The novelization for Star Wars: The Last Jedi will include a handful of additional scenes that weren't in the film, including Han Solo's funeral. As many people know by now, the iconic smuggler was killed by his son, Kylo Ren, in The Force Awakens, giving the character the emotional and poignant end Harrison Ford always wanted. Unfortunately, viewers didn't have much time to mourn the loss, as Han's death was quickly followed by the lightsaber duel on Starkiller base and Rey finding Luke Skywalker on Ahch-To. And though Solo's passing was mentioned a few times in The Last Jedi, it was largely cast aside in order for the story to progress.
This development disappointed fans, many of whom wished there was more proper closure for the character onscreen. Apparently, Last Jedi writer/director Rian Johnson agrees with that sentiment, and while he couldn't find a place for Han's funeral in the movie, he made sure to include it in the official novelization by Jason Fry.
On the latest episode of The Star Wars Show, there's a segment dedicated to teasing the book version of Episode VIII, which will be available on March 6, 2018. Johnson described his meeting with Fry at Skywalker Ranch, where the two conceived all-new sequences specifically for the text. Chief among these were Han Solo's funeral, as well as a moment of sisters Rose and Paige Tico together and more exploration of Canto Bight. The novel also reinstates filmed scenes that were left on the cutting room floor, including Luke Skywalker's third and most painful lesson for Rey. Johnson has already mentioned these will be featured on the Blu-ray.
Han's funeral was rumored to be shown in The Last Jedi when set photos of the Dubrovnik, Croatia location first emerged online. Many initially felt this would be Han's home planet of Corellia, but it instead was the casino city Canto Bight. After some felt skipping this over in the film was a missed opportunity, it's nice to see the Lucasfilm story group use the outside canon materials to depict the funeral. It's difficult to see where in the movie it would fit without disrupting the pacing (the opening sequence is the Resistance's escape from D'Qar), but books allow the creative team some extra breathing room. Perhaps before Rey, Chewbacca, and R2-D2 left for Ahch-To, there was a small ceremony for people to pay their respects. Throughout The Last Jedi, Leia is wearing Alderaan mourning braids in her hair, indicating some kind of service took place prior to Poe facing the dreadnaught.
This should only scratch the service of what the novelization adds to the story of The Last Jedi. If the books for The Force Awakens and Rogue One are any indication, there's bound to be a plethora of nuggets that help enhance fans' understanding of Episode VIII. Even if one saw the film multiple times in theaters, it sounds like this adaptation will be worth picking up in the spring.
Source: The Star Wars Show
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019