Solo: A Star Wars Story trailer debuted on Monday, and surprisingly for a Star Wars film trailer, the reception is fairly muted. It is the second anthology film in the Star Wars franchise after Rogue One: A Star Wars Story and tells the story of Han Solo, one of the most popular characters in cinema (he was incidentally voted the third-most popular movie character after Indiana Jones and Batman last year). Alden Ehrenreich portrays the role of the smuggler that was made famous by the legendary Harrison Ford.
The film has been in trouble for a long time now. Earlier, Phil Lord and Christopher Miller were fired from the project due to creative differences. Ron Howard replaced them and finished the film. Also, the promotion of the film has strangely failed to generate excitement. Polarised reception to Star Wars: The Last Jedi may also have muddied the waters. Last month a teaser was released that showed a glimpse of how this film is going to be. The trailer offers a bigger picture. Here are five key takeaways.
1. Han Solo, Chewie, and the Millenium Falcon: Whatever my personal feelings about this film, seeing this trio together is enough to make me feel positive about anything, anything at all. Of course, Disney and Lucas Film are counting on nostalgia to make this film work. Could they possibly make Alden Ehrenreich’s Han Solo as interesting as the man what we saw in the original Star Wars trilogy? I have my doubts. Millenium Falcon looks shiny and new, a far cry from the “piece of junk” we knew.
2. Lando Calrissian: The character of Lando was played by Billy Dee Williams in the original trilogy. Donald Glover is essaying the character here. In this film, we will likely see how Han acquired the Millenium Falcon from Lando in the card game of sabacc. Indeed, we have a couple of shots in the trailer of the game. Lando seems unconcerned when he looks at Solo. “Everything you know about me is true.” If only he knew.
3. Emilia Clarke as Qi’ra: For now, Emilia’s character called Qi’ra is only a femme fatale in the film. Clarke has previously described her character as shady, in the sense that she has many identities, her truest one hidden from everyone else.
4. Tone: Solo: A Star Wars Story has been described as a space-western. I don’t know if they are trying too hard to put elements of the western genre in the film. There is the familiar music that seems to be lifted straight from some Sergio Leone movie. There is a posture by Solo, too, that is redolent of the Wild West, complete with a gun holster at the hip. But to what effect? I am hoping the western part will be better implemented than this.
5. I have got a good feeling about this: Okay, this line spoken by Han Solo in the trailer is a reference to the famous “I’ve got a bad feeling about this” that we hear all the time in Star Wars films. So, will we see a sunny, young, pilot become a cynical veteran? That would be way too simplistic. Just let it be a nod.