Nearly a week ago, the final “Solo: A Star Wars Story” trailer careened straight into our viewing consciousness. Theories have already circulated on this fairly long sneak peek of the latest “Star Wars” film. Below you’ll find my play-by-play analysis of the final snippet of Ron Howard’s final cut.
00:001-00:005 – Where are we exactly? Location, location, location, people! Judging by the star destroyer in the sky, I’d say we’re in Imperial territory. The smokiness and grungy factory-vibes suggest a shipyard on some Outer Rim backwater planet.
00:06-00:10 – Next, we see our strapping titular hero walking towards some transients (or informants in disguise). Immediately the trailer cuts to Alden Ehrenreich’s Han Solo behind bars, clearly not on the right side of luck he normally finds himself on.
00:11-00:16 – Subsequently, Solo is standing on a beach in standoff position with what appear to be masked tribal warriors. Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra takes voiceover command, insisting that Han is “after something” but isn’t sure what exactly he’s pursuing. She mentions revenge, which means something tragic happened in Han’s past that Qi’ra might know about. Did Solo’s parents die and leave him an orphan? What are the exact circumstances surrounding his emancipation?
00:17-00:20 – Clarke follows up that query with another: “money?” The trailer leaves the beach and cuts to a gambling table where Donald Glover’s Lando is at the opposite end. Han then scoops up some shiny credits. Are these Solo’s new winnings after besting the charismatic scoundrel at Sabacc?
00:21-00:26 – The following shot is a low-angle of Han and Chewbacca coming around a dusty hangar where the “Millennium Falcon” is docked. Could this be either the asset won from the Sabacc game, or did Han really just invest in a piece of Lando’s junk?
00:27-00:30 – At last we have an official meeting between Qi’ra and Solo. Based on their brief banter, I’d say the two have known each other for awhile. They could be childhood friends who made it through the destitute of galaxy scum and villainy.
00:31-00:35 – Continuing forward, we return to the beach setting with two figures in the distance moving toward a collection of totems. Fast-forward, and there’s Woody Harrelson’s Tobias Beckett offering Han’s services to a gangster (Paul Bettany as Dryden Vos). My hunch is that Qi’ra landed Han the job and is the other figure who accompanies him to the rendezvous with Beckett, Han’s alleged mentor.
00:36-00:51 – The following seconds present a montage of Solo’s crew being assembled for this “mission.” It’s unclear in the clips who exactly is part of this coterie, though Harrelson and Thandie Newton’s Val appear confirmed via a classic campfire pact. The clip array features Han in Imperial uniform attempting to convince a superior officer of his piloting capabilities. Does this mean Han isn’t truly an Imperial Academy enlistee as believed from other trailers? I suspect Han’s enrollment is a ruse for him to collect something or someone from inside the Imperial compound for Vos. Judging by Chewie’s reluctance, this mission is about to go haywire.
00:52-1:12 – Qi’ra, a woman of many connections, hooks Han up with underground smuggler legend, Lando Calrissian. Lando’s droid, L3 – who looks a lot like Jabba’s interrogation droid from “Return of the Jedi” – isn’t messing around when it comes to defending his master from trouble. Lando appears pleasant enough to Han and crew, though that could all change on a credit flip. The final part of this sequence shows Han exploring Lando’s “Millennium Falcon” ship, shiny and pearly-white as a Kaminoan clone facility.
1:13-1:22 – The next segment jumps from Beckett giving Han fair warning that the path of a smuggler is permanent. Appropriately, it transitions to Lando and L3 taking the “Falcon” to lightspeed, a wide-eyed Solo staring in wonder at the back of the cockpit. Lando and L3 have interjected themselves in Han’s mission, which implies the “Falcon” is either on loan or Lando is the ultimate galactic chauffeur for a hefty rate.
1:23-1:33 – The following action sequence is brought to you by a Bond film that doesn’t exist! If audiences weren’t excited about “Solo: A Star Wars Story” yet, they will be after this harrowing clip. A train plowing through rain on a sideways track while staging a deadly shootout? Sign us up for the mission, pronto! Imperial snowtroopers with new uniforms are the source of laserfire, likely protecting the train’s cargo or a VIP passenger.
Meanwhile, Beckett takes over voiceover duties, warning Solo to expect the worst from his partners-in-crime, including betrayal. On the word “betrayal,” the trailer rapidly cuts to (in order): Qi’ra, Lando and Val. Qi’ra’s eagerness in helping Han while being a love interest with femme fatale vibes leads one to conclude she could wind up the knife in Han’s back. Lando obviously won’t betray Han until several films down the road. As for Val, we know far too little about her to know which way her allegiance blows. My guess is that even though her loyalty is to herself, she’s got a smuggler’s code of ethics that keeps her morally accountable. Finally, we see Chewie embracing a Wookie of significant shorter stature, likely his son Lumpy or wife Mallatobuck.
1:34-1:51 – This next bit has Han now firmly in the pilot’s seat of the “Millennium Falcon,” with Chewbacca as his dutiful copilot. Where’s Lando? Qi’ra and Beckett are the only passengers featured in this segment. The quarter seem to be escaping a star destroyer from inside either a worm hole or space storm. Either way, it looks to be another rousing run-in with the Empire.
1:52-2:25 – Bettany’s Vos is clearly angry about something, seeing as how he destroys home furniture and decorations with his colorful vibroblades. The final stretch is a barrage of “greatest hit” action compilations from scenes previously introduced. The cliffhanger with Chewbacca hanging on the side of the train — about to make contact with a jagged rock before cutting to black — is the definition of anticlimactic. And yet, “pretend” danger to heroes we know will survive still elevates the pulse. We know from the original trilogy that Chewbacca owes Han a life debt. Han rescuing Chewie from a life of Imperial enslavement was the most commonly assumed reason for this debt. Now that assumption hangs in doubt considering this new footage. Only a month’s time will tell!