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Breaking down the Solo: A Star Wars Story trailer: characters and capers revealed!

Contributed by
Feb 5, 2018

The day is finally here, the moment that Star Wars fans have been clamoring for since... December. After getting a little taste during the Super Bowl, the first trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story has arrived this morning. We're not gonna smuggle all of this excitement away — It's time to break it all down to Corellia and back!

WARNING: There will be spoilers for Solo: A Star Wars Story in this article. That's pretty much the whole point. Nevertheless, SOUND THE SPOILER KLAXXONS!

Feast your eyes on the trailer here, and we'll begin coverage after the jump:

 

Though it's just a first look, this footage is exciting enough to pull the ears off a gundark. Gold dancing thing! Droids! Clicking! Switches! Buttons! Let's punch it!

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Courtesy of Lucasfilm

I'M GONNA BE A PILOT... BEST IN THE GALAXY

The trailer appropriately begins with voiceover (and various shots) of young Han Solo, with actor Alden Ehrenreich stepping into the blood-stripe pants of Harrison Ford. The above shot is an interesting parallel to the famous "twin suns" moment at the start of Luke Skywalker's hero's journey, except this time, the "hero" is only looking at a blank display of rock and ice. This may be our first ever on-screen look at the planet Corellia, which is Han's birthplace.

Han gives us some of his backstory: "I've been running scams on the streets since I was ten. I was kicked out of the academy for having a mind of my own." The scams he mentions would have most likely taken place on his home planet, and we now have confirmation that Han's backstory officially involves him being in an "academy" at some point. Which one? The sabacc player in us is almost sure that it's an Imperial Academy, as Corellia is a core world, and they would have one there-- also during some of the early speeder shots, Han seems to be wearing an Imperial Cadet uniform. Whether or not this connected to the "recruitment" moment with the Imperial officer that was seen in the teaser is unclear.

What is pretty clear is that Han is already a bit cocky; his "I'm gonna be a pilot, best in the galaxy" line has no uncertainty in it. He's almost as certain as when little Anakin bragged about already being a pilot to Padme on Tatooine. Also pretty clear? Han Solo is wearing fur. Does Chewie know?

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Courtesy of Lucasfilm

WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY SHIP?

What would Han be without the Millennium Falcon? A young version of the freighter naturally appears, and it's looking all shiny and new. The old girl must not have been able to "hold together" at some point in her history, because both the interior and exterior of the ship have parts that the "fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy" definitely did not have when we meet her in the classic films.

How did the Falcon go from immaculate, to, we're guessing, Solo-fied? The events of this movie could depict that process. Was it the strain of making the Kessel Run in under 12 parsecs? That famous event isn't hinted at in the trailer, but one thing to keep in mind is that we have no guarantee that Han was behind the stick when the ship attained that legendary honor. It's only ever said that the ship made the run — it is never said that Han was the one piloting her.

Another theory is that the Falcon is stripped down at some point in the film. If we get far enough into the history and we see Han win the ship "fair and square" from Lando Calrissian, perhaps Lando made sure that Han would be left with nothing but a bucket of bolts before he took ownership. Arguably the best shot in all of the new footage is this image (from the teaser) of Donald Glover's young Lando, and he looks very satisfied with perhaps a glint of revenge in his eyes. We're gonna post it here just because we love it:

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Courtesy of Lucasfilm

Is this Lando watching some goons take the Falcon apart on his orders? Is he that bad of a loser? He might be, but the important things here are 1. He looks incredible, and 2. More fur.

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Courtesy of Lucasfilm

PUTTING TOGETHER A CREW

Time for some plot, or, as it happens, time to meet our group of scoundrels. This film is reportedly based around a caper of some sort, and capers need a good team to pull them off. In the above shot, we see Han being recruited (on a planet that we can't yet identify) by Woody Harrelson's character. His name is "Beckett" according to rumors, but that is not confirmed. What is confirmed is that he is wearing a belt and hip blaster combo much like the Han we know and love comes to do. Who is involved in this caper exactly?

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Courtesy of Lucasfilm

"HEY KID..."

Every team needs a leader, and it seems like Woody's the guy in charge. We won't call him Beckett just yet, but he has always been said to be playing a mentor to Han, teaching him all things related to smuggling and moofmilking. Referring to Han as a "kid" seems to support that, and it makes one recall Han consistently calling Luke Skywalker the very same thing. This is likely where Han picked that up.

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Courtesy of Lucasfilm

THE ONLY PERSON WHO KNOWS WHAT YOU REALLY ARE

The trailer has a lot of Emilia Clarke's character in it, and thanks to some new posters that were released today, we know her name is Qi'ra, which is a twist on her rumored name of Kira (which incidentally was what Daisy Ridley's Rey was called that for most of pre-production). Welcome to Star Wars, Qi'ra! 

