Solo: A Star Wars Story Trailer Breakdown

Updated: Feb 7, 2019



With the Super Bowl happening a few days ago, we got several exciting brand new trailers for films coming out this year, including Solo: A Star Wars Story, Mission Impossible: Fallout, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, and Antman and the Wasp. Interestingly, they're all sequels or spinoffs of a franchise. It seems like most films coming out nowadays are sequels, really.


Anyway, I don't care one bit about the Super Bowl or football in general (in fact, I wasn't even aware that the Super Bowl was happening until that very day), but the one thing I can thank it for is the cool trailers that were shown on it.

I am a big Star Wars fan, so of course, like with The Last Jedi trailer, I'm doing an in-depth shot-by-shot breakdown and analysis of this new Star Wars trailer. So, without further ado, I present my breakdown of Solo: A Star Wars Story, a Star Wars spinoff about young Han Solo. Directed by Ron Howard (although it was originally going to be directed by The LEGO Movie directors Chris Miller and Phil Lord), this film is the second in the Star Wars spinoff trilogy, which began in 2016 with Rogue One. It will be coming into theaters on Memorial Day, May 25th of this year. It's kind of strange to me that the previous new Star Wars films (The Force Awakens, Rogue One, and The Last Jedi) were all released in December, and now this one is being released in May (which, by the way, is the month all the previous films, episodes 1-6, have been released in). So we won't have to wait a full year for a new Star Wars movie - in fact, we'll have to wait just a few months! I wonder when the next film will be coming out now that Solo has changed the December release schedule.


Here's the trailer:


Okay. So let's get into the breakdown of the brand-new Solo: A Star Wars Story trailer. This is, in case you're not aware, the first trailer for the film (if you're not counting the brief teaser they released the day before this came out).


It starts with a few quick shots of a hand flipping switches on some console. You can't see it in this picture, but the person is wearing what looks like an orange watch. I doubt that's really important, but who knows?


It's unclear who exactly this is, but judging by the worn brown fabric of the sleeve, I would guess this is Han Solo. The console is rather large, so it's most likely a part of the cockpit of some big ship (perhaps the Millennium Falcon?)


This is then followed by the Lucasfilm logo. Well, I don't have much to say about that. I don't think they've hidden any easter eggs in their logo. Anyway, the music starts as the logo appears, which sounds kind of like something played on an electric guitar at first. We hear Han Solo's voice (played by actor Alden Ehrenreich): "I've been running scams on the street since I was ten."


We see the back of a speeder driving through a foggy, industrial place that does indeed look like a great place for scams. If you're a big Star Wars fan, you'll probably know what planet this is within a few moments. This is most likely Corellia, Han Solo's home planet. It's never been seen in any of the previous films, but it has been briefly mentioned before. Corellia is an industrial planet, the birth place of a lot of pilots. It's also a manufacturing site for ships of all kinds. It's a fitting home for Han Solo, one with plenty of pilots, ships, and danger.


And, of course, it's Han Solo driving this rather beat-up speeder through the dark streets of Corellia. But he's not alone - he's accompanied by a woman named Qi'ra (played by actress Emilia Clarke). We don't really know who this person is, but she appears to be an acquaintance of Han. Perhaps they work together on Corellia, doing who knows what. Maybe scams like Han mentioned earlier. If he's been doing it since he was ten, he's probably gotten pretty good at it now. Yeah, that's what Corellia turns innocent kids into - rough scamming scoundrels. And good pilots.


It might seem that they're being chased, but that doesn't appear to be the case, since they're going at a relatively low speed (yes, I'm sure it's above the speed limit, but not action-packed-chase kind of fast) and Qi'ra seems to be having a pretty good time judging by the big smile on her face. Maybe they're making a getaway from some place and no one is following them yet.


