Solo: A Star Wars Story has finally dropped its first trailer, and with it provided fans with their first look at the iconic Kessel Run. We first heard of the Run in the original Star Wars, with Han using a tale of his speedy traversing of the hyperspace route (he claims the Millennium Falcon did it in 12 parsecs) to get Luke Skywalker and Obi-Wan Kenobi to sign up his services in a life-changing adventure.
The Kessel Run has since become a notorious legend in Star Wars fandom, not least because it's unclear quite what Han's blaggard achievement was. Parsecs are, of course, a unit of distance, not time, so whatever the smuggler's claiming, it's not as simple as having a "fast ship" (the accepted explanation is that it's as a much a case of mapping as it is speed). After over forty years, however, the mystery will be finally put to bed as Ron Howard reveals the truth behind the claim in Solo.
There's a lot of exciting aspects to the Solo trailer, but the centerpiece has to be the Han-piloted Falcon fleeing Imperial forces in some sort of space storm before running afoul of a giant, tentacled creature. It's not officially confirmed by the trailer, but there's a lot of evidence to suggest that this is actually the Kessel Run of legend.
For sure, we know the Kessel Run will be in the film. Howard has confirmed that Solo will be taking a trip to the spice mines of Kessel, and it only extends its namesake route will appear also. This was corroborated by a LEGO set named, quite pointedly, "Kessel Run Millennium Falcon". Crucially, as well as revealing the ship's new design, leaked box art showed the Falcon flying through a similar cloudy background pursued by TIEs as seen in the trailer.
Even without the toys, contextually it makes sense for this to be the Kessel Run. The scene is clearly later on in the film - Woody Harrelson's Beckett has assembled his motley crew aboard the series' signature ship by this point, meaning it's at least the second act but probably even later - a placement that fits what little we know of the plot and the Run's importance. It also has some interesting Legends parallels, with the clouds potentially mirroring the black hole cluster known as the Maw.
However, the Solo trailer doesn't provide any context for why Han and his gang are doing the Kessel Run - and that may be for good reason. As already mentioned, it's long been suspected that Han was lying in some for to Obi-Wan and Luke - it's even suggested in the original script - so there's sure to be more to it than a quick/economical race against the Empire. Thankfully, we only have a few months to wait until we find out.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019