Because it’s the only one of the new “Star Wars” movies being released in May instead of December, the marketing campaign for “Solo: A Star Wars Story” has been kind of strangely compressed. Disney doesn’t start marketing the new “Star Wars” movie until the previous one has been released, and so we’re already on our third big “Solo” trailer of the year after the lengthy Super Bowl spot, the first proper trailer and now, just two months later, what one presumes is the final trailer before the movie hits on May 25.
The shortened marketing calendar also means we’re still getting some big new things in this new trailer (watch it here if you haven’t seen it yet) just six weeks from its launch. So let’s dive into this thing and see what we can glean about the fifth “Star Wars” prequel.
It’s Paul Bettany!
One of the biggest straight-up film production stories of 2017 was the exit of directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller from “Solo” after they’d already filmed most of the movie, sparking months of reshoots under Ron Howard’s watch. One of the casualties of that whole ordeal was that Michael K. Williams didn’t return for the reshoots and was replaced with Paul Bettany.
And there Bettany is, playing a crime lord named Dryden Vos. We technically don’t know for sure that Vos is the villain of “Solo,” but since Vos is a crime boss who hires Han (Alden Ehrenreich) and friends to do a job, and there’s otherwise no villain presented in any of the ads so far, and given that Woody Harrelson’s character tells Han in this trailer to “assume everyone will betray you” — it feels like a fairly safe guess that the big crime guy will be doing some betraying.
Also, look at that face. That’s not a good guy face.
Also, this is not a good guy weapon
Late in the trailer, we see ole Dryden Vos wielding that nasty looking energy blade thing while looking extremely angry. So, yeah, he’s gotta be the bad guy.
Is Chewbacca’s wife making her first on-screen appearance since the “Star Wars Christmas Special”?
It certainly looks like a solid possibility that Malla will appear, what with this brief shot of Chewbacca and another Wookiee sharing a tender moment.
If there’s one thing that’s a safe bet for any new “Star Wars” movie in the Disney era, it’s callbacks. They love, love, love to reference things from previous “Star Wars” movies, and given how closely both of these standalone spinoffs are tied to the original film, it’s often felt like they exist for the sole purpose of making references.
Anyway, we all remember the very famous line from “Star Wars” in which Han claims to have “made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs.” Given Disney’s nostalgia-driven creative focus on these things, we’ve all long assumed that said Kessel Run will happen in this movie. The old Expanded Universe described Kessel as a dirty and barely livable wasteland of a mining planet — and that image certainly fits the bill.
Judging by that color scheme, if my guess is correct then that grimy location at the beginning of the trailer could also be Kessel.
The mystery of this cloudy space battle grows
We’ve seen lots of random shots from this strange environment — including ones with giant tentacles — and I still have no idea what to make of it. Is this in a planet’s atmosphere? That’s not really how space works I don’t think. Not that “Star Wars” has ever been overly concerned with how space works. And not that I actually know much about how space works.
The point being: what in the world is this?
“Everything you heard about me is true.”
Given all the weird turmoil on this project, it’s tough to have a ton of confidence in it overall. But it certainly feels like, if nothing else, Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian will be worth the price of admission.
Oh hey it’s another wacky droid
The droids in the new “Star Wars” movies have been very hit or miss. That Alan Tudyk droid from “Rogue One” was the highlight of the movie, but BB-8 was basically Jar Jar in “The Last Jedi.” That this one, voiced by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, is named L3-37 does not exactly inspire confidence because that’s an extremely dopey real-world reference to make.
That said, I actually laughed when L3 sarcastically says “So glad we took this job!” near the end of the trailer. It also looks like it’s going to have some antics with Lando — I guess it’s basically his Chewbacca? I don’t know. Anyway, L3 seems promising based on the trailer but its name is troubling.
Yay, weird locations!
I may not exactly be a fan of these new “Star Wars” movies, but I will definitely always be on board with the cool sets Disney keeps spending outrageous amounts of money to build. And this snowy mountain outpost is super cool.
“I got a really good feeling about this”
Okay, that was funny.