Also, a very interesting note: Do you see the pair of golden dice hanging from the cockpit window? Yes, those are Han's lucky dice, which, according to Star Wars legend, he won the Millennium Falcon in a game of sabacc with. They were later hung in the cockpit of the Falcon, and appeared in The Last Jedi as well. It's hard to see, but it's an interesting detail to point out. Does this suggest that he's already won the Falcon in that game of sabacc with Lando Calrissian? If he hasn't yet, I wonder why they're lucky and why he hung them there if they've never won him much. Perhaps he is already in ownership of the Falcon, and it's just somewhere else at the moment. Maybe they're using the speeder to race to wherever the Falcon is so that they can use it to fly away. Whatever the case, it's cool to see that iconic pair of dice there. They're still so shiny in The Last Jedi that it makes me wonder if Han takes the time to polish it regularly. He's fond of that pair of dice, as it was the pair that won him his trusty Millennium Falcon.


Next we see what appears to be either a continuation of this scene or a different one, with Han still driving that old landspeeder. The vehicle they're in is not a very nice one, and it kind of resembles Luke's landspeeder from A New Hope. He seems to be fond of ships that look like junk. Frankly, his home planet looks like junk, too. It's like a dystopian planet but in Star Wars. And I'm sure all those fumes that seem to be everywhere on Corellia aren't great to inhale... It's a miracle Han survived so long without dying from fume poisoning.


Anyway, here, he's being chased by what looks like an Imperial stormtrooper on a small speeder bike and a larger ship. It's hard to tell, but I think that the stormtrooper on the speeder bike isn't a regular stormtrooper, as the armor looks slightly different. The back of the helmet appears to be black, and there's more black on the arms and legs than on regular stormtroopers. Also, the back of the stormtrooper is different as well. So I'm quite sure this is some new kind of stormtrooper we haven't seen before. It wouldn't be surprising at all, considering there has been at least one new kind of trooper in every single Star Wars movie (yes, episodes 1 through 8 and Rogue One). In this shot, this unfortunate stormtrooper on the speeder bike crashes into some machinery and goes flying into the air and performs a sloppy acrobatic routine mid-flight before smashing unceremoniously into the ground. It's a proud tradition for stormtroopers to fly wildly into the air and die in a most humiliating manner after flipping and flailing for a few seconds as they are catapulted up into the sky. Actually, this stormtrooper is lucky and doesn't die, since you see him raise his head for a split second after he lands and goes sliding along the ground for a few feet. But I bet smashing into the ground after being blown into the sky by an explosion doesn't feel good.


Han drives the speeder onto a dock or pier of sorts overlooking an ocean (just as gray as the rest of Corellia) as the big ship from the previous shots chases him, now without the help of the stormtrooper on the speeder (not that he was much help anyway). We hear Han say: "I was kicked out of the flight academy for having a mind of my own," as he makes a dangerous swerve in an attempt to lose his pursuer.


It would seem that the large, bulky ship chasing him is Imperial, but if it is, it's an awfully ugly Imperial ship. That's not to say that Imperial ships are beautiful, but they're usually less... junky. This one looks like an old truck without wheels that can fly. Maybe being on Corellia so long has run down the ship and made it look bad, but still... it's not the finest ship in the Empire's fleet, if it is Imperial.

If what he's saying matches up with what he's doing onscreen, it would appear that he is fleeing from Imperial forces, perhaps after he did something bad at the flight academy. It is also possible that Qi'ra was a fellow student at the academy and decided to join Han in whatever he's doing, which resulted in them both getting kicked out. Either they're getting kicked out now, or they're going to be kicked out soon. The flight academy is probably run by the Empire, which is why Imperials are chasing them.


The music swells, and we see a new planet, one with plenty of clouds and snow-coated mountains. The sun is either just coming up or about to go down, as you can see it peeking over the horizon in the distance.


