The first trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story has finally arrived, with less than four months to go before the movie’s release – but fortunately it’s well worth the wait. There were plenty of reasons to worry about Disney’s second Star Wars anthology movie – from original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller leaving the project halfway through filming, to rumors that Lucasfilm was unhappy with lead actor Alden Ehrenreich’s portrayal of lovable rogue Han Solo. However, veteran director Ron Howard stepped in to take over, and it looks like he’s done a fine job putting together an exciting new chapter of Star Wars history.
Set during Han’s youth, before he ever met Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia, Solo: A Star Wars Story will reveal how Han first met his copilot, Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), as well as his lifelong friend Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover). However, as the release date crept closer with no marketing materials in site (for a movie this big, the first trailer usually drops at least six months in advance of release), fans were starting to worry that Solo could be Disney’s first Star Wars disaster.
In the end, the studio definitely made up for lost time – not only releasing a 90-second teaser trailer this morning, but also hyping it up with a 45-second TV spot during last night’s Super Bowl. Better still, the trailer teaser and the teaser trailer had almost entirely different footage, giving us the equivalent of a full two-and-a-half minute trailer. To top it all off, Disney also unveiled some downright beautiful character posters. It could be argued that delaying the trailer until the new year was the smartest thing that Disney and Lucasfilm possible could have done, because it meant that the film avoided getting steamrolled by all the hype for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
One of the biggest red flags for Solo‘s first trailer would have been hiding the movie’s leading man – instead pushing Lando to the foreground, or Chewbaccca, or focusing on the Millennium Falcon. But Ehrenreich’s Han Solo gets plenty of face time and dialogue, and he certainly looks the part. Based on these trailers, it also seems like Lucasfilm has succeeded at reining in the more jokey, wise-cracking Solo that Lord and Miller had reportedly been pushing for. The character is arrogant and ambitious, certainly – throwing in a smug “I thought we were in trouble for a second there, but it’s fine” (before things become abruptly not-fine) – but he also seems to have a determination and a drive that will make him likeable as a protagonist.
Of the other characters featured in the two teasers, the one who has made the biggest impression is Lando – despite not actually having any lines. He just looks so cool in that fur cape, and his grin at the table of what looks like a gambling den embodies the character perhaps better than any single line of dialogue ever could.
What’s made the biggest impression on Star Wars fans, however, are the visuals. From the chilling shot of a Star Destroyer inside a cloud, outlined by lightning, to the shot of Han standing silhouetted in the gambling den, this movie looks beautiful (cinematographer Bradford Young scored an Oscar nomination last year for his work on the cerebral sci-fi movie Arrival). While it’s still possible that these well-made trailers could be disguising a bad finished product, it’s safe to say that they were definitely worth the wait.