Sonic the Hedgehog 2 Trailer Breakdown

2020’s Sonic the Hedgehog was a pleasant surprise for gamers and moviegoers everywhere. It’s one of the small handful of good movies based on video games, and the early footage concerned countless fans, so it came as a shock to so many who found themselves entertained by it. Of course, it was great enough to earn a sequel, simply titled Sonic the Hedgehog 2. Paramount Pictures has released the trailer for the highly-anticipated sequel, so let’s give it a quick watch to see every detail it has to offer. 

The trailer opens in a metropolitan city at night. Perhaps this is San Francisco, which was a large part of the first movie’s story. However, we do see what looks to be the Space Needle, so this could also be Seattle. There doesn’t seem to be a reason for Sonic and Tom to head toward Seattle, though. Sonic tightens his shoes (which are almost identical to the ones he wears in the video games), eats a chili dog (his favorite food according to the source material), and races down the side of a skyscraper to help the police chase down a criminal. 

This scene of Sonic taking down bad guys in a city at night is reminiscent of the 3D games in the series like Sonic Adventure 2. We can assume from what we already know about the rest of the movie that the plot will heavily stem from the earlier 2D games like Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic the Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles, but it’s cool that inspiration appears to be stemming from multiple eras of the franchise. 

There’s a voiceover from Sonic’s friend Tom, played by James Marsden. He tells Sonic that he’s being reckless by “pretending to be Batman.” Sonic corrects him saying his superhero name would be “Blue Justice.” A Sonic the Hedgehog movie referencing Batman is one of the coolest things I could think of outside of an actual crossover. Tom replies that Sonic is “still just a kid,” which is a nice reminder that Sonic’s canon age is fifteen years old; something that other media tends to forget. 

We see that Sonic is still living in Tom and Maddie’s house like we saw at the end of the first movie. It seems like this film won’t take place too long after the events of the original. 

Tom then says that there will be a moment when Sonic’s powers will be needed right as we see an example of a time like that. An egg-shaped shuttle launches from a satellite and soars toward Earth. Knowing that Dr. Robotnik is called Dr. Eggman in the video games, we can assume that this is Jim Carrey’s Robotnik returning to Earth from the mushroom planet he ended up on in the first movie. How he got on a space shuttle and ended up back at Earth is a bit of a mystery, though. 

Robotnik’s laugh is heard as a giant tornado with green lightning threatens a small town. This looks to be Green Hills from the first film. It seems that Tom is absolutely right about Sonic’s powers being needed. 

There are many people witnessing the giant tornado who all look terrified. However, there are some armed soldiers in body armor. If you look closely at their uniform, there’s a symbol on their chest with the letter “G” on it. This could quite possibly be our first glimpse at a G.U.N. soldier. The G.U.N. (Guardian Units of Nations) are an organization seen throughout the modern video games, mostly throughout Sonic Adventure 2 and Shadow the Hedgehog that defends the Earth from extreme threats like aliens and many of Dr. Eggman’s schemes. Shadow, Rouge the Bat, and Omega eventually work for them in the games. If these really are G.U.N. agents, then that’s further evidence that Paramount Pictures is aiming to blend elements from various eras of the source material. 

After Sonic and Tom finish their heart-to-heart in their rowboat, Robotnik’s shuttle lands on Earth. Robotnik has mostly kept his look from his mushroom planet scene from the end of the first movie, but with some upgrades. With his red outfit, bald head, and ridiculous bushy mustache, he’s looking much more source material-accurate this time around. The only slight issue is that he’s not egg-shaped himself. He’s still a much slimmer Eggman than we’ve seen, but at least his drones, shuttle, and gadgets look to be egg-shaped. He still has reason to be called Eggman eventually. 

Robotnik enters Agent Stone’s new place of work, a coffee shop which is the most subtle reference in the trailer. Given the “Mean Brew” and the “Beans on Deck” written on the board behind Agent Stone, this shop looks to be hinting at the game Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine, which isn’t exactly in the main line of Sonic games. Those who enjoyed the falling block puzzle game are sure to be delighted to see it get some love. 

There’s then a glimpse of Robotnik stepping out of his shuttle surrounded by some of his robotic minions. These drones match the style and design of the ones used in the first film. However, if you look closely at the drones here, despite them using the same look, some are shaped a bit longer and skinnier. In fact, they look to be modeled after the Buzzer robots seen throughout the games. It’s a neat idea to blend the classic elements of the games with their live action take for the film. 

The next shot of Robotnik in the coffee shop saying “Papa’s got a brand new ‘stache” and twirling around is absolutely included just to show the critics of the first movie that they are now willing to make the movie feel more like the source material. It took Hollywood a long time for them to realize that it’s okay for comic book movies to feel like comic books, and now we have the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It seems we’re still at a point with video game movies where filmmakers are afraid to fully embrace the source material. 

