The Solo: A Star Wars Story trailer has arrived, but for everything revealed about Ron Howard's anthology prequel, there's plenty of characters and locations we know about missing. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about the Solo trailer is how late it's arriving; in a controversial (but genius) marketing move, Lucasfilm are releasing the first look at their big 2018 release less than four months before it hits theaters, a delay that's caused a lot of concern.
It's fair to the say the double-tap of a Super Bowl TV spot and full trailer the morning after were worth the wait. The former gave a taste of Han's prior Imperial entanglements, while the latter showed off Alden Ehrenreich's pitch-perfect evoking of Harrison Ford's cockiness for the first time. Along with Han himself, we got appearances from key characters Lando, Beckett, Qi'ra, L3-37 and Val, planets Corellia and Kessel, and, of course, the newly redesigned Millennium Falcon.
However, while that's all very cool, there are several things we know about Solo that are conspicuously absent. As the dust settles on the most long-awaited Star Wars trailer since The Force Awakens' first teaser, we're going to take a look at what surprises Solo still has in store.
While we got to see most of the noteworthy cast in the film, there's one key missing character: Paul Bettany. Of course, the Avengers actor wasn't part of the original cast for Solo; he was only brought on board when Ron Howard replaced original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller, allegedly filling a gap left by Michael K. Williams. The truth of the matter is the subject of much debate, but we know Willaims was playing a half-human, half-animal alien and only dropped out when the reshoots/shoot extension clashed with a prior commitment, with Howard's previous collaborator Bettany stepping up to play a wholly human character shortly after.
Because of that confusion, and the project's general secrecy, we know very little about Bettany's role - not even his name - although set photos released by Howard suggest he's related to the bar/museum scene shown in the trailers. However, the man himself isn't there, taking a backseat to the main cabal of heroes.
The Spice Mines of Kessel
After forty-one years of fan imagining, the Solo trailer finally gave us a look at the Kessel Run - or at least a cloudy, tentacle-infested stretch of it - and, based on what we know of the film's planets, the snow-capped land of Kessel itself. However, what we didn't get was a proper look at the infamous spice mines; these were first mentioned by C-3PO when he frantically theorized what the Jawas would do with him and R2-D2 in A New Hope, and became a notorious staple of the galaxy in the Expanded Universe.
We know the spice mines are in Solo thanks to some very overt teasing from Ron Howard, but aside from a quick shot of Lando in the TV spot we don't actually get to see what their reinvention looks like. And it likely will be a reinvention; every planet in Solo comes from Legends, yet all look remarkably different to hwo they did prior.
The New Stormtrooper Variants
It feels like an essential Lucasfilm rule that each new Star Wars film introduce a fresh Stormtrooper variant - The Force Awakens had the First Order update, Rogue One Death Troopers and The Last Jedi Executioners - and Solo isn't going to be left out. From the merchandise, it's known that the new film will introduce two different Imperial footsoldiers; the Range Trooper, a black-decaled variant of the standard trooper that appears to come from Corellia; and the Mimban Stormtrooper, a grey-camo version for the (in Legends at least) Force-related planet. There's also IMDb listings for "Mud Trooper", but that could be a credit variant for one of these official names.
However many new trooper types are in the film, none made it into the trailer; the only Stormtroopers seen are the classic version in the background of the Imperial recruitment during the TV spot. That's not to say we're totally lacking in new Empire tech - there's a high-armament TIE fighter chasing the Falcon during the Kessel Run sequence.
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019