Earlier today, Disney held court at CinemaCon 2018 with a sprawling presentation covering everything they've currently got headed our way (stand by for a "Highlights From Disney's CinemaCon 2018" post), and the centerpiece of the presentation was - as you might expect - footage from Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story. I am here to tell you that what I saw was not only good, but encouraging. I am but one man, obviously, but the footage I saw today left me feeling like we will be very much in good hands when Solo opens next month.
The scene began with Han (Alden Ehrenreich), Kira (Emilia Clarke) and Chewie (Joonas Suotamo) headed into a very shady-looking establishment - a cantina of sorts, with dim lighting, dozens of Star Wars creatures, and - at the back of the room - a table where a little bit of gambling was going on. While Han, Kira and Chewie approached this table, Kira explained that they were there to speak to someone who could help them. Based on her description, this person would be something of a scoundrel (a well-endowed one, if I understood one particular line correctly), someone who Han should keep a close eye on.
Of course they eventually found themselves standing near a table where Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover) was holding court. By the looks of things, Lando was cleaning out everyone else at the table, a fact that didn't dissuade Han from pulling up a chair and asking him point-blank, "Is it true you won your ship in a card game?"
What followed was a brief montage wherein Han earned Lando's respect by kicking ass and taking names at the card table. The lighting in the scene was dim; the creatures onscreen (and, again, there were many) were all as gorgeously-designed as one might expect from the Star Wars franchise. I don't have a solid line-for-line breakdown of the dialogue for you here, but rest assured that there were a number of laughs, a few nods to Star Wars mythology for fans, and - ultimately - the suggestion that Han and Lando would be going into business together.
My biggest takeaway from this footage? Ehrenreich and Glover are both killing it, especially Glover. Both of them conveyed the essence of the actors who originated their roles (Harrison Ford and Billy Dee Williams, respectively) without ever seeming like they were doing full-blown impressions. The work being done here is subtle and satisfying, and I was honestly very annoyed when the clip ended and I realized I had another month or so to wait to see the rest.
I gather that some fans are determined not to enjoy Solo, and that's a shame: what I saw today was very encouraging, and the new-ish trailer they showed immediately after the clip also worked for me. I'm legit hyped about this movie - moreso than I would've thought possible, given my ongoing disdain for prequels of any kind - and can't wait to see it next month. Whether or not the rest of the film is worth a damn is something we're gonna have to wait and see about when Solo opens on May 30th.
Stay tuned for more from CinemaCon 2018.