We’ve all just resigned ourselves to Solo happening to us, right? Like a trip to the dentist—it’s just something we have to get through. A jaunty new trailer has been released to encourage us to take our Star Wars fan service with grace and good cheer, but the most this trailer musters for me is: I like that editing beat with the buttons after “Push it!”, and also the voice of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s droid (she is the creator of Sandra Oh's project Killing Eve, if you want to be an early adopter of the “Phoebe Waller-Bridge is pretty cool” lifestyle). This is, I believe, the first female droid in the galaxy far, far away, so that’s a thing to…celebrate? I’ve never understood why the droids were gendered in the first place, but since they are, let’s go droid gender equality! Controversial Opinion: The spin-off droids are better than the Episode droids. (K-2SO >>> C-3PO, FOREVER.)
So this trailer shows everything off a little bit more, with bit of Emilia Clarke, a dash of Woody Harrelson, a sprinkling of Chewbacca, a pinch of Paul Bettany, a taste of Thandie Newton, and an attempt to make Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo cooler than Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. Spoiler Alert: It doesn’t work. Lando is still the best-looking thing about this movie. To be fair, at least in two-minute doses, Ehrenreich doesn’t look bad. Does he have Harrison Ford’s swagger? Hell no. Does anyone? The closest we’ve got is Chris Pratt, so no. We’ll settle for “passable” and let the fanboys tear themselves apart explaining how it’s totally okay for Han Solo to not be the swaggiest bastard on screen because this is Han at the START of his career, when he doesn’t know sh*t, so OF COURSE he’s not the charm factory we know from the original trilogy! (If Ehrenreich’s performance leaves us merely whelmed, this is the exact argument they will make, mark my words.)
A line that sticks out: “If you come with us, you’re in this life for good.” This seems like a justification for Han’s backsliding character development between Return of the Jedi—or, let’s be honest, The Empire Strikes Back, the last time he did anything interesting—and The Force Awakens. Once a smuggler, always a smuggler, therefore excusing making no attempt to advance Han Solo as a character in middle age. This is just what he is going to be, and as cool as Han Solo is, it’s disappointing that in extending his shelf life beyond the original trilogy, no one is trying to do anything interesting with him.
Which brings us to: “Better buckle up, baby.” Lando Calrissian, however, IS interesting. It’s not just Glover’s charisma and those sweet space capes, it’s what this trailer sets up. Lando is the “best smuggler around”. At some point, we know he’s going to lose the Millennium Falcon to Han. Then, he turns around and wins Cloud City in a bet. This is a journey! This is growth! Lando goes from criminal to responsible administrator of a large mining colony. WHY aren’t we watching that movie? You know, the one with an actual character arc.