After a short teaser debuted yesterday, the full trailer for Solo: A Star Wars story has now arrived, and it’s chock-full of intriguing callbacks to earlier movies, special Easter Eggs and story hints for the new movie, which stars Alden Ehrenreich as the titular rogue.
Here’s just a few of the fascinating details we noticed in the new footage – and a few burning questions we still have about what to expect.
1. The film might be about ANOTHER heist
If Rogue One wasn’t enough “Star Wars spin-off heist movie” for you, then good news – it looks like Solo will also revolve around some kind of criminal enterprise, with Alden Ehrenreich’s Han Solo noting that he’s been “running scams on the streets since [he] was 10” and Woody Harrelson’s Beckett recruiting him and other characters for “a crew” he needs to pull some sort of job.
It’s hard to say how most fans would respond to such a similar plot two anthology movies in a row, but in fairness we don’t know exactly how Solo will pull the storyline off, so we’re giving it the benefit of the doubt for now.
2. The Kessel Run lives!
Any Star Wars fan worth their spice has heard of the Kessel Run, a legendary route famously traversed by Solo in less than 12 parsecs (as quoted in the original Star Wars film).
It’s long been hinted that the new film would finally explain that incident, and it could be that the scenes of Solo and crew escaping the Empire through a whirling void are that very event – supposedly, the Kessel Run involves jumping between the edges of black holes, which could be what’s happening here.
3. Sabacc to the future
One of the most intriguing shots in the trailer shows the silhouette of the young Han (Alden Ehrenreich) in front of a gang of aliens clustered around a small table. Now, while we can’t see what they’re doing, it doesn’t seem like too much of a leap to suggest they might be enjoying a game of cards – especially given that we also see a shot of Han’s future frenemy Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) reclining in what looks to be the same scene.
Why would this be important? Well, in Star Wars lore it’s long been known that the only way Han Solo could get his hands on his trademark ship the Millennium Falcon was by winning it from Lando in a card game called Sabacc – and given that we already knew this contest was part of the storyline of Solo, it doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch to suggest this is the scene where it happens.
Notably, throughout the trailer we see different people flying the Falcon – at one point it’s Lando and a mysterious robot character (of whom, more later), but by the end it’s Han and Chewie. So maybe this contest of cards will take place midway through the characters’ mission – or maybe they’ll just take turns flying the Falcon. Who knows?
4. Qi’ra qi’ra qi’ra qi’ra qi’ra chameleon
We don’t know much about Emilia Clarke’s character Qi’ra, but she does appear to have about six million costume changes in this trailer alone suggesting she might be the “inside man” of Han and co’s little crew responsible for infiltrating various groups (notably, she seems to be dressed in quite high-quality clothes for some of the footage, suggesting that she’s either fairly well-off or has to move through high-society circles at times).
It’s also a little unclear whether she has some history with Han Solo, or whether they meet for the first time during the film – she suggests she knows him better than anyone, so could they have been childhood scam-artists together? And in that case, are scenes of them fleeing stromtroopers taking place before those of her in her best Sunday togs?
The final point with this character is her name. At early stages of planning 2015’s The Force Awakens, Daisy Ridley’s Rey was going to be called Kira, with the name only changed later in development. So why does Clarke’s character have such a similar name?
Given the similarity, it’s unlikely to be a coincidence – so did LucasFilm just like the name and decided to hold onto it, or does Qi’ra have some connection to Rey? And if not, why bother reusing it when there are so many possible names out there they could have used? Curiouser and curiouser.
5. The Falcon has a different design
It’s tricky to spot, but if you look closely in the new trailer you can see that the Millennium Falcon isn’t quite how we’re used to seeing it. It’s a bit cleaner, sure (see below) but a more extensive difference is centred around the ship’s “nose”. Normally, the front is two-pronged (see below) but in Solo it’s fused together as a single blunt point.. By comparison, here’s what it normally looks like.
It’s hard to say why this will change by the time of the original trilogy – maybe a modification or some damage done to the ship during the new film? – but you can get a better look at the silhouette of the ship in one of the new posters that have been released.
