Immersed in a state of despair, my silent sobs were camouflaged by the sips of the cheapest beer on the shelves, until suddenly transformed by a quick gasp as the dashboard of the Millennium Falcon filled the screen.
I was first acquainted with the images of the upcoming Han Solo film while watching the Super Bowl. A self-proclaimed Patriots fan, I needed something to lift my spirits following their defeat. Unbeknownst to me, this was only seconds away, as I was overwhelmed by the images, compensating for the hope that had been granted to the team led by Tom Brady which had, only minutes before, been dashed. There displayed was a close-up shot of what appeared to be the Millennium Falcon.
In utter disbelief of the fact that my fanboy fantasy was finally being fulfilled, I continued watching only to learn that, indeed, it was, in fact, reality, and not that of an overactive imagination inaccurately referencing images belonging to Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica; however, my initial wishes were realized upon the next scene.
The minute sequence reveals various shots, all hinting at the plot of the film. The first shot pans a close-up of a dashboard, followed by an extreme long shot displaying stormtroopers and members of the empire. A long shot of two men, one in the attire of an Imperial General, and the other cloaked in mystery. Their conversation transforms into a non-diegetic sound which accompanies various images, including the Millennium Falcon. The content contained within the teaser is brief, but it is enough to hint at the birth of unrestricted anticipation.
Probability states Han Solo may not be the only familiar relic of the Star Wars franchise making an appearance in the stand-alone feature. Among the shots, there are various easter eggs; an extreme long shot presents the image of what resembles R2D2. One could argue that this is simply another droid; however, the light fixtures would refute this idea. Although never confirmed, his attire would suggest that Lando Calrissian will play a role. And last but not least, Solo’s furry companion will be included—the final shot encompassing the backsides of who are presumed to be Chewbacca and none other then Han Solo himself standing beside one another.
Following my sixth birthday, I was enfranchised by the VHS collection of the original Star Wars trilogy where I was first acquainted with Han Solo. The character struck me as intriguing. There had been something mysterious about him. Every main character claimed a background, from Alderaan to Lars Farm on Tatooine; however, Solo’s remained unknown. Throughout the trilogy, we are only upon the conclusion of Return of the Jedi when we posses that he is a smuggler with a background of debts who assists in overthrowing the Empire while managing to snag the heart of its infamous leader's daughter. Although he maintains a romance with Princess Leia, which eventually commences towards the end of the film, he is never suggested to have any other direct connection to the Jedi. Inquisitions into Solo's beginnings laid dormant until the release of The Force Awakens, which introduced Solo to audiences, reprised by Harrison Ford. This instalment saw the death of Solo, and with him, the death of his past.
Although the plot of Solo remains unknown, the mise en scene accompanied by the diegetic audio suggests a story of an aspiring young man who states “I'm going to be a pilot. The best in the galaxy.”
Han Solo's origin film, starring Alden Ehrenreich, is set to be released on May 25th, 2018, and although the plot remains unknown, what has been provided so far is promising.