Robotnik tells Agent Stone that he’s discovered the “source of ultimate power,” and we then see what he’s talking about. Robotnik approaches a large green gem stone that fans of the video games would instantly recognize as the Master Emerald. The Master Emerald contains immeasurable power and is what keeps Angel Island floating in the sky. It also houses chaos energy, and the one who controls the Master Emerald can nullify and even control the seven Chaos Emeralds. Knuckles the Echidna serves as the guardian of the Master Emerald who is tasked with keeping it safe from all who threaten to take the power for themselves. Since we know that Knuckles will be in this movie, we can probably guess what he’s after. 

Since the Master Emerald is shown to be in the movie, perhaps the Chaos Emeralds are as well. Considering they are typically the primary McGuffin of the Sonic the Hedgehog video games, that wouldn’t be too surprising, but exciting nonetheless. 

In the same room as the Master Emerald is a giant gold owl decoration of some sort. This is worth noting because the first film establishes that Sonic was raised and kept safe by an owl named Longclaw. Could this owl shrine be related to her somehow? 

Robotnik tells Agent Stone that his latest plan has been on his vision board for years. This is almost definitely a throwaway line, but it does bring up a couple of questions. What else is on this vision board? If he was stuck on that mushroom planet, how is he able to add things to his vision board? If he just discovered the Master Emerald, how could it have been on his vision board for years? 

The next shot mirrors the post-credits scene of the first movie, which has Miles “Tails” Prower leap out of a ring portal. Tails is Sonic’s best friend and sidekick in just about every version and story of Sonic the Hedgehog. He’s a supergenius fox who can fly by spinning his two tails helicopter-style and is an expert engineer. He’s been playable in several Sonic video games and has even starred in his own video games. He’s also easily the greatest video game sidekick of all time. It was exciting to see him appear in the post-credits scene a few years ago, but it will be even more exciting to see him in action this time around. 

Tails mentions that he hopes he isn’t too late. He must somehow be aware of the danger that Robotnik is capable of or at least knows something is going on with the Master Emerald. 

The next scene has Tails piloting his iconic plane, the Tornado, with Sonic riding on top of it just like in the video games. They’re really putting in the extra effort into recreating elements from the source material in this one. This is an especially interesting scene compared to the rest of the trailer, though. Sonic and Tails are flying toward the giant storm we saw previously, which makes this scene feel like it’s close to the final act of the movie. However, Sonic and Tails are introducing themselves to each other here, which makes it feel closer to the beginning of the movie. Perhaps there’s much more of the movie that takes place after the green lighting storm is dealt with that we’re not seeing yet. The green lightning is likely from the Master Emerald, so Robotnik probably already has it by this point in the movie. 

It’s also worth noting that we are seeing Sonic and Tails meet for the first time. In most versions of the source material, they’re already established best friends, so it’ll be interesting to see the origin of their relationship. 

Robotnik then launches missiles out of some giant machine at their plane. Could this giant machine be at the center of the storm and the cause of it? Could the Master Emerald be what’s powering it? Only time will tell. We do get to see some of Tails’ expert piloting skills which is fun to watch. 

This scene also provides a glimpse at the slapstick humor when Sonic says that dodging the missiles wasn’t too bad, but is then launched off the plane by one last missile. It certainly seems like this movie is going to be a blast to experience thanks to its action and light-hearted humor.

The next scene goes by extremely quickly, even for a speedy blue hedgehog. Sonic rolls around at the speed of sound through a lava-filled tunnel. In ball form, he bounces off of walls and spike balls to avoid danger. Each time he bounces off of an obstacle, the same noise that plays when he collects a ring in the games is heard. Hopefully this recognizable note is actually played in the movie and isn’t just used for the trailer. 

Robotnik, traveling through an ancient tomb, narrowly avoids getting his magnificent mustache chopped off by a blade trap. If you look closely at the blade that swings by him, there is an owl logo similar to that of the Master Emerald’s temple from earlier in the trailer on it. Perhaps we’ll see more backstory between Longclaw and the Echidnas that was hinted at in the first film. 

Maddie and her sister Rachel perform what looks to be a special handshake between the two. Rachel is in a wedding dress, so perhaps Tom and Maddie will be away at her destination wedding while Sonic and Tails are off saving the world. It seems the filmmakers are using an excuse to get some of the movie-original human characters out of the way to focus on the characters fans really want to see. Tom and Maddie are fine additions to the Sonic franchise, but when Sonic, Tails, Knuckles, and Robotnik are in a live action movie together, are annoying sister-in-laws really needed? 

Sonic gives a voiceover to say that “today’s forecast calls for a one hundred percent chance of adventure.” Could this be a tease for us fans of the Sonic Adventure series, or just a coincidence? With so many other references throughout this trailer, there’s not telling. 

