The first trailer of Sonic the Hedgehog 2, due for release in April 2022, premiered at the 2021 Game Awards last week. The first movie could have been discarded into the dumpster fire of bad video game movies. However, the courtesy of director Jim Fowler, delayed its release in favour of redesigning Sonic the Hedgehog’s controversial new look. Sonic the Hedgehog proved to be a surprise hit in 2019, culminating in the release of this exciting, first trailer for the sequel. It looks to up the ante on the fun and steer even more into honouring the video games. Let’s break down the trailer, speculating on the plot and identifying references/easter eggs.
Sonic (Ben Schwartz) appears to have taken up moonlighting as a wannabe superhero in Seattle. He impersonates the likes of Batman, and even leaps off a rooftop like Miles Morales in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Yet, his attempts only seem to cause mayhem. When he tries to thwart a vehicular robbery results in a bomb blowing a sewer system. These opening shots invoke the cutscenes of Sonic Adventure, where Sonic stands on a rooftop; watching police go by, and the manhole covers flying up in jets of water. Sonic is also eating a chilli dog, his trademark food, which began in The Adventures of Sonic the Hedgehog.
The Blue Blur seems to have become more confident but cocky, which may come back to bite him later on. Tom Wachowski (James Marsden) returns, attempting to provide guidance for Sonic. To remind him that he is still a kid in spite of his attempted heroism, and the time will come to do good. Sonic’s reaction is somewhere between amusement and dismissal. Tom and his wife Maddie (Tika Sumpter) go on vacation to Hawaii, leaving Sonic home alone, presumably hoping he won’t get into trouble. Good luck with that.
Dr. Robotnik (Jim Carrey), banished to the mushroom planet by Sonic, somehow returns to plot revenge against Sonic. It is rare thing when Carrey returns for a sequel, but regarded Robotnik as a character worth exploring. Robotnik descends back to Earth in an egg-shaped pod, accompanied by his Badniks, including ones that resemble “Buzzbombers”. He recruits his subordinate Agent Stone (Lee Majdoub), who works at a latte café called the “Mean Bean Coffee Co.”; a nod to Dr. Robotnik’s Mean, Bean Machine), and calling back to Stone’s talent for making lattes. Robotnik claims he has found the source of ultimate power, which turns out to be the Master Emerald, hidden away in a temple which may or may not be on Earth.
Miles “Tails” Prower (Colleen O’Shaughnessey), is drawn to Earth to recruit Sonic’s help and become his sidekick. Shaughnessey is the only vocalist from the games to reprise her role, and being one of my favourite voice actresses, it is wicked to have her onboard. Sonic and Tails take flight on noneother than the Tornado, their signature bi-plane from the Mega Drive era. Though it looks like they are making their first introductions whilst mid-flight, I suspect the dialogue is taken from another part of the movie. Robotnik harnesses the Master Emerald’s power, creating a large storm system outside Green Hills, which attracts the attention of G.U.N. (“Guardian Units of Nations”), a military organization with the Sonic universe.
Sonic and Tails are seen going on an adventure, travelling to a remote snowy bar; likely on the hunt for Robotnik. This appears to culminate in the trailer’s money shot, introducing Sonic to his equal, Knuckles the Echidna (Idris Elba), who is strong enough to halt Sonic’s spin dash with one hand, before piledriving him into the ground. Fowler stated that Idris Elba thoroughly researched Knuckles’ varied backstory to better fit into the echidna’s shoes. Now, that’s dedication. Fowler further described Knuckles as a lifelong warrior, explaining why he is easily beats Sonic, considering the latter only got into three fights in the first film.
Robotnik and Knuckles are working together, as they did in Sonic the Hedgehog 3. It is more than likely that Robotnik is manipulating Knuckles, due to his gullible nature, and to capture Sonic in relation to his fellow tribesman’s goals from the first film.
Another point of interest is that the emerald’s temple contains owl-shaped architecture, tying it to Longclaw the Owl, Sonic’s mentor, who sent him to Earth to hide. The significance of Longclaw may be a rather obscure reference to the games, where the “zones” of the Mega Drive games featured avian-themed architecture. My theory is that Longclaw’s people are the protectors of the Master Emerald, which the echidnas wish to seize. Sonic’s powers were born from the emerald, and the echidnas target him to acquire his abilities. Knuckles may have undergone some sort of training to acquire his own superpowers that can cancel out Sonic’s. The location of the Master Emerald’s temple is vague, though it could be on Sonic’s world (i.e. Mobius), or Earth in a surprise twist.
Set photos revealed that Sonic, Tails, and Knuckles will join forces against Dr. Robotnik, who has harnessed the Master Emerald to likely power the superweapon glimpsed during Sonic and Tails’ aerial assault on the storm system. Though Robotnik made his return via an orbiting apparatus, his signature doomsday weapon, the Death Egg, is likely out of the question to avoid copyright disputes. Perhaps a certain robotic doppelganger will be introduced…
Anyway, there are plenty of easter eggs to be found in the trailer for Sonic the Hedgehog 2. These include a snowboarding Sonic, first seen in Sonic 3, and again in Sonic Adventure; Sonic and Robotnik traversing a boobytrapped temple; and the presence of an orange skateboard that appeared in a piece of artwork from the 1990s. It is obvious that Jeff Fowler and all involved in this movie have a passion for Sonic, with this trailer promising a sequel that looks to be a ton of fun!
What are your thoughts on Sonic the Hedgehog 2? Are you excited to see Tails and Knuckles on the big screen? What other characters would you like to see? Leave a comment below, or on our Twitter feed.