For all the heavy-lifting that goes into making every Star Wars movie—the casting, the elaborate sets, the VFX, the massive international marketing campaigns—it’s amazing any of them get completed. Yet no Star Wars production to date has seemed as fraught as that of Solo: A Star Wars Story. The second standalone movie after Rogue One, the Han Solo prequel/origin storyPhil Lord and Christopher Miller and saw them replaced by veteran Ron Howard. There were also that the film’s editor was swapped out and that Lucasfilm brought in an acting coach for Alden Ehrenreich, the man playing the film’s titular character. Taken by themselves, any of these things would’ve been hurdles—not insurmountable problems that would’ve been unfortunate but not worrying. However, these things all happened in fairly rapid succession and with just weeks to go in the filming schedule.
Folks, as they say, had a bad feeling about this.
As Howard took over, the big gossip-mill news coming from the Solo set mostly died down. Things even looked promising as the newly-enthroned director began postingfrom the set. But still, as 2017 turned into 2018 and Lucasfilm stuck to its story that the Han Solo movie would be hitting theaters May 25 while not releasing any kind of footage or trailer, fans started to that it would miss its premiere date. Now, it seems, that’s not the case.
This morning, after releasingduring last night’s Super Bowl, Lucasfilm finally dropped a full trailer for Solo and, if nothing else, it at least proves the movie exists and will actually be hitting theaters on time.
What it says beyond that is up to interpretation. It definitely says that young Han Solo had been running scams since he was 10 years old and was kicked out of the flight academy “for having a mind of my own.” The trailer also reveals that once upon a time the Millennium Falcon was all sparkly and new and was given a crew thanks to Woody Harrelson’s Tobias Beckett. There are hints that Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian will be cool as ice and that Emilia Clarke’s Qi’Ra will be a childhood friend of Solo’s, and perhaps “the only person who knows what you really are.” (Do tell, Qi!)
Yet, that’s about it. Very few trailers are plot-heavy, but this one seems particularly low on details. Like the film’s, which basically says “this is a Star Wars movie about Han Solo,” this trailer doesn’t do much in the way of revealing what will be the central narrative here. Will it be about completing the Kessel Run? Who knows!
But brass tacks, does this look good? Does it look like a mess that’s been cleaned up? Or a lost cause? Quite frankly, it’s too hard to tell. Solo seems really exciting, and this trailer promises a world full of cool characters, but trailers always do that. That’s the one job they have to do. There’s a good chance that even if it’s not great, the latest Star Wars Story can get a lot of mileage out of familiar characters that fans already love—an advantage Rogue One didn’t really have. (OK, sure, it had Vader, but it wasn’t about Vader.) Howard is an excellent director, and Lucasfilm has a known skill for getting exactly what they want, but if this movie passes muster, it might do it by the narrowest of margins, floating by on nostalgia. It may not look like much, but it might have it where it counts.
Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters Memorial Day weekend.