'Solo' Deleted Scenes Include Han's Life As An Imperial And A Very Different First Meeting With Chewbacca

Solo: A Star Wars Story fills in the gaps of the illustrious smuggler's life before he meets up with Luke and Leia for a galaxy-saving quest. But there are still a fair few holes in Han Solo's story that can only be filled by a few deleted scenes.

The Star Wars standalone film had a notoriously troubled production, which resulted in many scenes being left on the cutting room floor. But screenwriters Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan and the cast of Solo: A Star Wars Story are here to tease those scenes — which may or may not end up on the Solo Blu-ray release.

Han the Imperial Soldier

Solo: A Star Wars Story writers Lawrence and Jonathan Kasdan revealed to Indiewire how much of their original script ended up in the movie. Despite the troubled production and the director change-up from Phil Lord and Chris Miller to Ron Howard, the Kasdans said that 90% of their script is seen on screen. But there is one significant scene that didn't make the final cut.

Han's days as an Imperial are rushed through in the film, with the film only showing him enlisting in the Imperial Army before cutting to him abandoning his post for a life of lawlessness. The Kasdans revealed that one deleted scene would have shown Han's time as an Imperial soldier:

Yeah, so did we! In fact, we hope, and I believe that when you finally get a Blu-ray of this movie, you'll see a terrific scene with Han in aerial training and then getting kicked out of aerial training. [laughs] And ultimately, with a cameo by me. The reason I decided to do a cameo in that particular scene is we were sure it wouldn't get cut out, and of course it did. Ultimately, I think you would think, and all people would agree, that the trajectory of the movie is helped by not having it. But it is a moment that we too would have loved to see more of and really believe in.

This is one scene that the Kasdans were particularly upset at being cut, because not only does it portray a "crucial moment" in Han's life, it features a cameo by Jonathan Kasdan himself. The cameo was teased by Howard last year as a fun appearance by fan-favorite Star Wars comic book characters Tag and Bink, a dimwitted duo who, through a series of hilarious coincidences, wind up appearing in the background of several famous Star Wars scenes. Jon Kasdan described the cameo:

"And as he's getting kicked out, he's being sort of moved out of the official courtroom by Tag and Bink, played by [me] and Toby Hefferman, our [first] AD. And we were certain that these scene was going to remain because it's a crucial moment in his life. And it was the last thing to come out. It was heartbreaking."

A Life Debt with Chewbacca

While much of what we see onscreen in Solo is pulled straight from Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan's final script, early drafts of the father-son duo's script were significantly different. The biggest divergence: Han's origin. In the film, Han signs up to be an Imperial pilot but is relegated to grunt work, causing him to jump ship to the criminal life. But ILM senior art director Aaron McBride revealed to ScreenRant that Kasdan's original story saw Han Solo become a pilot in a fleet resisting the Empire. And this, in turn, completely changes his meeting and relationship with Chewbacca.

In the film, Han and Chewbacca become friends through mutual respect rather than the "life debt" that was introduced in the original canon, which tied Chewie to Han by the Wookiee's code of honor. But Kasdan's original story reverses this, with Han becoming indebted to Chewie. Here, Han crashes his damaged fighter into a hangar, causing him to be brought before a tribunal that sentences him to Mimban. There, he meets Chewie. ScreenRant writes:

Han and Chewie, who were partnered together, wound up going up against Imperial mech walkers. There, in an unexpected twist, it would be Chewie who rescued Han from Imperial fire, establishing an inverted version of the famous "life debt".

The Original Cut was Grittier Than the Theatrical

It's become widely accepted that Lord and Miller, who were hired by Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy to inject some of their trademark satirical humor into the Star Wars franchise, were fired from the set of Solo for being too, well, funny. But a new Solo cast and crew interview with Variety suggests that it may in fact be the opposite.

According to Lawrence Kasdan, Lord and Miller were emphasizing a "gritty, grimy" tone that leaned into the plot's focus on the "seedy underbelly of conniving crooks, battle-weary war deserters and ruthless criminal syndicates on display," Variety writes. This didn't sit well with Kennedy.

"Tone is everything to me. That's what movies are made of," Kasdan says, adding:

"This was a very complicated situation. When you go to work in the morning on a Star Wars movie, there are thousands of people waiting for you, and you have to be very decisive and very quick about it. When you are making those split-second decisions - and there are a million a day - then you are committing to a certain tone. If the [producers] think that isn't the tone of the movie, you're going to have trouble."

This flies in the face of what we'd come to accept about Lord and Miller's version of Solo, which initial reports described as an Ace Ventura-style broad comedy. Now I'm even more curious to find out what their take on Solo looked like.