Disney and Lucasfilm made us wait a very long time, but the first footage from Solo: A Star Wars Story is finally here. They first debuted a lengthy TV spot during the Super Bowl and debuted the full teaser trailer on Good Morning America today. The trailer is full of massive set pieces and quite a bit of eye candy for Star Wars fans, but those who are fond of the old expanded Universe, now referred to as Legends by Lucasfilm, may be the most happy. By the looks of this trailer, a beloved storyline has made its way to the official canon.
Not long after Disney purchased Lucasfilm, they decided to rebrand the old expanded universe, which includes all of the games, novels and comic books, and remove them from the official Star Wars canon. Those stories are now referred to as Legends. However, Lucasfilm has been pulling bits and pieces from Legends and making certain story elements and characters part of the new canon. Based on what we're seeing in the first Solo: A Star Wars Story trailer, it looks like director Ron Howard and writers Jon Kasdan and Lawrence Kasdan are making Han Solo's origin story from Legends part of the official canon.
Han Solo's origin was told in a trilogy of books written by author A.C. Crispin released between 1997 and 1998. The Han Solo Trilogy takes place prior to the events of Star Wars: A New Hope, just like the events of Solo: A Star Wars Story. In the books, the beloved scoundrel was a homeless orphan pickpocket from Corellia. He was eventually kidnapped by space pirates and wound up working as a protege for Garris Shrike, ultimately escaping once he was a teenager. In the novels, he also works as a smuggler and tries to become a pilot for the Empire. Han Solo eventually ditches his Imperial life after refusing to kill Chewbacca. The duo we know and love now then team up as smugglers and win the Millennium Falcon from Lando Calrissian in a game of Sabacc.
While we don't see all of that unfold beat for beat in the trailer, the general outline of the plot in the Solo trailer, from seeing Han training as an Imperial to his meeting of Woody Harrelson's character, who is officially named Tobias Beckett but is clearly based heavily on Garris Shrike. There's also him encountering Lando Calrissian, played here by Donald Glover in the movie. However, we know that the Chewbacca bit is going to be different, as a canon novel explains that Han freed his beloved co-pilot from enslavement, rather than refusing to kill him in the name of the Empire.
We could see elements of both, as we know Kessel, and specifically the Kessel Run, will factor into this movie and the Empire does use Wookiee slaves on the planet, as revealed in Star Wars Rebels. Maybe Han will be ordered to kill Chewie who is working as a slave on Kessel and rescue him instead? In any case, we've seen Lucasfilm do this more and more. They adjust the Legends stories and characters they want to use to suit the projects they want to bring them into. The best example being how Thrawn was brought into Star Wars Rebels. But just the fact that hardcore Star Wars fans are going to see a movie that appears to be heavily based on a trilogy of Legends novels is rather interesting.
The other question is, where does Emilia Clarke's character Qi'Ra fit into this? It's possible she could take the place of Bria Tharen from the Han Solo Trilogy, who manipulated Solo in order to aid the Rebel Alliance and presented herself as a love interest to him in order to get what she wanted. This leads to Han Solo disliking both the Rebellion and the Empire, leading him to become a neutral smuggler and setting up his character arc in the original Star Wars, as pointed out by Screen Rant. We'll see just how much of these novels come to the canon when Solo: A Star Wars Story arrives on May 25.