In The Empire Strikes Back, Han Solo described Lando Calrissian as “gambler” and “card player.” And it seems that of the two of them, Lando is much better at both things. A new teaser trailer for Solo: Star Wars Story makes us think young Han was a terrible gambler with a totally non-existent poker face. But, we also have to wonder, how much time is passing during this movie?
On Sunday, the latest glimpse of the next Star Wars film, Solo came in the form of a new teaser called “Crew.” In addition to depicting Han ask Chewbacca “what’s your name anyway?” the trailer also shows Han and Chewie in some kind of gambling den, presumably playing sabacc against Lando. But when does this scene take place relative to Han and Chewie’s meeting? Will months pass in Solo or years? Previous trailers have shown us Han being recruited by Imperial officers, not to mention some speeder drag racing action that seems to have happened before that. Because this movie is Han’s origin story, it looks like it may cover more time than any previous Star Wars film.
One of the oldest Star Wars fan theory debates centers on how much time passes in The Empire Strikes Back. Are Leia and Han on the Falcon for like a week or several months? How much time passes for Luke on Dagobah with Yoda? While this doesn’t have a huge impact on the movie, Solo could be forced to deal with these kinds of answers more literally. We know Solo takes place about a decade before A New Hope, but that seems to apply to the primary plot: whatever this big train heist is about.
However, because we see at least one scene with Han and Qi’ra when they’re younger, and other scenes when they’re reunited, it begs the question whether the movie will proceed linearly from Han’s teen years through his time with the Empire, and finally, his career as a smuggler. OR, if the movie will rely on flashbacks to establish both Han’s relationship with Qi’ra and exactly how and why he met Chewie.
Up until The Force Awakens, Star Wars movies didn’t really have outright flashbacks. Events in the past were alluded to in dialogue, but not depicted on screen. But that’s all different now, even Rogue One, which began with a prologue, featured at least one flashback to Jyn’s childhood on Coruscant. Solo opens at Cannes in exactly one month, on May 15, which means we can get a better idea of what the shape of the narrative looks like then.
But, until the movie is out in wide release the order in which the story is told will probably remain a secret. And because this is Han Solo we’re talking about here, even this origin story might not tell us everything. Some gamblers and scoundrels love their secrets. -Solo: A Star Wars Story is out everywhere on May 25.