On the same planet, we see a figure who is most likely Han standing on the snowy ground and gazing into the distance. He looks alone, but we later see that he's not the only one here - Chewbacca and a man named Beckett are seen on this same planet in later shots along with Han. We hear him say, "I'm going to be a pilot." Well, yeah. That's pretty obvious. Isn't he kind of already a pilot? I guess because he didn't complete his training at the academy he thinks he's not already a real one. If the teaser that came out shortly before this trailer is telling us the right thing, this dialogue comes from when Han is signing up to work for the Empire. That was probably just before he was sent to the academy and later kicked out. So we're hearing his past self (who was signing up for flight academy) speaking while watching his future self (who has been kicked out of the flight academy). Or so it seems. Of course, they could be using the trailer to trick us, like with The Last Jedi, where they put together two shots from different scenes to make it seem like one moment. (If you haven't already read the breakdown of that trailer, you can see it here.)


We then see the curving hallways of the Millennium Falcon. You'll notice it looks a lot cleaner than it does in later films. Obviously, the ship didn't start out as a hunk of junk, but time wore away at it. The white walls of these circular hallways has faded to a tan color by the time of A New Hope.


We saw the inside, and now we see the outside of this iconic ship. Han stares up at it, still wearing the fur coat he had on the snowy mountain planet. The fog makes it hard to see where this is, but this appears to be a landing pad of sorts. At least two other figures stand in the background. Chewbacca is most likely one of them. If you know about Han Solo, you probably know that he won the Millennium Falcon in a game of sabbac with his friend Lando Calrissian, who appears just a short while later. This could be the first time Han has seen the ship, perhaps shortly after he won the game. Or maybe it's not. It's hard to tell, especially without knowing where in the galaxy they are.


This next shot is on another planet - we see what appears to be Han and Qi'ra walking down a sandy beach. There is a large tower on the coast, and it's unclear what that might be.


Next up we see another shot of this same planet, and Han (notably without Qi'ra) is standing among several tall rock pyramids on the coast with another man. The pyramid structures look like they're ancient, perhaps something left behind from some long-lost tribe that lived on the coasts of this planet. There appears to be some kind of writing on them, but it's not the most common form of writing in the Star Wars universe, Aurebesh. Aurebesh is the alphabet used to transcribe Basic, the language spoken by all non-alien characters (English, essentially). So it was probably an alien species that made these pyramids. Was it the strange assortment of tribal people we see later in the trailer on this same planet? Probably not, as their leader has Aurebesh letters carved into his or her helmet. Or the inscriptions on these pyramids could be drawings, in which case it could be those people.


Next we see the man Han is with: Beckett, although I don't know much about him other than his name. Anyway, he says to Han, "Kid. I'm putting together a crew." We then see who exactly this crew consists of in the following shots:


We see Qi'ra again, this time wearing an imposing red cape and striding down the ramp of - you guessed it - the Millennium Falcon. She is accompanied by a droid (who appears later in the trailer - he is a part of this crew, too).


Next up on the crew is good ol' Lando Calrissian. It's hard to tell exactly where he is, but it appears to be a cantina of sorts (really, almost every Star Wars film seems to have some sort of cantina, casino, or bar in it. Why? I have no idea).


Then we have another crew member, appearing to load her gun and cast a no-nonsense gaze in one direction. I don't really know who this character is (no one really does yet), so there's not much to say here. As to where she is... well, my best guess is the snowy mountain planet seen earlier. It's hard to tell since it's so dark.


This member of the crew is a strange four-armed creature that resembles a monkey. It looks like it's throwing a box off of the gun it sits at. What looks like an Imperial officer with a gray cape stands in the background, suggesting that perhaps this creature has worked for or is currently working for the Empire...


We then see Han in what looks like the same cantina place we saw Lando in earlier. There's not much to say about this one, frankly. He's just standing there.


