Why hasn’t there been a Star Wars Solo trailer yet?

The latest Star Wars spin-off remains a mystery – and here’s why

The mystery of the missing Solo trailer (Lucasfilm, HF)

Wondered why everyone’s talking about the Solo: A Star Wars story trailer, or lack thereof? We explain all…

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Hello, sorry, I was just crafting my latest Reylo fanfic – what’s all this brouhaha about?

Simply put: There’s a new Star Wars film coming out soon, and fans are getting a bit concerned about the lack of publicity for it.

Oh, great – I can’t wait to see what happens next to Finn, Poe and Nien Numb!

The rest of us diehard Nien Numb fans (aka the Numbskulls) are right there with you, friend – but sadly, that’s not what this film is about.

As you would well know if you weren’t a fictional conceit for an explanatory article, the next Star Wars film isn’t part of the main saga, and will instead follow the exploits of a young Han Solo when he looked a lot less like Harrison Ford and a lot more like Alden Ehrenreich. It’s called Solo: A Star Wars Story.

So it’s a prequel?

Sssh, don’t say the p-word. As far as everyone’s concerned it’s an “anthology” film like 2016’s Rogue One, taking place outside the main Skywalker saga and in no way evoking memories of a certain Mr Binks.

Brrrrr. Ok – so why are people upset? Star Wars films always come out at Christmas, and there’s nearly a whole year to go!

Well, that’s actually not true this time – Solo: A Star Wars story is coming out in May, a whole seven months earlier than all the other modern Star Wars films. But apart from the casting, some behind-the-scenes tweets from the director, leaked toy sets and the basic film premise, we’re still a little on the Dark Side about what will actually happen.

Why on Earth (or a galaxy far, far, away) have they moved the release date? Star Wars and Christmas go together like the Empire and snappy tailoring! 

Interestingly, it seems like Disney were planning to shift all the new Star Wars films away from Christmas releases after The Last Jedi, also scheduling Episode IX for May in 2019. Unfortunately, that film’s behind-the-scenes issues (they fired the director and brought in JJ Abrams) meant they had to push back the release date to the traditional Christmas slot, but they seem to be sticking to their plasma cannons with Solo’s earlier May outing.

It could be that they don’t want to distract from some of their other films this Christmas like The Nutcracker, Mary Poppins Returns or the Wreck-It Ralph sequel. Then again, the May release date puts it very close to Avengers: Infinity War, which slightly undermines that “avoiding Disney competition” idea.

Maybe they’re just stubborn, or are struggling to find new cavernous vaults in which to put the money they make by flogging toys to parents in December. Who knows?

OK, I’ll pretend I understood all that. But there’s still a few months to go – why are people worried?

By this point when leading up to previous Star Wars films we’d seen a lot more of them. We got the first trailers for Rogue One and The Last Jedi about eight months before those films came out, but there haven’t even been any pictures for Solo yet, four months out from release.

The lack of a trailer has got people riled up to the point where there have been all sorts of rumours about when it’ll turn up, inspiring this pithy Twitter account.

So why ISN’T there a trailer yet?

Probably because The Last Jedi is still in cinemas, and Disney don’t want to distract too much from one film with another. The Christmas release dates of the three modern Star Wars movies thus far have allowed plenty of time to put the previous film in the rearview mirror (and for online writers to dissect the plot after the fact, thanks guys) before starting the promotional drive for whatever came next.

With that said, it’s worth noting that Rogue One had released an official picture a full year before it came out, right in the middle of The Force Awakens boom time, so it’s harder to see why no images have been released.

Some fans have speculated that Disney and Lucasfilm could be worried about the quality of Solo – its original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller (subtly edited out of this article’s main image) were fired and replaced by Ron Howard, who oversaw extensive reshoots – and playing it down accordingly.

But to be honest, this theory doesn’t hold too much water. If Batman Vs Superman: Dawn of Justice taught us anything it’s that you can make a pretty decent trailer for a very bad film, and even if it’s a dud they’d have to promote it somehow.

Anyway, whatever the reason it’s unusual and risky for any film to be this close to release without official pictures or footage released, but if any movie can be a success on the strength of its name alone it’s a Star Wars movie.

But don’t Disney release loads of superhero movies throughout the year, and promote them for ages, and it’s basically fine?

Er, yes.

Maybe this is different because the superhero films are usually pretty separate and standalone, whereas Star Wars does more sequential storytelling? Hard to say, but then I’m not paid the big Disney MickeyBucks™.

Hmm. So when ARE we likely to see a Solo trailer?

According to the internet, two days ago, so it’s hard to take any of the rumours too seriously at this stage.

However, it does seem fairly likely that the Superbowl a week on Sunday would be a decent time to show off any Solo footage. If not, some have theorised the footage might be attached to the Maze Runner sequel The Death Cure when it hits cinemas, mainly because that is A Film That Is Coming Out Soon.

Oh well – at least we’ll be able to enjoy an extra special May 4th when Solo is released!

Hold your banthas, you scruffy-looking nerf herder. OBVIOUSLY, that coveted slot was saved for Avengers: Infinity War, and Solo was scheduled for 25th May.

So wait – when presented with an Avengers film and a Star Wars film, both ready around the same time, they decided to put the AVENGERS one on the official Star Wars day?

You know it, kid. In fairness, Avengers: Infinity War probably wants to avoid competing directly with a Star Wars film, and its earlier release means it can enjoy the field alone for a bit until interest naturally dies off and Solo scoops up the audiences.

And of course, Infinity War had been in production for a lot longer, so probably earned the earlier slot.

You mean – it’s because Han Solo didn’t shoot first?

harrison-ford-han-solo

Sorry – I have to get my gags in before Disney actually release some photos, rendering the previous 1,000 words (and all the other articles on all the other websites that you don’t read because you’re loyal) even more irrelevant and facile than they are already.

Honestly, we don’t know the reason. If there’s one thing this whole episode has taught us, is that trying to second-guess Disney’s Star Wars strategy is like trying to win a game of Sabacc against Maz Kanata. It’s confusing, you’re unlikely to succeed and if you try to explain to your friends what you’re doing, they’ll tell you to grow up, put away the multi-posable action figures and move on with your life.

Wow – I’ve never felt So Low.

Now you’re getting it.

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Solo: A Star Wars story will be released in UK cinemas on 25th May 2018, because why would you release it on Star Wars day? What a silly idea that would have been, can’t imagine what sort of positive marketing impact that would have, oh no