She seems to have a huge connection to Han, as she is seen speeding around with him in early action shots that seem like they could be Corellia-based. One possibility is that the two grew up together on Corellia before their paths diverged, and going by the above shot (appearing with Phoebe Waller-Bridge's droid character) she's probably made more of her life than Han has (at least at that point). The line she gives Han about knowing what he really is makes you think that they didn't just meet.

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Courtesy of Star Wars

SANA STARROS OR RAE SLOANE?

Thandie Newton's role in the film has been kept secret, and here's our first look at her mystery character. She appears to be on Team Caper, and we have three ideas about who she might be playing.

The first is that she is playing Sana Starros from the new Star Wars comic book line. Sana is a smuggler who entered the storyline of the main comics early on, and was once "married" to Han as part of a con. She's smart, quick, morally ambiguous, and a lot of fun — Thandie Newton would be perfect playing her. Han and Sana would theoretically have met during this period, and their fake marriage could even be a part of the caper.

The second idea? She's an imperial in disguise. Not just any imperial, but Rae Sloane, perpetual thorn in the rebellion's side (in the books) all the way through the Battle of Jakku (Aftermath: Empire's End). Are we throwing non-film characters at the wall just for the kriffin' kark of it all? No way; Rae Sloane is incredible, she'd be great undercover, and again, Newton would be fantastic playing her.

The third option is that she's playing someone completely new. We don't even have a placeholder name for her yet.

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Courtesy of Lucasfilm

AN ENTREPRENEUR

If there's one gleaming jewel in both the teaser and the trailer, it is Donald Glover as young Lando. In the shot from the teaser he is full of a surprising cold fury, but here he is more or less the charming Lando who we know and love. A perfect fusion of actor and character, the amazingly talented Glover might (and probably will) end up stealing the entire film.

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Courtesy of Lucasfilm

LIFE DEBT

Because of course! What's Han without Chewie? We've seen plenty of Chewie without Han (Star Wars: The Clone Wars, Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith, Star Wars: The Last Jedi), but never the other way around. The official synopsis says that the best space-friends of all time will meet in this film, so get ready to see what causes that famous Wookiee "life debt." Why Woody, Han, and Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo) are back on the snowy planet is anyone's guess, as is why Han is wearing his fur in front of Chewie. The audacity! Guess the secret's out.

Want to get really geeky about it? This is the first time in Star Wars history that we are seeing Chewbacca wearing ANYTHING other than his classic black strap bandolier. He's got the classic one on in Revenge of the Sith (which takes place before this), and in A New Hope (which takes place after), so why the momentary change-up? Chances are that there is no reason for it and we're just being picky.

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Courtesy of Lucasfilm

THIS GUY

We don't know who this little guy is, but we are here for him.

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Courtesy of Lucasfilm

GET READY

What comes next? The whole rest of the trailer, which is jammed with so much Star Wars madness it'll Snoke your Sheev for sure. We've got Han going up against some tough looking bandits, a dancing gold creature (or droid, unsure), Lando and Waller-Bridge's droid hitting it off, and of course we also have the Falcon in flight. The still whole-looking ship is fleeing from a bunch of TIE fighters (and a Star Destroyer) and everything is right with the world.

With the line, "Thought we were in trouble there for second, but it's fine," Ehrenreich shows what his Solo-smuggle-swagger is going to be like, and Ron Howard's touch can be felt too, as there are many close-ups of switch flipping on the Falcon's control board, something we're not used to getting. Aside from behind-the-scenes photos, it's really the first time we're even seeing anything resembling the Falcon's "steering wheel," for lack of a better way to put it.

If this movie is truly the story of how Han Solo became Han Solo, however, then perhaps no shot is as iconic as this one:

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Courtesy of Lucasfilm

The legend, and her captain. THIS is the real "twin suns" shot of the film, because nothing symbolizes Han's destiny quite like the Falcon. That cockpit might as well be two suns as far as Han is concerned.

Who wants to bet that the film ends with Han taking ownership of the Falcon, before placing his gold-colored pair of smuggler's dice in the cockpit? We'll wager every republic credit we have on it, because the dice (notably used in Star Wars: The Last Jedi) are hung in his speeder early in the trailer.

Solo: A Star Wars Story is still set to be released on May 25, 2018. It'll face tough competition, but you know Solo — never tell him the odds. What did you think of the trailer? Does it live up to the hype? Did they hit an idiot's array? Let us know in the comments!