It’s been nearly a year since we’ve seen any The Falcon and the Winter Soldier footage. It was starting to feel like this show was a figment of our collective imagination that we dreamt up because we love Bucky and Sam so much. Thankfully, Kevin Feige proved all of us wrong at Disney’s Investor Day 2020 by dropping the first exclusive trailer for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. We’ve come a long way from that 30-second TV Spot during the Super Bowl. I want to celebrate that by breaking down 10 of the must-see details from the trailer.
Captain America Museum
The trailer starting with a tribute to Steve Rogers’ Captain America is a touching gesture. It’s also a reminder of who defined the mantle of Captain America. For example, the “400 Prisoners Liberated” headline is a direct reference to Steve’s first mission as Captain America. It’s when Steve rescues soldiers, including the Howling Commandos and Bucky Barnes as seen in Captain America: The First Avenger.
It’s unclear whether this exhibit is the same Captain America Exhibit from the Smithsonian as seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier or not. This could depend on the status of Steve Rogers, which isn’t cleared up by neither Avengers: Endgame‘s ending nor the beginning of Spider-Man: Far From Home. Regardless, tributes to Steve would still pop up around the nation when the public gets word of his retirement and/or death.
It’s the ending of this sequence that stands out the most, because the focus of Captain America as Steve Rogers shifts to Sam Wilson. As it should. Steve giving Sam the shield at the end of Avengers: Endgame is all the proof we need to know that Sam Wilson is the right person for the job. It’s clear from the shot of Sam standing in the shadow of that shield that TFATWS is about Sam’s journey to accepting he’s deserving of that huge responsibility.
However, picking up the mantle of Captain America is one of those things that is easier said than done. Steve was made to be Captain America after someone recognized his pure and genuine heroic qualities. Steve saw similar qualities in Sam Wilson, and that matters. As Dr. Abraham Erskine so eloquently says in Captain America: The First Avenger, being Captain America is not about just being a good solider but a good man, too. Sam Wilson is a good man.
It would be amiss for TFATWS not to address the complex and systematically racist reasons behind the government choosing John Walker, another white man, as Captain America instead of Sam Wilson. Anthony Mackie has been very open and honest about what it means to him to be a Black man and Captain America. The show has to look at these intersectional issues or it’d be doing a great disservice to necessary stories that deserve to be told.
Sam’s expression when he says that taking up the mantle is complicated makes me believe TFATWS will discuss these issues. This is a projection since we don’t really know what The Falcon and the Winter Solider is about yet, but I can’t really imagine the show shying away from these topics. This seems even more likely because fans believe that Carl Lumbly, who joined the cast in an unannounced role, will play Isaiah Bradley.
This trailer gives us a first look at everything Sam and Bucky have been up to since Avengers: Endgame, but they aren’t the only players in this story. Bucky’s voiceover lets us know that “The world is upside down,” and people need a symbol to believe in. It looks like drama and violence have increased in Captain America’s absence. The trailer sees Erin Kellyman masking up as an antagonist. Her character is still under wraps as are her character’s motives. It doesn’t like Kellyman’s character is alone, though. There is more than one person sporting that mask with a red handprint.
Zemo and a Sokovian Memorial
One would assume that Zemo is a major villain on TFATWS in the same way that those masked people appear to be antagonists in the trailer. Although, it’s starting to look like the opposite may be true of Baron Helmut Zemo this time around. If you piece together the first trailer and this new one, it looks like Bucky and Zemo are having more of a conversation and less of a confrontation.
The location where Bucky holds a gun to Zemo in the first trailer looks very similar to this. It’s possible that Bucky finds Zemo here or that Zemo invites Bucky there. I doubt that either one of them would start a fight at such a solemn location. I wouldn’t be shocked if this is the first time Bucky and Zemo come face to face after Captain America: Civil War. This would mean Zemo is unaware of all the work Bucky’s done.
This introduces a fun dynamic where they’re both assuming the worst of each other but could be surprised to see the opposite. I have a feeling that Zemo, Bucky, and Sam are going to fight alongside each other more than against each other. Zemo and even Kellyman’s character feel like an obvious red herring for a more discrete big bad.
Obviously there can be more than one antagonist on a TV show. I expect that to be the case on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier. That being said, John Walker is the most obvious antagonist the show has to offer right now. He’s the government’s choice for Captain America. The footage of Walker in this trailer is basically the same as the first trailer,. It’s more telling in the larger context. Walker is the one getting what looks to be a superhero induction ceremony and the one suited up in Cap’s colors. He has a shield, not Sam. Walker stands in the way of Sam Wilson being the symbol that the people need and deserve.
Sam Takes Bucky Home
This is a small detail, but I love it. There’s a few shots from the trailer that show Sam and Bucky on a dock. There’s a sign that reads “Wilson Family Seafood.” I hope this means we get to meet Sam Wilson’s family. I know they’ll be all kinds of wonderful if they’re anything like Sam.
Hopefully this gesture means that Bucky will open up to Sam as well. I’m optimistic because it looks similar to Stan’s IG story that gave fans a BTS look at the show. What’s special about that post is that it’s one of the deepest dives into Bucky Barnes yet. It’s still too early to know for sure. This gives me hope that we could meet Rebecca Barnes (Bucky’s sister) in some way on The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.
A Friendship for the Ages
Every part of this trailer is fun and engaging, but there’s one moment that makes me happier than all the rest. Sam teasing Bucky about his part cyborg brain is so on brand. Bucky whispering, “I hate you,” is so perfect still. It’s a sweet nod to Captain America: Civil War. Sebastian Stan and Anthony Mackie’s chemistry is more superb than I remember, and it’s because it’s been so long since we’ve seen them together on screen. They work so well together. Their genuine friendship will only add to The Falcon and the Winter Soldier‘s success.
Falcon’s New Suit + Redwing
I can’t talk about this trailer without taking time to gush about Sam’s new suit. It’s so beautiful! The wings are so pretty! I don’t have the words to explain how freaking epic it feels to watch Sam in action again. There’s even a quick shot where you can see Redwing is back in action. All the things!
I also love that it’s basically canon that Captain America doesn’t need a parachute. Sam doesn’t use one, and Steve doesn’t use one at the beginning of Captain America: The Winter Soldier. That moment also sets the tone for Sam and Bucky’s dynamic. Bucky is going to be the one who overthinks and would much rather use a parachute while Sam is okay with going with the flow. I’m sure that’ll tee up plenty of sarcasm.
Where is Sharon Carter?
I can’t be the only one who is majorly bummed that we don’t see Sharon Carter more in the trailer. I use the word “more” because I’m pretty sure that’s her behind Bucky in the gif above. One of the many reasons why fans are excited about TFATWS is Sharon Carter. I hope the small screen can do her more justice than the big screen ever did. Emily Van Camp plays Sharon brilliantly, and I can’t wait to see more of her. Hopefully we’ll see Sharon soon, assuming we’ll get another trailer and smaller promos in the comings months.
Last but not least, the production value of The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is huge. The scale of this show feels like a Marvel movie, just as Kevin Feige has promised on multiple occasions. WandaVision does, too, in its own right. Out of the two, TFTATWS aligns more closely with the tone and scale of the MCU so far. It’s fitting that Sam and Bucky (and Wanda and Vision) get this treatment, because these characters deserve it. They are rich characters that haven’t always benefited from the limitations of the films. The Disney+ shows are the perfect opportunity for them to have extraordinary stories of their own represented on screen. I could not be more excited!
What did you think of the first trailer for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier? Let us know in the comments below!
The Falcon and the Winter Solider premiers on Disney+ on March 19, 2021!