The official soundtrack listing for Solo: A Star Wars Story gives fans a basic outline of the plot trajectory, allowing us to (seemingly) map out the structure of the film. Over the past few months of Solo marketing, it's been somewhat difficult to connect the dots, which apparently was an intentional play on the part of Lucasfilm. The trailers, which use the Conveyex heist as the big set piece, were highly misleading based on the new information that's come out. What many thought was the third act action sequence looks to take place much earlier in the film, meaning the finale is a mystery for now.
One has to applaud this effort by the studio, as they found a way to promote Solo in a way that's true to the spirit of the final product, but leaves the audience guessing. Of course, the finer details of the twists and turns won't be revealed until the movie hits theaters, but composer John Powell's surprise unveiling of the track names provide broad strokes. Taking this into consideration alongside everything else we know, we believe we've pieced together the narrative of Solo.
Han Solo spent his youth on the planet Corellia, where according to the first teaser he's been running scams since the age of 10. During this period of his life, he's close with Emilia Clarke's Qi'ra, who is working for a Corellian gang when Solo picks up. Many have assumed the earliest sequences in the film are set on this world, and that appears to be the case. "Meet Han" is a track that should introduce audiences to Alden Ehrenreich's more idealistic version of the character, while "Corellia Chase" sounds like it's connected to a scene from the trailers where Han and Qi'ra are speeding away from authorities.
Of course, the two friends don't stay together forever. At a certain point in time, their paths will divert as they go their separate ways. Judging from the footage, Qi'ra moves her way up the criminal ladder, whereas Han decides it's time to make an "honest" living working for the Empire. He enlists with the Imperials ("Spaceport") and proceeds to form a life-altering relationship with a certain Wookiee.
For reasons unknown, Han's job with the Empire takes him to Mimban, where classic Star Wars coincidence will set the rest of the story in motion. From the looks of things, Solo meets Chewbacca for the first time on the swamp world ("Flying With Chewie"), saving the Wookiee from captivity. A behind-the-scenes featurette teased a battle that takes place on Mimban, so perhaps Han is sent to deal with the situation (a Wookiee uprising, perhaps?) and his heart of gold gets him kicked out of the Imperial Academy. After his life debt with Chewie is established, Han isn't done making new companions.
The same featurette also seemed to depict Han first crossing paths with Tobias Beckett and Val, two career criminals who are always on the hunt for a score. In their first scenes, they're in Imperial disguises to blend in as they complete their mission alongside associates like Rio Durant. With nowhere else to go, Han and Chewie tag along with Beckett and become involved in the galactic underworld.
The snowy planet Vandor is where the Conveyex vehicle is located, and it was largely assumed this would be Solo's grand finale. But since the track "Train Heist" is positioned near the beginning of the score, we're now led to believe the great train robbery factors into the first act. Given that Beckett is a Long John Silver type who's frequently down on his luck, odds are this job doesn't go as planned. There's one big obstacle our "heroes" are going to have to deal with on Vandor: the Cloud-Rider gang.
As evidenced by the song "Marauders Arrive," the attempt to steal something from the Conveyex is thwarted by the mysterious Enfys Nest and her band. Dating back to the Super Bowl TV spot, we've known Beckett battles Enfys, and the Cloud-Riders' swoop bikes can be seen in other bits of footage. It remains to be seen if Beckett's group is successful in their objective, but Nest is going to give them headaches as they try to pull the heist off. Enfys isn't someone fans should forget after Vandor, either, since she'll be back towards the end of the film (more on that later).
Dryden Vos' Den
One line that's frequently been used in Solo marketing is Beckett's "Heard about a job. Big shot gangster putting together a crew." He appears to be referring to kingpin Dryden Vos, a higher-up who organizes jobs for others to carry out. If the Conveyex heist doesn't go as planned, it stands reason to believe Beckett would appeal to Dryden in an attempt to reverse his fortunes. Beckett may not be thrilled about it (he tells Han, "These people are not your friends."), but desperate times call for desperate measures.
In their visit to Dryden's lair, Han is reunited with Qi'ra. The full trailer includes a scene where they catch up; Han looking "rough around the edges" and Qi'ra elegant in a dress. We've known for some time Qi'ra serves as a link between Han and Dryden, so perhaps she vouches for her old friend to help him land the job Vos has planned. Dryden gives it to them, but first they're going to need a pilot and an incredibly fast ship. Enter Lando Calrissian.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019