ANALYSIS – Shot by shot with both trailers for “Solo: A Star Wars Story”

in Entertainment, Movies, Movies & TV, Star Wars

It’s true… all of it. After many months of waiting without any officially-released footage or even still images, Lucasfilm has finally proven to Star Wars fans that its new spinoff movie “Solo: A Star Wars Story” does actually exist. Not only that, but in the space of two days, the Disney-owned production company has released two almost entirely distinct trailers for the highly-anticipated origin story, with only a handful of shots in common between them.

In the midst of yesterday’s NFL Super Bowl LII, a 45-second teaser premiered during a commercial break, and then a longer 90-second trailer made its debut on this morning’s installment of ABC’s “Good Morning America.” I’m still very surprised by how different the two spots are from each other, but I suppose Lucasfilm has to make up for lost time, considering the release of “Solo: A Star Wars Story” is a mere three and a half months away.


With that in mind, let’s take a look at a shot-by-shot breakdown of both trailers for the second in the stand-alone “Star Wars Story” series, focusing on the misadventures of a young Han Solo— the hotshot pilot, smuggler, and all-around scoundrel originally played by Harrison Ford in Episodes IV-VII.

As would be expected, the first image we see in the “Solo” Super Bowl commercial is the Lucafilm logo. Gotta clap for that.

The cockpit control panel of the Millennium Falcon. Someone’s hand (presumably Han’s) pushes a lever. Get ready to see many, many more levers get pushed and switches get flipped throughout these two ads.

Like I said, switches get flipped.

An establishing shot of what is most likely the Spice Mines of Kessel. Amid the hustle and bustle, we can see droids, Imperial troops, aliens, and transport vehicles.

Imperial Officer: “So you want to make a difference?”

It appears young Han has enlisted in the Empire and has been assigned to work at Kessel. An Imperial officer addresses him.

Han: “Yeah.”

Imperial Officer: “Trust me, you’re gonna love it.”

An Imperial Star Destroyer makes it way through a tunnel of ominous clouds. Lighting Strikes as it approaches.

Several Imperial TIE Fighters drop from the hangar bay of the Star Destroyer, including one design that I haven’t seen before, resembling a TIE Bomber.

Imperial Officer: “And which branch are you interested in joining?”

Han’s hand pushes the throttle or gear shift of a small speeder. A woman’s arm is visible in the passenger seat next to him.

The speeder abruptly banks and turns sharply.

A POV shot from underneath the speeder as the horizon races by.

Two maintenance droids are alarmed when speeders rush by and one of them crashes into a post, sending sparks flying.

The following shot from this sequence, as the explosion goes off in the background, Han’s speeder races toward the camera.

Han: “I’m gonna be a pilot.”

Han (Continued): “Best in the galaxy.”

A tracking shot showcasing the interior hallway of the Millennium Falcon, which is now a pristine white instead of the muddy tan color we’re used to from the original trilogy.

Han examines the Falcon‘s cockpit from the outside, as he stands on a landing platform in a dusty, indistinct location.


Our first look at the face of Emilia Clarke’s character Qi’Ra. In the background is a series of large circular windows and a few out-of-focus figures.

A droid stands at a bank of computer monitors while sparks fly in the background.

A neat-looking twisty mine-train-type vehicle speeding along on its track. Are we still on Kessel here or is this a different planet?

Woody Harrelson’s character Tobias Beckett, apparently a mentor to Han.

A bar or nightclub, the same location from the earlier shot of Qi’Ra. Twi’leks and other characters dance around as the singer writhes in the middle of the room.

A closer shot of the singer in a shiny gold outfit, with a neat frog-man creature suspended in a hovering cylindrical tank behind her.

A blaster fight aboard the mine train from a few shots ago. It’s difficult to tell who the participants are, but it could be Han or Lando against the villain.

The villain rushes our hero while fighting on top of the train.

Melee combat aboard the train. It’s still tough to make out who exactly is fighting.

Donald Glover as Lando Calrissian. The camera slowly pushes in as lights flash from off-screen. He’s wearing a large fur coat.

The Millennium Falcon rockets through the clouds.

We finally see Han’s (Alden Ehrenreich) face through some slats in a door. He looks up at the camera.

Voice-over: “Your name?”

“Solo: A Star Wars Story”

A shot from the back as Chewbacca growls and reaches up to place his hand on Han’s shoulder.

“Memorial Day – Trailer Tomorrow”


As noted earlier, both trailers released over the past two days are very different from each other, but they do share a few shots in common. As I go through the full teaser, I’ll make note of where they overlap, but leave out the repeated images.

This is an additional shot of switch-flipping in the Millennium Falcon cockpit, though it was surrounded by the same two shots from the beginning of the Super Bowl spot.

After the Lucasfilm logo pops up again, we get a new rear shot of Han’s speeder racing through Kessel.

Han: “I’ve been running scams on the street since I was ten.”

Han and Qi’Ra joyride in their speeder, as Han huffs out a sigh of relief.

UPDATE: As others have pointed out, Han’s dice from the original “Star Wars” movie (and featured heavily in “The Last Jedi”) are hanging from the top center of the windshield here.

Yet another new shot of a lever being pushed.

Han looks back at whoever’s following them.

An Imperial scout trooper pursues Han and Qi’Ra on a hover-bike. Sparks fly as vehicles scrape against the narrow pathway’s walls.

Han: “I was kicked out of the flight academy.”

Medium shot of Han driving the speeder with the trooper approaching in the background.

Han jerks the wheel to the right and we get a good look at the speeder’s controls and display console.

Han’s speeder dodges some debris in the road, but the trooper isn’t so lucky.