"You in?" Beckett asks. Chewbacca responds emphatically, and of course, no one except for Han has any idea what he's saying. Interestingly, Chewie has two bandoliers strapped over his furry chest. He's always been seen with only one, so why the change here? We'll have to wait and find out. They're on the snowy mountain planet, which is interesting, because when Beckett starts talking, they're on the sandy coast planet, and when he finishes, they're on a completely different world. And he's standing in the exact same position, talking to Han. Kind of strange.

Anyway, let's hope audiences will forgive Chewbacca after what he did in The Last Jedi. You know, cooking and almost eating a porg. But this is way before that, before Chewbacca was responsible for the death of any porgs. Or so it seems. But who knows? Maybe Chewie's eaten porgs before. Maybe they're a delicacy on his home planet, Kashyyyk, imported from Ahch-To. Maybe they taste like chicken. I'm not sure which to say - yum, or yikes.

Moving on.. Beckett raises his eyebrows, waiting for a translation of the Wookie's cry. Han says, "That's a yes." So now they're a part of the crew.


We cut to a shot inside the cockpit of the Falcon, where the droid seen striding down the ramp of this very ship along with Qi'ra salutes back at Lando, who returns the gesture.


After this montage of the varied crew members, there are a few shots of some performing space with a gold-clad woman with a very strange headpiece and mask-thing on her mouth apparently singing. There is a very ugly green creature floating in an oil-like substance in a jar next to her. I have no idea what that's for, but it reminds me of Jabba's snack jar of gross creatures that he has next to him in his palace. I sure hope no one is eating this thing, because that would be disgusting. Though, honestly, I don't know which is more disgusting - if someone ate it and we never saw it again, or if it continued to live its gross existance floating in that jar of oil. It looks like a very unhappy green blobfish that sprouted limbs.


We see Qi'ra again in this same club place, glancing over in the camera's direction. I wonder if she's as grossed out by the weird green creature floating just a few yards away from her as I am.


We then cut back to the sandy coast planet, where Han confronts a band of eleven warriors and their leader. What's interesting is, it doesn't even appear that they're looking at him. It seems their attention is focused on something to Han's left. You can see primitive dwellings behind them, perhaps their own village. Their leader is wearing a fur thing on his neck (which looks very hot and uncomfortable on that planet) and has a spiked helmet with Aurebesh words carved on it. I'm not fluent in Aurebesh, so I'm not sure what it says, but it would be interesting to find out. It might reveal more about this character, as the Aurebesh writing on DJ's cap from The Last Jedi spells out the meaning of his name - Don't Join.


We then see a cloaked figure take out at least two droids, and it's hard to tell who it is. It looks like a black helmeted person with a cape and two blasters, but there's no way to know who's underneath that mask. It kind of looks like a Death Trooper from Rogue One with a cape and a pair of small blasters. This might be some Imperial facility or onboard a ship.


After that, there's a brief shot of the droid who's a part of the crew in a room that looks like it's exploding. It appears that it pulled a wire (grasped in its right hand) which set off showers of sparks and caused the room's systems to short-circuit or something like that. The room the droid is in looks like a computer bank with a bunch of small console screens. The screens start to black out as electrical chaos ensues in the room.


Back on the snowy mountain planet, Han makes yet another daring getaway, escaping just as a catastrophic explosion blasts through the mountains. I wouldn't want to be whoever was unfortunate enough to be there when that explosion erupted. This is one of several ships Han has piloted in this trailer, and I'm sure there will be plenty of new vehicles in this film. Han will probably get to pilot at least half of them, judging by the amount of vehicles he's been seen driving in just this short taste of the movie.


Han and Qi'ra are in what might be tents on the sandy coast planet. Qi'ra says, "I might be the only person who knows what you really are." Han laughs, asking, "What's that?" He smiles for a moment and then the smile drops, as if he's scared of what she'll say.


Well, no need to worry, Han - she doesn't get the chance to say anything in response in this trailer. Instead, the Solo: A Star Wars Story title appears as the Star Wars theme blares triumphantly.

But wait! The trailer isn't over yet.


