Trailer Breakdown: “Captain Marvel”

IT’S HERE!!!! After recently releasing photos to Entertainment Weekly Marvel Studios has released the first trailer for the highly anticipated next chapter in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, “Captain Marvel”. The film will be Marvel’s first female-led standalone movie and will be set in the 1990s before many of the events of the MCU take place. With the end credits of “Infinity War” teasing the heroine’s entrance into the battle against the Mad Titan in “Avengers 4” many are waiting to see just how powerful Captain Marvel really is. Well I, for one, am excited to break this trailer down and see what the first real sneak peek of the film has to offer. Let me know if you caught something I didn’t in the comments and, as always, you can watch the trailer in full at the bottom of this post. Let’s get to it!


The trailer begins with a ship coming through space and then Captain Marvel herself falling from the sky. What caused her ship to crash and (apparently) explode we are not privy to. We know from the Entertainment Weekly article that this movie takes place after Carol Danvers (aka Captain Marvel) has already become the superheroine so this is her RETURN to Earth. When she land on Earth she crashes into the roof of a familiar building, a Blockbuster, and I have to admit as a 90s kid this immediately brought a lot of nostalgic feels. While it might initially seem like a forced addition to the trailer it does immediately define the atmosphere and era that this movie will embrace. “Captain Marvel” looks like it’s going to embellish on the details to drive home the 90s flare and that’s perfectly fine with me. Besides I’m sure Blockbuster isn’t getting paid very much for this product placement all things considered.


Anyways Carol awakens and looks confused, almost like a fish out of water. We find out why soon but one step at a time. Samuel L. Jackson comes in narrating as Nick Fury, the character he has portrayed in numerous MCU movies so far and who we know has a preexisting relationship with Captain Marvel in the present day thanks to the post credits scene of “Infinity War”. He talks about how war is a universal language regardless of species and calls her a “renegade soldier” which may speak to her reasoning for being on Earth. Maybe she went rogue. Maybe she’s on a lone mission and has her own agenda. This overlays shots of Danvers walking through a train station. Danvers is wearing a very different suit, a blue and turquoise one similar in design to the red and blue uniform we know her for. This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this suit actually. Early photos leaked from the set had fans up in arms about this thinking her traditional garb would be ignored but thankfully this is actually the suit she wears as a member of Starforce, a special warrior group put together by the Kree who were featured in the first “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie. We even see a very quick shot of the Gradians’ nemesis, the Kree warrior Ronan, later on. So it’s natural that she would be wearing it upon her arrival if she is on some kind of mission. Fury’s voiceover continues stating that he never thought that a threat would come from “above” which is a funny statement considering how many HAVE come from space in the MCU in the years that follow “Captain Marvel” in the timeline. It’s a telling quote that says that the threats from space are new concepts for Earth and for Fury.


The Marvel Studio logo flashes on screen before we see Danvers walking through what we can assume is a SHIELD compound considering she’s wearing a cap with the organization’s logo on it. It will be interesting to see if Marvel and directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck will acknowledge the continuity of the MCU from the first “Iron Man” movie where SHIELD had yet to officially apply its acronym according to Agent Phil Coulson. If they do it could be funny to hear Nick Fury comment on how ridiculously long the name was or we could see a SHEILD with a different name. Who knows, maybe the arrival of Captain Marvel sparks a re-purpose of the organization and thus a rebranding. Anyways I digress. Nick Fury’s narration continues and I wouldn’t be surprised if this was Samuel L. Jackson speaking from reality. He notes an alien invasion and big car chase inspired him to continue his work because he was “Ready to hang it up” until Captain Marvel showed up. Considering rumors that Jackson wanted to walk away from the Nick Fury role until this movie was green lit that’s an oddly fitting statement for him to make as an actor and as his character. Meanwhile the collection of clips from the film includes the above shot which I believe is Danvers first use of her powers on Earth. She’s still in her Kree suit and it would fit with the timeline of the trailer too. If she gets into a fight in public Nick Fury would be dispatched to make contact. Also, remember this shot because I’ll come back to it later.


We then get our first look at a younger Nick Fury with hair and both eyes still intact. He makes contact with Danvers and then the two are shown conversing on a road trip of sorts at which time Danvers tells Fury that her story is “hard to explain”. This leads into a series of shots and voiceovers that pretty much set the stage for Captain Marvel’s background. She reveals that she keeps having “memories” and we see different shots of those “memories” which implies we will be privy to flashbacks about how she became Captain Marvel. The first major shot of note is the one above. Danvers is a former Air Force pilot and she is accompanied in this snapshot by her good friend Maria Rambeau played by Lashana Lynch. A little bit of cool trivia here. In the film Maria will have a daughter named Monica who, in the comics, served as Captain Marvel for a time and used the code name Photon later on. Maria will supposedly use Photon as her call sign while operating her aircraft. We also learn that Danvers has little to no solid memory of her time on Earth simply receiving “flashes” of her past life and stating she “thinks she had a life here”.


