Chewbacca appoints himself as Han Solo's co-pilot in the first officially released clip from Solo: A Star Wars Story. For more than four decades, the smuggler and the Wookiee have been one of pop culture's most dynamic duos, thrilling audiences with several adventures on the big screen. In just a few weeks (as of this writing), fans are going to have a chance to see how their strong friendship formed, as Han meeting Chewie for the first time is one of the key elements of Solo's marketing campaign thus far.
Judging from the previously released trailers and TV spots, Alden Ehrenreich looks to have superb chemistry with the walking carpet (played in Solo by Joonas Suotamo). The footage has showcased a fun and heartfelt dynamic that should enrich the relationship they have in their Skywalker saga appearances. For those who can't wait to see more of the two in action, Lucasfilm has unveiled a short clip where Chewie cements himself as the Falcon's first mate. Watch it in the space above.
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The bite-sized look at the scene perfectly evokes the feel of classic Star Wars, with the musical score from John Powell recalling the famous asteroid chase from The Empire Strikes Back. As TIE fighters pursue the Falcon, Han says that they need to divert auxiliary power to the rear deflector shields. An overwhelmed Qi'ra agrees with this assessment, but she has no idea how to do that. Enter Chewbacca, who flips a few switches and reveals to Han he's 190 years old. Qi'ra then leaves the flying to the experts and goes off to help Lando with an unknown task.
This sequence has been a centerpiece of Solo promotion so far, with many fans theorizing it's the famed Kessel Run. Piecing all of the materials together, it looks as if the main group (Han, Chewie, Lando, Qi'ra, and Beckett) are all together for the action, so the daring escape could be an illustration of how they work together as a team. Undoubtedly, the space cloud chase is going to bring back memories of all the other times the Falcon tried to evade the Empire/First Order. The music and scenery here is reminiscent of Empire, and giving each character a different responsibility brings to mind A New Hope (when Han and Luke manned the guns while Chewie flew the ship). Hopefully, Solo's Falcon scene is more than just nostalgia and does something memorable to stand on its own. This is the sixth time we've seen a set piece like this, so Ron Howard has to bring something new to the table.
For the longest time, there was a cloud of negativity hanging over Solo, as people questioned the need for it and became concerned about its quality due to the production issues. However, marketing has helped move the conversation in a much more positive direction, and Lucasfilm has every reason to be confident in what they have. An early premiere at Cannes later this month should go a long way in generating positive word-of-mouth, setting the stage for a record-breaking opening weekend this Memorial Day. Despite everything it's been through, Solo could be just fine.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019