The first footage from the May 25 standalone film dives into the scoundrel's past

We never knew just how close Han Solo was to going over to the dark side. It turns out, he once tried to join the Empire. Let that sink in.

The smuggler who was reluctant to choose a side in the original Star Wars (before kicking himself for ultimately falling in with the good guys) turns out to be a bad-guy reject – or so we learn in the first teaser for Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Why didn’t he join? Or did he sign up and flame out of the Imperial flight academy? Maybe those on the dark side could sense there was just too much good inside this scoundrel.

Either way, it’s the first of many revelations fans can expect from the May 25 movie, which debuted its first footage in a teaser that aired during Sunday’s Super Bowl. There will be more to come Monday – and then greater details laster this week. (All I’m saying is, watch this space.)

Alden Ehrenreich takes over the role from Harrison Ford, and the trailer begins with a young Han Solo applying for work with an Imperial apparatchik.

“Which branch are you interested in joining?” the Imperial officer inquires.

“I want to be a pilot,” Solo says. “Best in the galaxy.”

We know that turns out to be true (at least until Poe Dameron comes along), but the Empire is not part of his destiny. So what shapes him? That will be the job of director Ron Howard and screenwriters Lawrence and Jon Kasdan with Solo, to tell us which forces and individuals course-corrected this hardscarabble nobody as he found a family, stood on his own, and ultimately stood for something more.

Let’s take a deeper dive into this footage …. GALLERY INCOMING.

Solo: A Star Wars Story
  • Movie
  • Ron Howard