The Star Wars universe is expanding again: The day after a 45-second teaser aired during the Super Bowl, the first full trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story was released.
The movie — sometimes called the “young Han Solo movie” — is a prequel to the original Star Wars trilogy, starring Alden Ehrenreich as a youthful version of the character Harrison Ford played in four of the movies (including 2016’s The Force Awakens), alongside Emilia Clarke, Woody Harrelson, Paul Bettany, and Donald Glover.
The trailer introduces us to Han as a rogue spirit who’s been “running scams on the street since I was 10,” who was kicked out of the flight academy but still endeavors to be the best pilot in the galaxy. It’s nothing we didn’t already intrinsically know about the smuggler/Galactic hero-to-be, but it’s interesting to see Ehrenreich (best known for the Coen brothers’ Hail, Caesar!) put his spin on Ford’s signature aloof cool (and vest).
We also get to see Han meet up with some characters we already know — Chewbacca, naturally, and Glover’s young Lando Calrissian, who’s already stolen the show with his brief appearance in the clip. Plus we see some new faces: Woody Harrelson as Tobias Beckett, who appears to be a mentor to Han, and Game of Thrones’s Emilia Clarke as Qi’Ra, who may be “the only person who knows what [Han] really [is].” All this happens between action shots of Han evading close calls and making some daring escapes, as is his wont.
“Thought we were in trouble there for a sec,” Han winks to his passengers, “but it’s fine, we’re fine.” He’s talking about a giant space-squid, but the line also feels like a bit of a meta moment, given Solo’s rocky road to the screen.
Solo: A Star Wars Story hit a snag last summer, when in a highly unusual move, the original directors — Christopher Miller and Phil Lord, the geniuses behind The Lego Movie — abruptly left the film, citing “creative differences.” Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy wrote in a note on the Star Wars website that “it’s become clear that we had different creative visions on this film, and we’ve decided to part ways.”
Ron Howard was announced as their replacement, which struck many as an odd choice. Miller and Lord have a distinctively impish and irreverent voice to their work, while Howard’s work is more conventional, and integrating those two sensibilities seemed difficult. So perhaps it’s not surprising that Howard reportedly reshot a substantial portion of the film.
The trailer couldn’t have come a moment too soon. Its May 25 release date is less than four months away, and some fans were getting worried that such a short lead time — on a Star Wars film, no less — meant that the movie was in trouble. But now that it’s here, we finally have some images to put to the behind-the-scenes drama and something concrete to look forward to come May.