By Sean Gallagher
For those who have been following my writings over the past year at Moviepilot, you’ll be familiar that I’ve been pretty vocal about my uncertainty about the existence of a “young Han Solo” film. I wasn’t sure we needed this film to begin with and the troubled production only fueled the concern for many fans. After waiting a lot longer than normal, we finally have footage for the upcoming Star Wars anthology film. Does it change my mind at all?
During the Super Bowl, we got our first tease at the film with a 45 second teaser. It was enough to pique my interest and I definitely wanted to check out the full trailer. The next morning, that wish was granted as they planned to show the full teaser on Good Morning America. It’s not that much longer than the initial tease, it was full of plenty of fun shots. but Right off the bat, we get plenty of dialogue from Alden Ehrenreich’s interpretation of Han Solo. After getting nothing but scary rumors and radio silence from Lucasfilm, it’s good that they did this to let fans rest easy.
In terms of style, this feels really Star Warsy. In fact, I would say this feels like a film tailor made for the die hard fans who read a lot of the books and comics. We get thrown into a seedy criminal underbelly, which is often a big sell of fans of a galaxy far, far away but something that hasn’t been fully explored on the big screen yet. The teaser lets us in that the film will be about a heist and that Woody Harrelson’s character Beckett is putting together a team to pull that off. By the way the teaser is cut, it looks like Thandie Newton’s mystery character, Donald Glover’s Lando Calrissian and Emilia Clarke’s Qi’ra are part of this team. What are they stealing and why? Who knows as of this point, but it looks like it’s angered the Empire, who play a role in this standalone film.
The teaser gives us brief looks at a racing sequence that we’ll get in the film, along with voice over dialogue confirming Han was in the Imperial Academy, which falls in line with the old books. I’d be surprised if we’ll actually see the Academy days in the film but it’s nice to know Han’s history hasn’t changed much. We get various shots of the underworld and the Falcon through and the initial set up. Where the teaser kind of lost me however was the final shot, with Ehrenreich’s Solo making a quip about avoiding danger moments before a giant alien monster attacks. It felt…really out of place and I hope the humor in the film isn’t too much like this. In fact, I hope the humor is downplayed in this film.
The film looks like a fun and seedy caper and admittedly looks much better than I thought it would. It’ll be interesting to try and pick out which footage belongs to the initial directors, Lord and Miller and what belongs to Ron Howard, who took over after the duo were let go. My main concern, of course, is Han Solo still though. While the film definitely looks fun and more importantly, feels like classic old school Star Wars (something fans may be craving after the polarizing The Last Jedi), part of me has to wonder if Lucasfilm could’ve told the same exact story with a new character in place of the titular Solo.
Many fans have been uneasy about another actor taking on the mantle of such an iconic character from the get go. If you slap “Star Wars” on it and it looks good, people will go see the movie. There doesn’t have to be a dependency on legacy characters to tell a story. Case in point, Rogue One. So it’ll be interesting to see how integral the Han Solo history will play into the plot or if he could have been interchangeable.
That concern aside, the film does look fun. A space caper full of classic Star Wars images and shady characters doing shady things. We’ll just have to wait until May 25th to see if the film can be more than just “fun” and to see how Alden’s interpretation of the iconic rogue carries the film. What did you think of the trailer and are you more excited for the movie now or less so?