'The Falcon And The Winter Soldier' Trailer Breakdown: "The Legacy Of That Shield Is Complicated"

Last night, Disney debuted the first full trailer for The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, one of several big Marvel Studios shows that are being made specifically for the Disney+ streaming service. Now that the whirlwind of Marvel news has quieted down to a whisper, let's take a few minutes and take a closer look at the details from this trailer that we all might have missed upon first viewing.

The Falcon and the Winter Soldier Trailer Breakdown

The trailer opens with Anthony Mackie's Sam Wilson visiting the Washington, DC museum exhibit devoted to Captain America, presumably as a way to remember his friend and former colleague Steve Rogers, who aged out of the position at the end of Avengers: Endgame. "The legacy of that shield is...complicated," he says to Sebastian Stan's Bucky Barnes, potentially alluding to the in-universe experiments which were performed on Black characters to perfect the super-soldier serum that turned Steve Rogers into Captain America. And speaking of complications: it looks like a different character is wielding Cap's shield later in the trailer, so this might be a scene depicting Sam breaking into this exhibition to take the one that's on display for himself.

"The world is upside down," Bucky says gravely. It appears that the two of them are being led through the streets of a Japanese city – perhaps even the same area where Jeremy Renner's Hawkeye had that fight in the streets during his "Ronin" period of Endgame. (And is that a fedora-wearing Joss Whedon that Bucky is about to pass in the screenshot above? Eh, probably not.) Perhaps more importantly: who is that third figure who is leading our heroes into this neon-tinged concrete jungle?

Who are these gang members who seem to be behind the shots of explosions and destruction around the world? They're grunts who are rumored to work for Flag-Smasher, an anti-patriotic villain who, in the comics, uses terrorism to stoke anti-nationalist sentiment in various countries.

Sam and Bucky get on Sam's family's boat (note the yellow "Wilson Family Seafood" banner in the background) and open this slick-looking suitcase – which, if I had to guess, might contain the suit and maybe even the protocols for implementing U.S. Agent, a mantle that's eventually worn by John Walker (Wyatt Russell). "People need something to get behind," Bucky says, implying that the loss of Captain America has left a hole in the nation's psyche.

Their plans will almost certainly be challenged by Baron Zemo (Daniel Brühl), the mastermind behind Captain America: Civil War who appears to be paying tribute to his fallen family in this first shot. We already know what's happening in that second shot: that metallic hand belongs to Bucky Barnes, who comes face to face with Zemo, points a gun at him, and empties out the bullets. Is there any significance to the fact that only four bullets are removed? We'll have to wait and see.

This is U.S. Agent, who is being honored during a patriotic presentation on a football field. Note that he's carrying a shield – perhaps the shield – and since he isn't expected to end up being quite the symbol of hope that the world needs, that could be the reason Sam ends up in that museum looking for a shield of his own.

Falcon and the Winter Soldier TB 9

The rest of the trailer contains some pretty solid action beats, including a lengthy sequence following Falcon as he soars through a canyon, dodging missiles from a helicopter. But it all ends with a moment of levity, with Falcon and Winter Soldier engaging in their usual bickering. The question I have is: why are they walking down a random country road? Did their mode of transportation break down? Did something happen to Sam's wings? What exactly is the scenario that would result in two Avengers being put in this position?

We'll find out when The Falcon and the Winter Soldier hits Disney+ on March 19, 2021.