Sonic finds himself at another bar filled with some scary individuals, this time with Tails by his side. It would be a bizarre-yet hilarious trend if they had Sonic get in a bar fight in every movie. Sonic and Tails are decked out in winter gear, indicating they’ll be traveling to some place cold and snowy. This could mean they’re traveling to very different destinations, as if they’re going through different levels in a video game. That’s honestly a fun way to portray yet another video game element. 

We immediately get an amazing view of this version of Angel Island. Angel Island is Knuckles’ home and where the Master Emerald is kept. We don’t see the bottom of it here, so maybe it’s floating like in the games or it’s properties are one of the changes for the adaptation. It’s still a beautiful site for gamers to see, that’s for sure. 

Sonic then runs on top of water. This says a lot about how fast he truly is. It’s also intriguing to see since that’s one of the most dangerous places for him. Sonic’s main weakness is that he can’t swim. Anyone else panic when they hear that running-out-of-breath music? 

Sonic then snowboards down a mountain “City Escape” style as he’s chased by a hoard of Robotnik drone minions. This looks to be an especially thrilling scene that’ll be used to change up how the action is portrayed throughout the movie. It’s also more evidence they are taking inspiration from modern 3D Sonic games even though they are following the plot of a classic 2D one. 

Robotnik is seen in an ice cave with even more of his robots. If the Master Emerald is in a jungle temple, and Robotnik builds his machine in the forest near Green Hills, and Rachel’s wedding is on a tropical island, why are they doing battle in a snowy mountain? That leads to my personal theory that in order to control the Master Emerald, the characters are racing to various locations around the world to find the seven Chaos Emeralds, each of which will be found in a very different place like in the video games.

Robotnik is then seen flying in his iconic Egg Mobile. Throughout most of the classic games, he’s only seen in his infamous vehicle, and he pilots it through most of his other later video game appearances. He has used this to attack Sonic with various attachments and weapons over the last few decades, and has used it as the cockpit for many of his mechs. It’s a relief to see this included in the movie as well. 

Sonic says “you’re never going to get my power,” which is a reminder that Robotnik was after it in the first film. They really captured Robotnik’s desire to find the ultimate powersource quite well for these movies. Remember how he originally used woodland critters to power his machines? 

Sonic then speeds toward his foe, only to be caught by the fan-favorite Knuckles the Echidna! Sonic rolls at super speed only to be held in place by the super strong echidna. Knuckles is the strong one of the group and uses his strength to punch robots to pieces and his spiked knuckles to climb cliff sides, so this is definitely a great way to represent that. Knuckles looks perfect. There’s no need for the animators to remodel anyone this time around. 

Knuckles replies with “do I look like I need YOUR power?” This is interesting where the Echidnas were clearly after Sonic’s power in the opening of the first movie. Knuckles is obviously powerful enough that he has no need for Sonic’s. Knuckles is voiced by Idris Elba here, and from this one line, he sounds like an incredible fit for the character. He’s actually acting with his voice, which is nice. There are a lot of celebrities who just sort of mindlessly read lines for their animated roles. 

Knuckles is known to be Sonic’s friend, so many may be wondering why the two are fighting here. Knuckles is far from a villain. In Knuckles’ first video game appearance (and in Sonic Adventure), the dastardly Robotnik tricks Knuckles into thinking that Sonic is after the Master Emerald, and being its protector, Knuckles takes it upon himself to stop Sonic. However, once the truth becomes clear, Knuckles joins forces with Sonic to take on the evil mastermind. It’s safe to assume the same will happen here as well. 

The punch that Knuckles delivers to Sonic is proof of how much of a threat he will be for our heroes, so hopefully they can get him on their side soon. He can be a huge help in saving the world. It’s also a relief to see how Knuckles is being handled here rather than like some other recent appearances like Sonic Boom where they made him a brainless nitwit. They’re definitely going to do the character justice. 

The trailer’s music is heard more clearly here, and it’s a brilliantly orchestrated remix of the music heard in Emerald Hill Zone in the Sonic the Hedgehog 2 video game. Emerald Hill Zone is the only Zone in the games where it’s technically possible to obtain every Chaos Emerald if you’re skilled enough. This may be another hint that the Chaos Emeralds will also appear alongside the Master Emerald. Perhaps we’ll see Super Sonic at the end of the movie then. That may just be a pipe dream, but who knows? Using orchestrated remixes of the video game music is a fantastic way for fans of the source material to feel they’re serviced while newcomers can enjoy epic blockbuster movie music. 

The trailer ends with Robotnik introducing Knuckles, indicating they are working together during this moment in the film. The movie’s logo appears, with Tails’ tails on the end of the “2,” comforting those of use hoping to see him get a bigger role this time around. 

This is an incredible trailer that’s riddled with video game references, tells enough of what the story is about, and gets fans of the first film and the source material, along with newcomers, absolutely pumped for the movie’s release. Hopefully there aren’t any more trailers because they would verge on showing too much of the final product. This is all the advertising this movie needs; it’s perfect. 

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