The Solo: a Star Wars Story Trailer Dropped and This Is What We Thought

 

During the 52nd Super Bowl earlier this month, the first teaser trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story dropped, with Lucasfilm promising a full trailer on the following day. The Super Bowl is as famous for its significance to American football as it is for the way advertisers of all stripes bring their A-game to cash in on the guaranteed viewing audience, so this was no real surprise. The initial teaser was honestly fairly well put together, with a series of cuts synchronized to switches in a cockpit being flipped. There is then a voice over from an Imperial recruiter asking a young Han Solo what he wants to do in the military as the scene shows a quick montage of locations and characters.

The whole thing works out to being well under a minute, and does an effective job of setting us up for the film’s plot without actually revealing anything we don’t already know. It succeeds at making a good first impression, though it might not have sufficiently set us up for wanting more right away. Well, maybe we want more of some things.

 

 

Which is a shame, since the full trailer gives us a lot more. Almost a full minute more, in fact, which was, frankly, way too much. The trailer tries to do exactly what the teaser does, but due partially to its own bloat and partially to choices made in editing, it lacks any sense of mystery, excitement, or suspense. It is a series of barely coherent action shots cut together with non sequitur dialogue. But most troubling of all, this trailer showed us significantly more of the film’s star, Alden Ehrenreich.

What we are shown of his performance is just not very good. It also doesn’t inspire confidence that Lucasfilm requested an acting coach be brought in for Ehrenreich late into the film’s production, especially considering some of the lackluster performances that have made the cut in past franchise entries.

 

 

His delivery of every line comes across as narcoleptic, and he simply does not look like Han Solo. That might sound like a strange criticism to make, but when bringing such an iconic character to life with a new actor, the only choices available are to (1) try something new that draws inspiration from the original, or (2) try to mimic what came before. And it seems like they went with the latter. Ehrenreich has his hair styled in a fashion similar to Harrison Ford in the original movies, but . . . Bigger. He ends up looking more similar to the expanded universe’s Dash Rendar than the titular Solo. I honestly found myself wondering who he was supposed to be in the first still shot we are given of him, which is made worse by the way the trailer rapidly cuts between characters.

While the teaser does its job quite effectively, the work that was done to build excitement for the fourth Star Wars film in as many years feels like it was completely nullified by the extended trailer. There are still some things to be excited about in this film. The rest of the cast alone has some serious clout behind it, and Donald Glover perfectly captures Lando’s impossibly cool demeanor, even in just the few frames we see of him.

 

 

Maybe this film will prove to be on par with The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi. But based on this trailer, it won’t be.

 

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