A new TV spot for Solo: A Star Wars Story shines a spotlight on Lando Calrissian, revealing a neat original trilogy callback in the process. While fans needed to see footage of Alden Ehrenreich as the young Han before becoming convinced he could follow the footsteps of Harrison Ford, most everyone instantly fell in love with Donald Glover's casting as Lando. Carrying himself with all the suave coolness we've come to associate with Calrissian, the Atlanta creator comfortably slid into the role and is poised to be one of Solo's highlights. Lando is unfortunately absent from the proceedings of the sequel trilogy, so it's nice to see one of the spinoffs flesh him out a little more.
Lucasfilm is in the midst of Solo marketing, with the theatrical premiere only a handful of weeks away. Following the release of the full trailer, attention has now been turned to TV spots. One unveiled a few days ago focused on Han's blossoming friendship with Chewbacca, and now another one of his old buddies is placed front and center.
The footage gives fans a healthy dose of Lando, depicting the first day he meets Han and Chewie. It's Emilia Clarke's Qi'ra who brings the two scoundrels together, as she knows Lando is the pilot of a ship (the Millennium Falcon) they can use for their job. At least initially, Calrissian doesn't seem too impressed with his would-be associates, referring to the dynamic duo as "Hairy and The Boy" and wondering why Qi'ra is hanging out with them. Most excitedly for longtime fans, an action beat in the TV spot serves as confirmation Glover pronounces "Han" the same way Billy Dee Williams did in the original trilogy - a cool attention to detail that shows how laser-focused Lucasfilm is when handling their franchise.
Beyond more of Lando, Woody Harrelson's Tobias Beckett gets some notable screen time as he shows the idealistic Han the ropes of living in the galactic underworld. While in Dryden Vos' den, Beckett tells the youngster, "These people are not your friends," possibly meaning the higher-up rich gangsters. Solo promotion seems to be teasing viewers with the possibility of a double-cross, so audiences should be on their toes during these sequences. Han's arc here appears to be him going from a wide-eyed enthusiast to cold-hearted cynic, meaning something terrible had to have happened. It'll be interesting to see how that all plays out, as Lucasfilm is unlikely to reveal anything too juicy prior to release.
The bottom line is this spot, like the other materials before it, does an excellent job of selling Solo as a throwback adventure film, complete with an entertaining tone that should be a blast to watch on the big screen. After the heavy drama of both Rogue One and The Last Jedi, this is exactly the change-of-pace Star Wars needs right now, before Episode IX gives the Skywalker saga an epic conclusion. Hopefully, fans can just sit back and enjoy the ride in May. It looks like that'll be the case.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019