Star Wars

Solo: A Star Wars Story trailer. Has Ron Howard steered film away from potential disaster?

When Ron Howard took over the Han Solo spin-off after the former directors were dumped, it sent shock waves through the galaxy. People questioned if the Hollywood veteran could save the day? Watch the new trailer to find out

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 06 February, 2018, 12:47pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 06 February, 2018, 1:01pm

Concerns began to spin like a manoeuvring Millennium Falcon last summer when the directors of the Han Solo spin-off film (Lego Movie masterminds Phil Lord and Chris Miller) were unceremoniously dumped well into shooting, and old pro Ron Howard was brought aboard to close those “creative differences” with Lucasfilm.

Oscar-winning director Ron Howard to direct Star Wars spin-off movie of a young Han Solo

Was the Solo anthology film – which lands on May 25 – going to look like a Frankenstein’s monster of stitched stories, or could the Oscar-winning director of A Beautiful Mind fly in to save the day?

Now, Howard has helped ease our fears.

On Sunday night during the Super Bowl, the first teaser finally landed, followed up on Monday by the full Solo trailer, which aired on Good Morning America.

It seems the internet can breathe easier over George Lucas’s favourite flyboy.

What Howard and Lucasfilm have shown is a young Han Solo who – with his frisky sense of derring-do and parsec-galloping panache – registers as part American Graffiti racer and part Top Gun pilot, with just enough uncertainty hovering beneath the bravado.

Should we really have been too concerned, what with Star Wars veteran scribe Lawrence Kasdan back in the space saddle, alongside son Jon Kasdan?

“I was kicked out of flight academy for having a mind of my own,” Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) says early in the teaser for Solo: A Star Wars Story, as if borrowing from Tom Cruise’s Maverick in Top Gun.,

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“I’m putting together a crew. You in?” Tobias Beckett (Woody Harrelson) asks Han and Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), in a nod to the building-a-team premise that has powered everything from Kurosawa’s Seven Samurai (which influenced Lucas) to Ocean’s 11 to almost every DC and Marvel cinematic team-up.

We even get a glimpse of the iconic western gunfighter’s pose, as Han’s hand hovers near his holstered blaster. This space western is even referencing classic poses from High Noon and Sergio Leone’s Man With No Name trilogy – and reminds us of Lawrence Kasdan’s love letter to Westerns in his 1985 film Silverado.

The teaser lets us glimpse deeper, too. “I might be the only person who knows what you really are,” Qi’Ra (Emilia Clarke) says to Han, revealing him to be still unsure beneath that trademark cocksure grin.

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“I’m going to be a pilot. The best in the galaxy,” says Han, and with that, Howard signals that his Solo – before he was seemingly out for just himself and a quick buck in the Lucas films – actually had a spirit of optimistic mission.

The line even harks back to young George Lucas, the one who raced cars in central California with an aim at being the best he could be, before a brutal crash spun him toward cinema. His American Graffiti – starring young Ron Howard and Harrison Ford – pays tribute to his love of speed and his understanding of young, testosterone-fuelled adventure.

With Solo, master Howard and the Jedi Kasdan show that they still understand Lucas’s vision.