Reverse shot as the trooper goes flying after his bike hits the debris, and Han’s speeder continues racing forward.

The trooper comes skidding to a halt after hitting the road, but Han and Qi’Ra are still being pursued by another vehicle.

Han (Continued): “For having a mind of my own.”

Han performs an impressive drift maneuver along a dock’s hairpin turn during the same speeder chase sequence.

A sweeping helicopter shot of snowy mountains. I’m not entirely sure which planet this is supposed to be, but it could still be Kessel, as we saw the mine train in similar terrain. Alternatively, it may be Han Solo’s home planet of Corellia.

Rear shot as Han stands waiting for something or someone in the snow.

Han: “I’m gonna be a pilot.”

Then the two Millennium Falcon shots from the previous ad (hallway and looking at the cockpit from outside) are repeated.

Han: “The best in the galaxy.”

This looks like a warmer-climate planet, with what appears to be Han and Qi-Ra walking along the sand into the distance. There’s some sort of man-made outcropping in the background.

Beckett: “Hey, kid…”

Han meets with Beckett among some ancient-looking monumental stones.

Beckett (Continued): “I’m putting together a crew.”

A new medium shot of Beckett in the same location.

Qi’Ra is dressed in a more ceremonial-type cape and outfit. The same droid from the previous trailer follows behind her and they come down from the Millennium Falcon‘s landing ramp.

A different shot of Lando, in a far more relaxed position, as a wry smile flashes over his face. He’s now dressed closer to the style we know from “The Empire Strikes Back.”

Our first look at Thandie Newton’s yet-unnamed character. For a while fans had speculated that she might be playing Sana Starros, who was introduced in the current run of Marvel “Star Wars” comic books, but I think that would make her too old for the part considering the era during which this movie takes place. We’ll find out soon, I suppose.

A four-armed alien wearing goggles and a flight suit takes control of a ship (or perhaps a gunner turret) as another out-of-focus character walks up the hallway in the background.

Han stands in silhouette facing away from the camera in a seedy-looking den– similar to Jabba’s throne room– surrounded by aliens and other dangerous characters. It appears as though a card game or other gambling activities could be going on just past him.

Chewbacca stands in the snowy mountainous location.

Beckett: “You in?”

Chewie growls.

Beckett looks to Han for a translation.

Han: “That’s ‘yes.'”

Lando is seated in the Millennium Falcon cockpit with that frequently-seen droid as his copilot. The two give a casual-but-rehearsed salute to each other. It seems as though this droid may be Lando’s sidekick prior to Lobot.

Just for a change, this time it’s Lando’s hand flipping switches aboard the Falcon.

Lando and the droid work together to push the Falcon into hyperdrive.

Hyperspace envelops the Falcon‘s cockpit windows. Lando and the droid are still in the pilot seats, and Han watches from the passenger seat behind them.

“THIS SUMMER” again.

Back in the bar/nightclub from earlier, but this is a much wider shot with more characters populating the scene.

Another different shot of the club’s singer and frog-man creature in the tank next to her.

Qi’Ra stands in the bar and looks over at someone.

Qi’Ra: “I might be the only person…”

A Western-style shot of Han’s holster being unlatched, similar to how he handles his confrontation with Greedo in the original “Star Wars” movie. But this time an entire gang of thugs and baddies faces him in a showdown on the sandy planet.

The villain from aboard the mine train appears to be the leader of the gang, as they confront Han in a tent city of some kind.

Qi’Ra (Continued): “Who knows…”

Our first close-up of the movie’s yet-unnamed villain. He’s got a cool-looking mask, that’s for sure. Kind of Mandalorian-esque.

A skirmish breaks out between some difficult-to-make-out characters inside a base, followed by a repeated shot of our favorite new droid from the previous trailer.

You guessed it: Han pulls a lever.

A variety of aircraft chase each other around those snowy mountain peaks. The smaller ships appear to be towing a large crate.

Qi’Ra (Continued): “What you really are.”

Qi’Ra comes face-to-face with Han inside one of those tents.

Han strains to regain control of the aircraft during the snow mountain sequence.

The craft pulls up, outrunning a large explosion.

This is probably the best demonstration of Alden Ehrenreich’s acting skill in both trailers. He deftly shift’s Han’s reaction from cocky to vulnerable in a single line, continuing his conversation with Qi’Ra.

Han: “What’s that?”

The “Solo: A Star Wars Story” title pops up again, then:

The Millennium Falcon outruns TIE Fighters and an Imperial Star Destroyer in that big cloud tunnel.

Chewie roars at Han in the Falcon‘s cockpit, while Lando looks on from the passenger seat, terrified.

Han: “Get ready!”

Qi’Ra watches the action from behind the pilot’s seat, concerned.

Han. Levers. Take a drink.

In one of the coolest maneuvers we’ve ever seen the Falcon perform, Han and Chewie flip the ship around to knock a pursuing TIE Fighter into a nearby asteroid or rock cavern wall.

In the following shot from that sequence, the TIE Fighter explodes against the rock, while the Falcon continues onward.

Han: “Thought we were in trouble there for a second, but it’s fine. We’re fine.” Unmistakable as a early version of Han’s attitude as we know and love it from the original Star Wars trilogy.

Han’s boasting is cut short by Chewie, Beckett, and Qi’Ra reacting to something outside the ship.

Lando yells in terror.

And finally, an extended tracking shot of the Falcon flying through and around some very large, very pointy tentacles of an unseen creature.

“MEMORIAL DAY” once again.

“Solo: A Star Wars Story” will be released into theaters nationwide on Friday, May 25th.

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