On Monday, fans finally got to see the first full length trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story. Starring Alden Ehrenreich as the titular character himself, our favorite smuggler will to some degree be bolstered by a supporting cast that includes Woody Harrelson, Donald Glover and Emilia Clarke.
The trailer revealed a lot of information that will be the topic of many theories going forward. For now, Fangirl is going to break down some of our burning questions following the trailer drop.
1. Will the Kessel Run be involved in the plot?
Any respectable galactic citizen will remember Han Solo’s famous line about the Falcon being the “ship that made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs” in the original Star Wars film. Since then, fans have beaten this reference to a near death state, yet it remains a strong contender to in some way be included in the plot of Solo. So what is the Kessel Run and why is it important?
In Star Wars lore, Kessel is a planet that produces large amounts of a drug called spice. Spice is mined from incredibly dangerous tunnels in the depths of the planet, which is fueled by slum lords and the intergalactic slave trade. The Kessel Run itself is a hyperspace route used by smugglers who needed to export spice illegally, and Han Solo apparently holds the course record.
There are planets in the trailer that could very well be Kessel, specifically the snapshot of Han looking up through the dust at what appears to be the Falcon. It’s very likely that the turning point in this film happens somewhere near or on the planet Kessel, and I’m almost positive that the main cast will have to escape some sort of threat in less than 12 parsecs. Or Han was just talking out of his ass in that Mos Eisley cantina years later. Who knows?
2. Who does Han acquire the Falcon from?
The best bet here is that Disney will stick to what had been previously established in the original trilogy films: Han won the famous Corellian starship in a high stakes space gambling match against Lando Calrissian.
This explanation would be great from a character building standpoint, as it would open up countless opportunities for meaningful dialogue between the famous pair of scoundrels, if the Falcon’s ownership is transferred early on. It could also make for an incredible scene during the second half of the movie (no Canto Bight, please).
Another detail to consider from the trailer is the fact that the Falcon is in an almost unrecognizably factory clean condition. The grimy tunnel that leads to the ship’s control room is a spotless white, and the outer panels appear to have a sleek blue and white coat of paint. This makes it incredibly likely that Han acquires the ship during the film, and later beats it into the condition it is seen in during every other Star Wars movie.
3. How much of Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian are we going to get?
There are few things more satisfying than seeing a beloved original trilogy character being portrayed by someone who’s perfect for the role. Two examples of this come from the prequels, of all places, where Ewan McGregor’s Obi Wan-Kenobi and Ian McDiarmid’s Sheev Palpatine were able to shine in spite of the script. Now, we have Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian – something most fans actually seem to be enthusiastic about.
The trailer shows a good amount of Glover in character, complete with Lando’s iconic mustache and an undeniably fashionable fur cape that few other Star Wars heroes could pull off. Casting Glover in this role was a big win for Disney, as he is perhaps the only actor with both the looks and the talent required to play a young Billy Dee Williams (and one of the franchises most beloved protagonists).
It’s perhaps also worth mentioning here that Ehrenreich also seems to be a solid fit to play the titular character. However, he’ll like have a difficult time convincing the fanbase that he’s worthy of assuming the mantle while also having to compete with the likes of Glover’s Lando and Harrison Ford shadow looming over him.
4. Who are Woody Harrelson and Emilia Clarke’s characters?
Woody Harrelson is set to play a character who will become Han’s smuggling mentor during the film. In the trailer, Harrelson’s character says he’s putting some sort of team together, presumably for a heist. We then see quick cuts of various team members, including Emilia Clarke’s unnamed character, as the entire squad is revealed in a Guardians of the Galaxy-esque manner.
Previous rumors had indicated that Clarke’s character would be more of a one dimensional “Bond girl” archetype, but the trailer hints that she may have been a childhood friend of Solo’s – someone who allegedly knows Han better than anyone and can serve as a voice of reason for the young smuggler in the film.
It’ll be interested to see how all of these characters interact, and why Clarke and Harrelson’s characters were never mentioned by Han later in his life. It could just be flashbacks from Rogue One, but it wouldn’t be surprising to see these two characters die in a potential incident at the end of the film, leaving Han, Lando and Chewie to escape in the Falcon unscathed.
5. What role does the Empire play in the ultimate plot?
The 45 second teaser shown during the Super Bowl made it seem as though Han Solo would be joining the Empire in this film. In that clip, Han is at what looks to be an Imperial recruitment center, where he tells the recruiting officer that he is going to be the best pilot in the galaxy.
The full trailer sheds some light on that scene when it’s revealed when young Han says he was “kicked out the academy for having a mind of [his] own.” Drawing from this, it wouldn’t be a bad guess to think that the recruitment scene is a flashback that Han has in the film, and that the Empire serves largely as an antagonist in the actual plot. My guess would be that the Han and his team took something of value to the Empire, and that they’ll have to make the Kessel Run in order to escape undetected.
In other Empire/Solo related news, one of the most visually stunning scenes from the trailer is a shot of an Imperial Star Destroyer and several TIE Fighter models flying out of a vortex of what looks to be dark space-smoke. Are these ships chasing Han and friends, or is this just a tactical manipulation of expectations by the editing crew? That remains to be seen.
6. What is the extent of Chewbacca and Han’s relationship at this point?
In the official studio description, this film will also include Han meeting Chewbacca for the first time. In old Star Wars lore, the kind that Disney no longer recognizes as canon (but draws from heavily for new films), Han originally saved Chewbacca from enslavement and therefore solicits what Wookies call a life debt. Chewie is bound to serve Han as a copilot, but the pair develop an organic friendship that culminates during the events of The Force Awakens.
Due to the high probability of Han’s home planet of Corellia and the spice mine planet of Kessel making appearances in this film, it’s possible that Han frees Chewbacca on Kessel. However, this needs to be done carefully, and adding Chewie to the story too early or too late could come off as gimmicky – especially since Lando and Han also need to meet for the first time.
Regardless, it’ll be great to see the pair on the big screen again, and we hope to learn a great deal more about the relationship between the two when the film drops on May 25.