Entertainment Weekly is the kind of still-in-print titan that gets all the cool exclusives. This week, it's got a big feature on Solo: A Star Wars Story, featuring new interviews and imagery from Lucasfilm's upcoming Star Wars spinoff. Looks like the marketing machine is finally whirring into gear for the movie, and it's making up for lost time. Let's dive into a new batch of images:
First up is an obvious one: Han and Chewie in their familiar positions aboard the Millennium Falcon. Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan refers to the movie as a "love story between Han and Chewie," which hopefully is limited to the bromance variety. I mean, I've got nothing against either of these guys loving who they choose, but all that hair is gonna make things messy.
Here's Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo. Not a huge amount to be said here, other than that there's a lizard guy standing behind him I'm anxious to meet.
We're predicting Donald Glover is going to straight-up steal this movie as Lando Calrissian. Here, he's playing Sabacc - the card game in which Solo legendarily won the Falcon from Lando - but it's unclear whether this is that game. Certainly, the googly-eyed tentacle alien at the table doesn't seem fazed by whatever stakes are at play.
One of Solo's new characters, Emilia Clarke's Qi'ra, is something of an unknown quantity at this stage. Based on the two teasers released this week, she's likely a romantic interest for Han, given her dialogue and the joyride on which he seems to take her in his Ford Falcon-inspired landspeeder. EW's flavour text describes her as "a fellow cast-off" who grew up with Han, so it's possible she's more of a lifelong friend. Here's hoping she doesn't end up dying just to further Han's character development, because that would be approximately the most boring sexist cliche the story could employ.
A pair of images, here, depicting one of Solo's major action setpieces. It's a heist aboard a double-sided, segmented train known as a Conveyex, whose twisty-turny route through snowy mountains suggests some forced acrobatics may be on the cards. (The Aurebesh says "Hitch Joint," by the way, making it essentially just a warning label.)
Woody Harrelson plays the one man in the galaxy with an Earthy-sounding name, Tobias Beckett - a "powerful criminal" who organises the film's central heist and serves as a mentor figure to Han. Let's also take a moment to appreciate the brand-new Falcon interior. Seems like Han and/or Chewie smoked like a goddamn freight train in the years between Solo and A New Hope.
The Falcon itself looks somewhat different in Solo. It's a bit skinnier and more streamlined, based on early Ralph McQuarrie illustrations of the ship, but most notably, its forward "prongs" are filled in. Based on prior material, that just means it's hauling cargo in between them, but Disney's rewriting canon with these movies, so it's hard to tell what's up exactly.
If Han's got Chewie, Lando needs his own sidekick, who comes in the form of L3-37 (I cringe as much as you do at the "l33t" gaming/internet reference), played via motion capture by English writer-actress Phoebe Waller-Bridge. L3-37 is said to possess a greater degree of personality than most droids - unless you count any featured droid in the Star Wars saga, I suppose? - and she (the series' first female-coded droid, if I'm not much mistaken) seems to get along famously with Mr. Calrissian.
Hey, it's the 2-1B medical droid from Empire and Jedi! This shot - featuring some Imperial officers, demonstrating the Empire's proclivity for designing uniforms for every possible environmental condition - takes place on Mimban, the principal setting of Alan Dean Foster's somewhat crazy 1978 novel Splinter of the Mind's Eye. That novel introduced the lightsaber- and Death Star-powering Kyber crystals into Star Wars lore, and was designed to have been adapted into a low-budget Star Wars sequel had the original movie's success been a little more humble. Here we are, ten movies later.
Solo is still coming out on May 28th, and there's likely to be a whole bunch more marketing material coming your way before that happens. Buckle up.