Even ignoring outer design changes, there were other clear differences when the Falcon was in its younger years. Ahh, those halcyon days when it was still shiny and clean and far away from its status in The Force Awakens as “so much garbage”.
Notably, the ship’s traditional wall colour has changed from the familiar dirty grey/yellow to something a bit whiter and more pristine, suggesting that by the time we meet the ship in A New Hope, Han has done some serious interior decorating (or smoked a pack a day, but that’s not very Disney). Considering that’s only about five years after Han appears in THIS film, we have to wonder about the man’s hygiene.
7. New vehicles
Aside from the all-new Falcon, we also spotted all sorts of exciting speeders and starships in the new footage, as well as what might be a Star Wars first – an outer-space monorail, which we see two characters battling on top of in the initial teaser.
Now, we’ve learned that this intergalactic freight train is called a Conveyex, so be prepared to see a Lego version in a toystore near you very soon.
When it was announced that Fleabag star Phoebe Waller-Bridge was joining a Star Wars movie, fans were delighted and surprised in equal measure – and now we’ve gotten our first look at her motion-capture character.
It’s been revealed this rather tall robot, who we see accompanying Emilia Clarke’s Qi’Ra and helping out on missions, is who Waller-Bridge is playing, and while we won’t know for sure until we hear her speak it seems likely the actor and writer will be bringing her trademark dry wit to proceedings.
The character is called L3-37, and like K-2SO and BB-8 before her we’re sure she’ll enter the droid hall of fame (and our hearts) just as easily as C-3PO and R2-D2 ever did.
9. Thandie Newton has a new character as well
We don’t see much of Westworld and Line of Duty’s Thandie Newton in the new film, but we have learned that her character is named Val and it’s implied she’s involved in the mission that Beckett recruits Han and Chewie for. Also, like many of this film’s characters she has great taste in outerwear.
10. We’re still not sure how Chewie fits in – or how it relates to the old Star Wars books
When you get Han Solo, you get Chewbacca – but we’re still not sure how the pair will meet in the new film, with the only footage of the galaxy’s favourite Wookie showing him as already part of Han’s crew (albeit with a snazzy new double bandolier).
In the now non-canonical source material from the Expanded Universe novels, Han saved Chewie’s life during his time as an Imperial officer – and given that this film also seems to show Han’s time working for the Empire, could we see the same storyline here?
The novels saw Han quit the Empire after refusing to skin Chewie for a superior officer, with the Wookie then swearing a life-debt to Solo for saving him. So maybe the same story will take place in the new film, or at least a version of it.
11. All-new aliens
During the footage we get a glimpse of a monkey-like four-armed creature, who looks a BIT like Lupita Nyong’o’s Maz Kanata but is instead a whole new character – the actor voicing this person will be revealed very soon, apparently.
And we also get a bit of a look at some Mad Max-lite thugs who Han tries to take on, High Noon style. While we don’t recognise the armour or location, these new baddies certainly seemed to have subscribed to the Star Wars universe’s love of ostentatious masks.
We do see at least one familiar species, though (apart from Chewbacca) – look closely in the party scene, and you can spot a Twi’lek, aka the species from the original trilogy and prequels with dangling head tentacles.
12. New toys for the Dark Side
As usual the Lucasfilm merchandising department director Ron Howard and his team have included new ships and uniforms for the soldiers of the Empire, including new TIE fighters with an extended wing to include an extra cannon and a stormtrooper in light biker gear.
And could Solo’s white-tinged jacket be another example of the same Imperial uniform, perhaps as he’s fleeing his Empire bosses? Who can tell.
13. And….there’s a lot from the first teaser that’s not in here
Unusually, there isn’t THAT much crossover between yesterday’s trailer teaser and the main trailer, with most of the earlier footage of Han (Alden Ehrenreich) trying to join the Empire left out of the full trailer, as well as more shots of the film’s other characters that were confined to the teaser alone.
Perhaps, after months with no footage at all, Lucasfilm thought it better to splurge a lot at once. We’re not complaining.
Solo: A Star Wars story will be released in UK cinemas on the 25th May