a swanky space cantina. While “Solo” might be fixated on aligning Han with a batch of new friends, it seems evident that he and Qi’Ra have some kind of past — at the very least, she seems to know who he really is, a teasing moment at the end of the trailer that takes on both a romantic cast (these two have chemistry) and a perhaps darker shade.
Did you see that look in Han’s eyes? She knows him, and he’s afraid of it.
At Least Once Giant Space Monster
At least one. Probably more.
“Solo” will open on May 25.