Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story has been a bit of a mystery -- mainly because it wasn't Howard's movie to start with, and we didn't know what we'd end up with after he took over. Outside of the trailers and Super Bowl TV spots, the movie has kept its gifts under wraps as it nears its Memorial Day opening. But the tape started to peel on that present today as Disney brought an entire scene to Las Vegas for CinemaCon 2018... and we were in the audience to tell you what we saw.
There will be spoilers for Solo: A Star Wars Story from here on out.
The scene that Disney chose to show as part of its presentation is an integral one in the relationship between Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) and Lando Calrissian (Donald Glover). We catch up with Han as he and Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) are on the hunt for a ship. Qi'ra knows a guy, leading Han to an iconic card game where he swears he can beat Lando at his own game. The scene is a chess match of swarthy dialogue and chest-thumping bravado between two guys who are trying to mark territory, and make away with a ship.
Han exaggerates. He tells Lando about the type of ship that he drives, though we know he drives nothing. He has his eyes on Lando's Millennium Falcon, and if he can emerge victorious in this game of cards, the legendary ship will be his. Donald Glover, I have to say, if PITCH perfect as Lando, dialing into his confident swagger. And I am growing used to Alden Ehrenreich as Han Solo. He's never going to be Harrison Ford. Nor is he really trying to be anymore. The conversation between the two men on how to pronounce "Han" (or is it "Hahn") is worth the price of admission alone.
While this scene has its positives, I will still say that the visuals are dark and muddy, and if it's supposed to be setting a mood, I'm not feeling it. Ron Howard employed Bradford Young, a fantastic cinematographer with Selma, A Most Violent Year and Arrival on his resume. The scene shown at CinemaCon was dark and shadowy, with an orange hue that probably aimed for casino chic, but prevented me from seeing what was happening. You get a sense for it in the trailer below, though this is not the actual scene: