A new trailer for Star Wars prequel Solo has arrived, and you know what that means – a whole lot of online disagreement from fans about whether this film will be any good, while the rest of us methodically trawl through every frame looking for Star Wars references. Hooray!
Happily, for those of us interested in the latter there were a good few examples of callbacks (and er, callforwards) to the original trilogy and beyond, just a few of which we’ve included below.
Warning: this piece includes some Episode X-rated Wookie-on-Wookie action.
1. Blast from the past
At long last, the nagging mystery of where Han Solo got his iconic blaster from has been solved – he was given it by Woody Harrelson before getting involved in a heist.
Tune in next week, to find out which space-merchant he got his vest from.
2. Super troopers
It wouldn’t be a new Star Wars film if Lucasfilm didn’t invent some new stromtroopers to sell as toys, and so it is in Solo: A Star Wars story. We’ve already met some grimy-looking mud troopers, but the new trailer shows off the Empire’s winter collection as bulky, fur-clad Stormtroopers battle our heroes on top of a spinning high-tech train.
We’ve heard some people refer to these people as Range troopers, but all we know is that with those fur cloaks they’re only a sword or two away from manning The Wall against the lands of always winter and the White Walkers.
3. Under construction
In one of the opening shots of the new trailer, we see one of the Empire’s Star Destroyers under construction, which may also be the setting of Han’s ill-fated Imperial job interview from the very first teaser.
There’s not that much more to say about this, other than that during Solo the Empire is at the height of its power and we might be seeing more projects from the Dark Side’s foot soldiers in the new movie.
4. Cos I’m feelin’ good
The tradition of including the phrase “I’ve got a bad feeling about this,” in every Star Wars film has become increasingly meta of late, with the line cut off in prequel Rogue One and only spoken in incomprehensible droidese in The Last Jedi.
Now, for Solo it seems like the phrase is being twisted around entirely, with young Han suggesting he has “a really good feeling about this” as he takes the Millennium Falcon on an ill-fated voyage, denoting his less cynical outlook at this earlier point in his life.
We’re sure he’ll be back to his grumpy self by the end of the film, and it’ll be bad feelings all round.
5. The Kessel Run
We already spotted some of Han’s record-breaking trip through the Kessel spice mines area in previous trailers, but we get some more shots (and a better look at the cleaner, sleeker blue-painted Millennium Falcon) in the new footage.
The sequence also seems to be when Chewie first takes his traditional role as Han’s co-pilot, sparking off decades of intergalactic travel together.
6. “Everyone will betray you”
“Let me give you some advice – assume everyone will betray you. And you will never be disappointed.”
Such is the top tip from Harrelson’s Beckett to his young protégé Han – so could this be a hint at a major betrayal coming during the new film, perhaps explaining why we never see Han mentioning key figures from his life like Qi’Ra or Beckett in the original trilogy?
Or is it just a spot of foreshadowing to Lando’s (Donald Glover) future double-cross in The Empire Strikes Back, when he sells Han out to the Empire while looking a lot like Billy Dee Williams?
We’re putting our Sabacc cards firmly on “both” for now…
7. Makin’ Wookie
In various Star Wars spin-off novels (not to mention the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special) Chewie had a wife and family, and it looks like Solo might be exploring something similar when the Falcon’s resident Wookie shares a tender goodbye with another of his species.
Whether this is Chewie’s no longer canonical wife Malla, however, is another matter.
8. Happy birthday to Chew
And Chewie’s love life isn’t the only thing to be revealed in the new footage, with the Wookie pilot telling Han that he’s actually 190 years old by the time of this film. This puts him at nearly 200 by the time of the original trilogy, and definitely explains why he hasn’t added any grey hairs in The Force Awakens or The Last Jedi.
9. The first Jedi?
The previous Star Wars prequel/spin-off Rogue One had a surprise Easter Egg for The Last Jedi in it, with fans realising later on that The First Order’s ability to track through hyperspace had been teased in the Imperial archives of the 2016 movie.
But could Solo also have a little Last Jedi DNA? We can’t help but feel the red energy weapon wielded by Paul Bettany’s gangster Dryden Vos (the guy Han and the crew are robbing) is reminiscent of the similarly-coloured energy weapons weilded by some of Supreme Leader Snoke’s Praetorian guard in Episode VIII, shortly before Rey and Kylo Ren left them in the dust.
It could be a coincidence, or it could be an earlier version of the technology in The Last Jedi that director Ron Howard threw in as a fun little Easter Egg for fans. We’ll probably have a better sense of whether it’s worth noting or not when the film comes out next month.
Solo: A Star Wars Story will be in UK cinemas on the 25th May
Sign up to the Radio Times newsletter for the latest TV and entertainment news