So why can’t she remember her life before? Well this shot may hold a clue to that. It shows Danvers in her Kree uniform attached to a machine holding her in place upside down and shooting electric-like currents into her head. Personally I think her story might mimic the “Green Lantern” story DC epically failed at with Ryan Reynolds some time ago in that an accomplished pilot is targeted as a worthy soldiers by an alien race although this time she is relieved of any memory outside of her time with the Kree. Considering what we already know about Earth at this point in time from Nick Fury’s narration alone aliens on Earth would be a newer concept for humans to embrace and it’s likely neither the Skrull nor the Kree want to make themselves known. So it would make Danvers a much more accepting and viable warrior to train if her ignorance of alien life was erased. It would make her transformation into a worthy soldier faster and maybe even dumb down that pesky thing called “humanity” that always gets in the way of servitude. Her return to Earth could provide triggers to spark those hidden memories and that may be the catalyst that inspires her to fight for the safety of her home planet.


We then get to see Danvers with two members of her Starforce team flanking her. On the right is Minn-Erva played by Gemma Chan and on the left is Att-Lass played by Algenis Perez Soto. More importantly though is the shot we get of Danvers’ mentor Mar-Vell, played by Jude Law. In the comics Mar-Vell is the original Captain Marvel in the canon and some believe his loyalty to Carol Danvers will be tested in the film. Marvel is known for surprise twists so it wouldn’t be a shock if Mar-Vell ended up being part of the problem for our hero. We only get this one quick shot of Mar-Vell so we don’t know a whole lot about him just yet but he does look shocked here so maybe this is a moment where he’s caught in the act? Who knows.


We get some more flashes of Danvers memories and hidden in that montage is a quick flash of our villains, the Skrull. These alien creatures from the comics can mimic humans which would fit in with the apparent theme of the movie that Danvers’ arrival on Earth opens up the world to the possibility of intergalactic threats in the context of the MCU. I love the design of the Skrull. They look pretty close to the comics with a bit of modern flair. The Skrull who is front and center in this shot is Ben Mendelsohn’s Talos who is supposedly the leader. However I don’t believe this is the first time we will see these aliens on screen because another moment that comes up right after this collection of clips caught my attention.


Let’s go back to that train scene I mentioned earlier…the one I said to keep in mind for later. This shot in the trailer show Danvers, in her Kree uniform, PUNCHING AN OLD LADY!!! I’ll repeat, Captain Marvel punches an old lady! Well that’s because this old lady is a Skrull and this conflict causes Captain Marvel to fight the alien on the train in what I assume will be the first big action set piece of the movie. Danvers apparently has the ability to detect the Skrull behind their disguises, either that or she punches an old lady out of assumption and I don’t see Marvel going in that direction. Since this scene appears to take place soon after her initial arrival (she is still wearing her uniform from the Kree after all) she has yet to adapt to American customs so she has no concept of subtlety or tact just yet, just her mission and the threat presented to her. I believe it’s this old lady’s true Skrull form that she ends up fighting on top of the train as shown earlier in the trailer.


As the trailer approaches its conclusion we see a shot of Agent Coulson who returns to action in an MCU film and is once again portrayed by Clark Gregg. Even cooler though is we get to see Nick Fury’s pager. He sends a message saying he is “with target” but it doesn’t show who that target is. Either he’s helping Danvers track down a Skrull or Danvers is the target. Either way it’s a neat Easter Egg because it looks similar to the pager Fury uses to contact Captain Marvel in the post credits of “Infinity War” although the “Infinity War” pager looks a bit more high tech. We also see Danvers in uniform going into action with her crew in space sporting a fohawk, which was a controversial design choice for the character at one time in her history.


The rest of the trailer is assorted action scenes and out-of-context shots that show some of the visual greatness we are being promised from this movie all culminating in Captain Marvel seemingly embracing a new level of power with her body concentrating energy for an epic shot of her eyes glowing ready to use her abilities in battle. Her suit is recolored for the more traditional red and blue scheme as Marvels’ newest entry in the MCU looks right at the camera before the “Captain Marvel” logo takes shape.

And that’s the first trailer for Captain Marvel! It….looks….AWESOME! We’ve waited a long time to see this trailer and now I can’t wait to see the final product in March. The visuals look impressive, Brie Larson looks amazing as the title character and it’s clear the filmmakers are fully embracing the 90s era and the nostalgia factor which, having grown up in the 90s, I personally can’t wait for. There’s still a lot we didn’t see that has already been teased in other media, but for now it’s a great teaser that has me wanting more! We’ll have to wait and see what the final product brings us in early 2019.

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