124th U.S. Open

Pinehurst No. 2

The Loop

Let’s be the only people online to break down the ‘Lando,’ er, ‘Solo’ trailer

February 05, 2018
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Good news for Solo fans and those worried that we’d have to go like six months without a Star Wars movie: According to trailers that premiered last night during the Failed Patriots Trick Play Fest-O-Rama and this morning on Good Morning America, Solo: A Star Wars Story is a movie that, despite, exists — they shot it and everything, maybe even twice! This is a fine development for fans who have been wondering, with the movie’s release a mere four months away, whether the delay in delivering any promotional materials was part of a responsive new marketing strategy on the part of Lucasfilm, or a sign that the twice-shot movie, which replaced its directors with mere weeks left in production, is a hot fresh pile of Chewie barf. (This debate has been raging at the same time that grown men continue whining that Luke’s space magic powers in The Last Jedi are not the appropriate kind of space magic powers.)

But Solo is here! And it opens with the introductory metal-guitar crunch from “Kickstart My Heart” and is a little bit western and prominently features Khaleesi and looks … pretty good? The trailers don’t offer too much Alden Ehrenreich in the title role, because it’s too early for the internet to hate him yet, but they do betray the following reactions:

The reaction everyone else is having: The first glimpse of Donald Glover as Lando shows him as basically a late 1980s WWF villain, resplendent in Wookiee-sized fur coat and being dramatically flashbulb-lit by either lighsaber clashes, blaster bolts, welding work on the Falcon (probably that one) or Emperor Palpatine frying someone with finger-lightning. In any event, if someone isn’t writing a Lando movie right now I will eat my hat. (Full disclosure: My hat is made of crab meat.) There are about 100 question marks about this movie, and Glover can probably erase all of them.

This is some awful slick cinematography: Not sure if this is credit to Chris Miller and Phil Lord, the Lego Movie vets who originally directed the film before being fired by Lucasfilm for reportedly turning it into an Ace Ventura movie, or Ron Howard, the Trained Professional™ brought in to fix it, but there are at least three killer shots in the trailer: A Star Destroyer in a vortex of clouds, Han looking up at the backlit cockpit of his new ship, and Lando standing there waiting to be challenged by Jake “The Snake” Roberts. From this, you know, two minutes of footage, Solo looks a lot more Rogue One than Last Jedi.

The Millennium Falcon used to be clean: Turns out the Falcon wasn’t always garbage — it started life as a spiffy, Swiffered Imperial-looking vessel, with ivory-white walls (that sort of look like the rebel ship from A New Hope, because foreshadowing) and a hyperdrive that probably worked. Burning question: Did the Empire install the chess board, or was that added later?'

Han’s Empire roots are intact: In the now-discarded Expanded Universe, Han originally joined the Empire before bailing out to smuggle huge ball aliens and pre-emptively execute green, flippy-tongued jackasses, and Solo appears to keep this general idea. “I was kicked out of the flight academy for having a mind of my own,” he says. Most of the trailer seems to focus on Han escaping the Empire’s grip, partly through what appears to be a Pacific Rim-sized octopus.

Not all the famous people are shown: We get Woody Harrelson as the weirdly-haired Beckett and Emilia Clarke as either Kira or Qi’Ra, depending on the nerd level of the website you’re reading, but no shots yet of Paul Bettany, who joined production with Howard, or Phoebe Waller-Bridge.

Is that Maz Kanata?: A split-second shot shows the proprietor of the space-bar from The Force Awakens that did enough business to commission Lin Manuel-Miranda music, which would make sense as Maz basically shuts her bar down for a Solo entrance. Wouldn’t mind a Lupita Nyong’o cameo here, especially if Solo could somehow address how she can end up with an important lightsaber in her crawlspace. Then again, that alien might be an entirely different kind of talking CGI frog.

People dance around disembodied heads in Solo clubs: Seems to kill the vibe, but what do I know.

Ehrenreich sounds…like Han Solo: Either acting lessons work, or the actor charged with recreating yet not copying yet upgrading yet honoring yet putting his own spin on one of the most iconic movie character of all time has, y’know, maybe studied for this in an attempt to briefly make insufferable blogging millennials in coffeeshops not hate him, which of course will never work.

Jabba the Hutt isn’t in either trailer: But if he’s not in the full trailer, I will eat another hat.