'Solo' Trailer: Why Naive Han Is the New Luke Skywalker
Han Solo has been many things over the course of four Star Wars movies. He’s been a smuggler, a rascal, a general, and a father, to name a few, but Solo: A Star Wars story will make him into something he’s never been before. Based on the new trailer, Han in this movie is what Luke Skywalker was in A New Hope. He’s the audience surrogate, and he has a lot to learn.
The new trailer, which hit the web on Sunday night, shows fans a much more naive Han than they’ve ever seen before. He’s surprised to learn that Chewbacca is 190 years old, Woody Harrelson and Emila Clarke’s characters are both instructing him about how the world works, and he even says “I have a good feeling about that.” C’mon, man. Anybody who knows anything in the Star Wars universe knows that you’re supposed to have a bad feeling.
But, this know-nothing (but still cocky) Han is exactly what Solo needs, even if it’s a new twist on the character. With A New Hope, fans learned how the Star Wars galaxy works as Luke, who began as just a simple farm boy on a far-off planet, learned as well. When Obi-Wan Kenobi told Luke about his father, the Jedi, and the Resistance, viewers learned by extension. (Han had a lot he needed to learn about the Force in that movie, but on the whole, he was delivering a lot more exposition than he was asking questions). Rey and Finn served similar audience surrogate roles in The Force Awakens. In that movie, old Han Solo actually played the role of a teacher, as he was the one tellings Rey, Finn, and the audience, what when down after Return of the Jedi.
Here, though, it’s Han who needs to learn about how this new, smuggler and crime-filled side of the Star Wars galaxy works. A fully formed Han Solo, the cool know-it-all with a heart of gold, wouldn’t work for this prequel movie. Not just because there’s not as much room for character development, but because viewers need somebody they can follow and learn along with.
Let’s just hope he’s not too much like Episode IV Luke. I don’t know if Han’s image could ever recover if he whined about wanting to go to Tosche Station to pick up some power converters.
Solo: A Star Wars Story opens on May 25.