1st ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ trailer debuts: 5 burning questions
As always, a new trailer leaves fans with way more questions than answers. It is, after all, designed to tease us.
Fans, of course, will gladly take the bait. Here are five burning questions stemming from the action-packed first clip and teaser!
1 – Does Han Solo join the Empire?
Sure seems like he’s trying to. In what appears to be a stormtrooper-filled recruiting station, Han Solo (played by Alden Ehrenreich) meets with an Imperial officer who asks, “So, you want to make a difference? Trust me, you’re going to love it.” Another Imperial asks what branch Solo wants to join. “I’m going to be a pilot. Best in the galaxy,” he answers, eliciting a smirk. But is Solo really joining the dark side, or is it all a clever ruse? From the original “Star Wars” to “Rogue One” and “The Last Jedi,” dressing up like an Imperial (“Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?”) to infiltrate the bad guy’s most secure space stations and military bases is a time-honored hallmark of that galaxy far, far away.
2 – Will we see Han win the Millennium Falcon?
As our hero and his companion (played by Emilia Clarke) race to evade their foes, look closely and it seems Han’s lucky gold dice are hanging from the speeder windshield. That’s significant, because Solo apparently uses those dice in a game of “Corellian Spike” to win the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian according to The Force Awakens Visual Dictionary. Those dice go back to 1977, when we first saw them in the Falcon cockpit. For 2015’s “The Force Awakens,” director J.J. Abrams filmed a scene in which Solo (Harrison Ford) — having recently stolen the Falcon back “for good” — proudly re-installs the dice. That scene didn’t make the final cut. But in “The Last Jedi,” Luke Skywalker takes those dice from the Falcon cockpit and gives them to his sister, General Leia, in a silent acknowledgement of Han’s murder at the hands of his son Ben, a.k.a. Kylo Ren.
3 – What the heck happened to the Falcon?
First of all, it looks so much newer, and pristine-white inside. Hardly the “piece of junk” Luke Skywalker first saw walking into Docking Bay 94 on Tatooine years later. The Falcon also sports a different paint job and a configuration we’ve never seen before. For example, those two distinctive “forks” on the front? They now seem to have something (maybe a cargo container?) between them, filling that gap. And how about that clean Falcon flight deck and controls we’ve never seen? When Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) and his droid co-pilot use those controls to jump to hyperspace, everything seems to work exactly as designed. Unlike in later years, of course, when the Falcon breaks down during the escape from Hoth and Princess Leia offers to get out and push.
4 – What is that snowy planet?
The trailer is filled with beautiful aerial shots of a mysterious planet. Could this be the infamous planet Kessel that we first heard about in the opening minutes of “Star Wars: A New Hope” way back in 1977? (“We’ll be sent to the spice mines of Kessel, smashed into who-knows-what!” declares C-3PO as stormtroopers prepare to board their ship.)
Later of course, Han Solo boasts to Obi Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker that the Millennium Falcon is the ship that made the Kessel run “in less than 12 parsecs.” We see Lando, dressed in a stylish furry cape-like thing, standing in what appears to be a mine-like cavern. But how big a role the planet might play is yet to be revealed. Another planet we might have seen in the trailer: Corellia. (Director Ron Howard pretty much told us we’d see it in this October Tweet.)
That is, after all, where Solo grew up and where the Correllian Engineering Corporation manufactures the YT-1300 freighter model that we all know as the Millennium Falcon.
5 – Who are all these new characters?
Of course we know Solo, Lando, and Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo). But who is this “crew” that Woody Harrelson’s character talks about? What’s their mission? And for that matter, what is the story behind Harrelson’s character?
We do get brief glimpses of Thandie Newton’s character, Val, followed by an almost Maz Kanata-like alien. Then there’s Qi-Ra in that red cape at the ramp of the Falcon, later telling Solo she’s the only person “who knows what you really are.” There’s that droid, L3-37 (played by Phoebe Waller-Bridge) that co-pilots the Falcon with Lando. The singer with the frog-alien thing floating in yellow liquid. Are these major or minor characters? We see Han in an almost High-Noon-style showdown against a nasty group wearing what appear to be primitive but sinister bone and metal masks. Is one of these creatures the movie’s villain?
We’ll all find out when the movie is released on May 25.
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” is produced by Lucasfilm and ABC’s parent company, Disney.