Since the stand-alone film about Han Solo is coming out already on 25th May this year, yesterday evening saw the release of the first teaser for it. More are expected to start coming out every moment (the second one, with presumably a little bit more footage, is likely out as you are reading this article).
The stand-alone “Solo: A Star Wars Story” is following the same line as “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, i.e. filling the gaps around the old films and, in this case, giving us origin stories of classic characters. It was first announced already several years back, and I wrote a rather extensive speculative article about it back here (most of it would be still relevant to this day).
What about the contents of what we have been shown, then? There is very little that can be shown in barely 45 seconds of a trailer. There are a series of images – the most impressive probably being young Lando Calrissian (played by Donald Glover). Another person (apart from Chewie) who gets her own shot is Emilia Clarke, but she is just standing there doing nothing and unlike with Lando, you have no idea whatsoever what her character could be about. It seems just like an ad “hey, we have the girl as well”. Which, if you ask me, isn’t the best start. Let’s hope she is more than “just a random girl” (to fill the necessary slots of hero, his sidekick, and “a girl”) – if she is, I see no reason why the filmmakers couldn’t have shown it already.
If there is any “story content” that can be deciphered, it seems like Han is considering joining the Imperial military. This is interesting, because it would bring back an old idea: in the pre-Disney canon, Han used to go to the Imperial flight academy and was an Imperial pilot before he decided to quit (like many other Rebels, such as Wedge Antilles). We don’t know how much this part is going to be recycled: it might go differently, he may not join in the fist place, or maybe it’s all a part of some heist.
I could say that my first impression of Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo is unclear at best. We are obviously going to see more of Han in future trailers, and then we’ll be able to put together a reasonable evaluation how well he conveys the character – or doesn’t. One question on my mind right now is this: if Mr. Ehrenreich had “nailed it”, wouldn’t they have shown more of him in the first trailer, to sort of deliver the punch to the audience? Maybe they are saving it for later – but the fact that he doesn’t even speak much means that either they have something really good in store, or that they have only a very bad Solo impression in store, but want to deliver it pretending that it is good only once the audience got used to the new Han. So far, I am sad to say I didn’t see anything that would make me recognise him – appearance, voice, mannerisms.
All the other elements of the trailer – visual, new vehicles, possibly new environments – seem decent as far as we can say. Especially the suspended “train” on a snowy planet looks promising (are we going to get a Great Train Robbery?). It would be also nice to see the Falcon before it became a “piece of junk” you need to kick every time (note the clean cushioning in the ship’s corridors).
I guess we’ll have to see. It’s too early to judge and the scales can tip in any direction. My chief concern at this moment is this: is there going to be any plot besides “this is about Solo”? I am hoping for a positive answer.