The Falcon flies away from a massive Star Destroyer looming in the stormy vortex they're in, pursued by TIE fighters. Strangely, it seems like an awfully small number of fighters. C'mon, you Imperial guys! If you see an enemy ship, don't send a laughably small number of weak fighters to chase after it. Seriously, there are only five TIEs chasing the Falcon. Five. What, has the Empire somehow lost their seemingly unlimited supply of ships? Or are they really dumb enough to think that five small TIE fighters can take out the Falcon, especially when it's in the hands of Han Solo? And the Star Destroyer isn't even firing at the Falcon! Makes you wonder who's in charge up on that command bridge. A toddler? This certainly isn't the Empire's best show of power.


Also, take a look at the Falcon! It's not the same Falcon we're used to. The two prongs on the front of the ship are one at this point (who knows how they get made into two), which changes the overall shape of the ship. Also, it's a lot newer at this point, and as you could see from the shot of the shiny white corridors inside, the paint job is a lot better. You can't really see that in this stormy vortex, though.


We get a closer look at the tiny group of TIEs pursuing the Falcon. There are four regular TIE fighters and one new one that we haven't seen before. At first glance, it looks like a TIE bomber, but this looks slightly different. Or maybe I'm imagining things.


Here's a shot of an anxious Chewie and a seriously scared Lando. Look at his expression! Anyway, despite the fact that they're only being pursued by a meager group of five TIEs, they seem to be panicking. Or maybe it's just because Han's at the controls. You never know what crazy, dangerous stunts he's going to pull off. Han says, "Get ready!" signalling that, indeed, he has something terribly risky and life-threatening planned. Yay.


Han flips the Falcon over as it soars through the stormy vortex, smashing a TIE to bits. Eesh. No wonder the Falcon is so beat-up. He seems to not care about the fact that he probably damaged his own ship in the process of taking out that fighter. Pilots be warned: smashing your ship into other ships is not a good way to care for it. You could also die, too. Not that that matters much.


Han stays cool despite the dangerous move he just pulled off and the damage he inflicted on the Falcon in the process. Han, of course, has a cocky line, "I thought we were in trouble there for a second, but it's fine. We're fine," which he says with a smile on his face. He probably enjoys his own cocky comments more than anyone else. He's also probably proud of the fact that he managed to take out a TIE fighter using a showy move and not get everyone killed.


Yeah, Han spoke too soon. They're not safe yet. At all. Everyone aboard the Falcon finds themselves in the midst of a bunch of giant flailing tentacles, apparently belonging to some creature that lives inside the space storm vortex. There's a red glow coming from a spot in the distance, perhaps part of the giant creature. Frankly, Han has not had very good luck with tentacles in his life. First, he was almost eaten alive by the Sarlacc Pit, and he just barely managed to save Lando from being dragged down into its depths where he would have been slowly and painfully digested for a thousand years. And in The Force Awakens, the tentacled Rathtars onboard his cargo ship escaped, nearly devouring him and Chewie. And now this.


So, as Han and the rest of the crew plunge into what might seem like certain death (but is most definitely not, as at least three people on board that ship are obviously alive in later films), it cuts to black, and the trailer ends on that exciting note.


To wrap it up, this trailer was shorter than the usual two-and-a-half minute trailers we usually get, but it still was packed with information and cool shots from the film. If you look closely, you'll see a lot of things you otherwise would have missed! Oftentimes I see other trailer breakdowns published by big websites that don't even really point out any interesting hidden clues that are important. That's why I do my own breakdowns, diving deep into Star Wars trailers and finding things that others have missed.


If you haven't already, you can watch the trailer at the beginning to see the whole thing put together, and look closely to spot the things I've pointed out in this breakdown.


So there you have it, my shot-by-shot analysis of the trailer. I hope you learned something new from it, and make sure to watch the film once it comes out on May 25th. And as always, may the Force be with you!


- Grayson


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