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A Few Observations from The Many Saints of Newark Trailer

The release of The Sopranos prequel The Many Saints of Newark trailer has fans buzzing with excitement and speculation. As with most things Sopranos-related, the trailer provided insight while also generating even more question marks. On that note, here are five moments that stuck out to me from the Many Saints of Newark trailer.

1. That School Hallway Looks Awfully Familiar...

"I wonder if I can talk to you alone for a moment, Mrs. Soprano?"

First, we find ourselves peering down the school hallway as young Tony Soprano’s school guidance counselor requests to speak with Livia in private. Two things came to mind here: First, that hallway looks awfully familiar! That’s because we’ve seen it before, in Tony’s special Test Dream (S5, E11).

Second, when young Tony’s guidance counselor asks to speak to “Mrs. Soprano,” I picture the guidance counselor’s office in two other scenes. The first is when A.J. and his friends stole the sacramental wine at school in “Down Neck.” The second is when Mr. Wegler asked Tony and Carmela the same thing about A.J. in “All Happy Families” (S5, E4). Though in Tony’s case, the conversation was about his allegedly high IQ. With A.J., however, it was about getting out of “crisis mode” so he could get into college, period.

A school guidance counselor is telling Livia Soprano that Tony has a high IQ.
The Many Saints of Newark Trailer (HBO Max)

2. Guys Like Tony Soprano Were Brought Up to Follow Codes.

young tony soprano is saying guys like him were brought up to follow codes.

Also at the beginning of The Many Saints of Newark trailer is the voice of Tony saying “Guys like me were brought up to follow codes.” Naturally, this led my mind to a conversation Tony had with Dr. Melfi in “From Where to Eternity” while Christopher was hospitalized after getting shot. At multiple moments on The Sopranos, Tony tries to justify his lifestyle by referencing his Italian background, working class pride, and the value of loyalty and hard work. In addition to The Many Saints of Newark trailer, I imagine we’ll see quite a few similar comments weaved throughout the film.

Dr. Melfi: Do you think he'll (Christopher) go to hell?
Tony: No. He's not the type that deserves hell.
tony soprano is talking to christopher moltisanti about his near-death experience while christopher lays in a hospital bed.
S2, E9, "From Where to Eternity"
Dr. Melfi: What about you?
Tony: What? Hell? You been listening to me? No, for the same reasons. We're soldiers. Soldiers don't go to hell. It's war. Soldiers they kill other soldiers. We're in a situation where everyone involved knows the stakes and if you're gonna accept those stakes, you gotta do certain things. It's business. Soldiers. We follow codes, orders.

3. "How come your parents were anti-education?"

Next, as I illustrate in the above video, when Meadow asks Tony why his parents were “anti-education,” he tries to deflect the blame from them a bit without going into any specifics. I guess this isn’t surprising, but what’s most notable is at the end where Tony says “I got into some trouble when I was a kid.” One can only imagine the scenarios. With that said, when we see Tony telling Dickie he’s worried about something impacting his ability to get into college, that “College” moment with Meadow flashes into my mind.

4. The Mannerisms of the Characters

Paulie Walnuts from The Many Saints trailer.

Next, when the Many Saints of Newark trailer showed a young Paulie Walnuts pointing with his finger, it brought me back to “The Happy Wanderer.” As you’ll recall, in this episode, Paulie tells the local police officer to “go play cops and robbers” while the guys host their Executive Game at the motel. 

Of course, it’s no surprise that young Tony Soprano is such a spitting image of original HBO series Tony Soprano. After all, Michael Gandolfini is James Gandolfini’s actual son. Not to mention how seriously Michael Gandolfini took his role, with Zack Sharf writing that Michael “recorded four hours of his monologues with [Dr.] Melfi” and walked around New York with them constantly playing in his ear. I look forward to observing the others in action. Though I guess we’ll have to do without Sil’s Al Pacino impressions.

a group of guys walking at night with their backs turned.

5. The Extent of Dickie Moltisanti's Influence on Young Tony Soprano

Little Tony Soprano is watching his dad in Satriale's Pork Store
Young Tony Soprano is watching his father cut off Mr. Satriale's pinky.

Lastly, but certainly not least, I come to young Tony Soprano and Dickie Moltisanti. You’ll recall in the season three episode, “Fortunate Son,” that Dr. Melfi guides Tony to return to the day of his first panic attack. The attack occurred on the day that Tony watched his father cut off the local butcher’s pinky over unpaid debts.

a man with grey hair is telling dickie moltisanti to stay out of tony soprano's life.
"Stay out of his life."
-Hollywood Dickie Moltisanti
Dickie Moltisanti's father

To be clear, part of me wonders why we never see Dickie in any of Tony’s flashbacks, considering the large role he seems to play in Tony’s early life. Perhaps Tony blocked it out during those Melfi sessions? It’s hard to say. Here’s an interesting side note: I almost feel like Tony was trying to save his younger self by keeping Jackie Jr. out of a life of organized crime. And in the episode after Christopher forces Tony to confront the truth about Dickie, Chrissy goes to sleep with the fishes, too. It’s safe to say that The Many Saints of Newark trailer left me extra curious to learn more about the Tony-Dickie dynamic. (See the video below for a more visual illustration!)

October 1 is Around The Corner!

a picture of the Virgin Mary from The Many Saints of Newark trailer.

Overall, what did you think of The Many Saints of Newark trailer? Stay in touch and let me know what stood out to you the most. You can also sign up to subscribe to Sopranos Blueprint and stay up to date with new blog posts and Sopranos trivia!

P.S. Here’s a great article by Scott Collura featuring an interview with Many Saints Director Alan Taylor.

P.P.S. Here’s a quiz I made on The Many Saints of Newark Trailer!

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