Han Solo and Lando Calrissian play for the Millennium Falcon during their fateful sabacc game in the latest Solo: A Star Wars Story TV spot. From the looks of things, the spinoff is primarily telling a story audiences have little (if any) prior knowledge of, but there are going to be some obvious connections to the original trilogy. Long described as Han's origin story, it's been confirmed the film will depict two very key events of his youth: meeting Chewbacca and winning the Falcon. Ever since The Empire Strikes Back, fans have wanted to see the two scoundrels go toe-to-toe for the ship, and now they're about to get that chance.
We've gotten glimpses of the famous encounter in the previous trailers and TV spots, as the sabacc game looks to be Lando's introductory scene (meaning it's ideal to set the stage without giving too much away). For this latest promo, the showdown is placed front and center as Han invites himself to the table and plays a game that will change his life in more ways than one.
An extended look at the sabacc sequence was screened for CinemaCon attendees last month during Disney's presentation. This ad consists of brief snippets, including Lando boasting about the Falcon's speed and warning Han that it's best for him to quit when he's ahead. Solo, of course, isn't backing down from the challenge and feels like he would be a worthy pilot of the vessel. Even though fans (probably) know how the scene ends, it still looks to be highly entertaining, with Alden Ehrenreich and Donald Glover playfully trading banter that perfectly captures the spirits of their respective characters.
The classic films hinted at a rich and interesting history between Han and Lando, but those movies could only touch upon their shared past. That's one of the benefits of doing anthology films like Solo. They provide the filmmakers with opportunities to flesh out certain areas of the franchise, which will hopefully enhance rewatches of the original trilogy. Lando, who was only a supporting player in Empire and relegated mainly to action beats in Return of the Jedi, certainly reads as a character who could benefit from more screen time. The reactions to Glover in Solo marketing indicate viewers will walk away from it loving the smooth-talking gambler even more. It should be fun to revisit Empire after Solo and track Lando's character progression over his appearances.
With just three weeks remaining until the prequel hits theaters (as of this writing), an argument can be made Lucasfilm could stop releasing new looks at the film, as there's already a bevy of other TV spots. However, their big promotional push is having very positive effects on the movie's commercial prospects. Solo is poised to break the all-time Memorial Day weekend record when it opens, so the studio will want to keep excitement high over these next couple of weeks. Fortunately, we know from Lucasfilm's history they aren't going to spoil anything overt in trailers, so any future spots that come out should be safe to watch.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019