The latest trailer for Solo: A Star Wars Story may not feature notorious bounty hunter Boba Fett - a cameo some fans are still holding out hope for - but it does include a reference to the Mandalorians, whose armor is worn by Boba. The movie sees newcomer Alden Ehrenreich swagger into the shoes of Harrison Ford as a young Han Solo, several years before he met Luke and Leia, when he was still a young pilot itching to prove himself. Han joins a band of criminals led by Woody Harrelson's Beckett, meets Chewbacca (Joonas Suotamo), and chases his first big score. The movie was directed by Ron Howard (after something of a false start with Phil Lord and Chris Miller).
The Mandalorian reference can be seen about a third of the way through the trailer, when Han, Chewie and Lando are walking up the steps to an abandoned building on a snowy planet. The steps are dominated by an archway made out of a skull with extremely long horns, which looks uncannily like the Mandalorian skull symbol called the Krybes that Boba Fett wears on his armor. The symbol is based on the skull of the Mythosaur, an enormous reptile species that were native to Mandalore, but driven to extinction.
The horns on this skull are much longer than that of the Mythosaur - but that makes sense. The Mythosaurs were wiped out thousands of years ago, meaning that there probably aren't a lot of real skulls left, so the Mandalorians would likely resort to using the skulls of similar creatures in their symbolism. It's possible that the similarity to the Mandalorian skull symbol is just a coincidence, but it definitely has the long, reptilian bone structure of the Mythosaur, and the horns curve in the same way. We know that this scene takes place on Vandor, a new planet that will be introduced in Solo, which is also the setting for the mission where Beckett's band of criminals fight on top of a moving train.
The Mandalorians have a fearsome reputation as warriors, and the sight of their armor causes many in the galaxy to shake in their boots. It's actually a matter of some debate whether Boba Fett and his father Jango Fett were Mandalorians, or whether they were simply bounty hunters who wore (possibly stolen) Mandalorian armor. Though they originate from the planet Mandalore and its moon, Concordia, the Mandalorians' history as warriors and bounty hunters means that they can be found all over the galaxy, so it's possible that this location on Vandor is an old Mandalorian war camp. In any case, it looks to have fallen into serious disrepair.
This isn't the only possible nod to Mandalore that we've seen in Solo: A Star Wars Story's trailers. The villain Enfys Nest (pictured above) wears a helmet that also closely resembles the Krybes (notice how the metal forms two curved horns), which means that this base could belong to Enfys Nest's people. Enfys Nest is also featured in this latest trailer, though she's on a desert planet, not Vandor. Another interesting detail on the helmet are the scratches above the visor, which resemble the symbol of the Death Watch, a faction of Mandalorian warriors.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018