The Highlight of the Han Solo Movie Is Becoming Clear
Han shot second (well, he fired off his second trailer, anyway) on Sunday with a new look at Solo: A Star Wars Story .
The trailer comes seven weeks ahead of the film's May 25 release date, and shows off the chemistry between Han (Alden Ehrenreich), his future friend Lando (Donald Glover) and his best pal Chewie (Joonas Suotamo). The team at Heat Vision has boarded the Millennium Falcon to break it all down, so let's punch it and get to the discussion.
Erik Hayden: The Western Samurai-imagery, ridiculous fur-jacketed Snowtroopers with metal boots, a Star Destroyer being built over a dilapidated, industrial-looking Corellia and the musty set-up to a game of Sabacc with Donald Glover's Lando Calrissian could be cause for cautious optimism. But the guitar-riff in the lead-up to the action in the trailer seems out of place, as does the cartoon logo for the movie's Solo title (very Lego, ironically). I didn't see Greedo in the trailer, he's got to be there, right?
Graeme McMillan: I’ll be honest: One of the most surprising thing about the trailer is the music. It felt like someone was given the orders, “Imagine what the child of Firefly’s theme song and the Star Wars theme would sound like, then play it down a bit.” It was distracting in how different it was, yet it was also one of the few things about the trailer that didn’t feel like I’d seen it (heard it) before. It says a lot about how disappointing Solo’s earlier trailers have been that this is simultaneously the best yet by far, yet still underwhelming when taken on its own. There’s a lot to like in the new trailer — not least of which are Donald Glover’s “Everything you’ve heard about me is true” line, and hearing Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s L3-37 for the first time — but overall, I still feel very… un-excited by the whole thing. Am I alone?
Heat Vision breakdown
Ryan Parker: Not in the least, Graeme. I am psyched for Glover's Lando, but that is about it. Really not trying to be a hater. I just do not feel that same level of bubbling nerd anticipation for the film as I have every other Star Wars installment. And it is not all Alden's fault. I honestly think he was sent a on fool's errand trying to play one of the most believed character's in sci-fi history that really only one man can ever pull off.
Aaron Couch: We will need to see the movie and the performances to really make an assessment. I think about J.J. Abrams' Star Trek, which had enjoyable younger versions of iconic characters. Chris Pine, Zachary Quinto, Zoe Saldana, Karl Urban and the rest all were more are less accepted — and Spock and Kirk are arguably as iconic as Han Solo. So why isn't it working for you so far Ryan? Are there rules about which roles can be recast and which can't?
Parker: Excellent question. Harrison Ford wasn't trying to be Han Solo, he just was. Ford said in previous interviews he just understood exactly who the guy was while he was testing opposite other actors for roles in A New Hope. There is a charm and charisma that only Ford has. And Star Wars fans are very protective of this character, more than any other, in my opinion. So the deck is stacked against any actor who would try to fill those shoes.
McMillan: Didn't Star Trek have purists incredibly suspicious before the movie came out as well? I think the proof will ultimately be in the final product, but I think there's something to be said for Alden being set up for failure by coming in as the new guy immediately following the death of Ford's version of the character. Fans didn't even have a chance to grieve properly! They're still in the denial phase. Mainly by denying Alden.
Couch: Many purists consider Rogue One to be the best Star Wars film since Lucasfilm purchased Disney, but even though they are canon, it's hard for me to get as excited about the Star Wars Story films as I do for the Skywalker saga installments. I see Solo and Rogue One as bonus movies. I'm not going to be invested in them in the same way. That also means I'm not going to be as critical of them. If this turns out fun ... great! If not, I won't be crushed. I've also got a soft spot for films with behind the scenes drama — I went into Justice League rooting for it and ended up having a good time, and I want the same for this. So far, the Chewie moments and Lando scenes look like they will make it worth the price of admission. "Everything you've heard about me is true" has to be one of the best lines in a Star Wars trailer, ever. When Glover met Billy Dee Williams a year ago, he had a long spiel about his theories on the character, and the original Lando apparently told the young actor this: "Yeah, I don't know about all that. Just be charming." Mission accomplished.
Lauren Huff: It's funny you say that about the behind-the-scenes drama, Aaron, because it has had the opposite effect on me. As much as I dig Ron Howard, the last-minute director swap has left a bad taste in my mouth and a worrying pit in my stomach. Han Solo is such an iconic character and I want this film to do right by him, but I am somewhere between seriously worried and cautiously optimistic about this one.
McMillan: The most inexplicable moment of the trailer: It’s a prequel, and one entirely based around the fact that we know these characters when they’re older, which is why jokes like, “I have a really good feeling about this!” land. (It’s a good joke, too.) So why end on a “Is Chewbacca going to survive?!?” cliffhanger? Of course he is. There was really no better scene to end on? They should’ve saved that good feeling joke until the end, let’s be honest.
Parker: I so loathed the "what's going to happen to Chewie?" moment as the kicker. I mean, come on. I rolled my eyes. Not the best way to entice me to see this picture. Now, Chewie picking someone up off the ground by their arms...? That is a kicker!
Huff: The thing that doesn't sit right with me about all of the trailers thus far (and this is definitely the best of the lot) is that I still feel like I have no idea what the film is about. I get the need for secrecy, and a personal pet peeve is when trailers give away the whole plot of the film, but the approach they've taken thus far makes everything feel a little aimless to me. It concerns me. Is that just me?
Couch: I assume the plot is Han becomes part of a heist? I'm not concerned by the scarcity of plot details. A few things I did learn from the trailer: Chewie is super old, and possibly had a wife? (OK. Just googled it. I have never seen the Holiday Special so don't light me up in the comments for not knowing he had a wife.)
Huff: Who knew they were going to give Chewie a backstory here, too? Now that I am excited for. For as beloved as Chewie is, we hardly know anything about him. Even C-3PO got an onscreen origin story in the prequels!
McMillan: One last thing: After watching this, we can all agree that everyone would rather watch a Lando and L3-37 movie, right?
by Graeme McMillan
by Richard Newby
by Aaron Couch
by Lesley Goldberg