Solo: A Star Wars Story is now available on Blu-ray and digital, meaning fans can see all of the film's deleted scenes. A common phrase in the industry is that a film is written three times, with the third being the editing phase. There, the director examines all of the footage they've collected, figuring out how to tell the tightest, most cohesive story possible. Of course, not everything shot is going to make the final cut; a necessary part of the filmmaking process is killing your darlings and leaving some sequences on the cutting room floor. Solo is no different.
Lucasfilm released some of these online to promote Solo's home media release, but now they're all here for your viewing pleasure. Commonly, fans can understand why scenes were deleted, but a chance few arguably would have benefitted the movie (see: Kylo Ren exploring the Millennium Falcon in The Force Awakens). So how do Solo's shape up? Let's run down the list and see. For those interested in understanding the greater context of where these sections fit in, most of them are included in the Solo novelization.
Solo begins with Han coming up short on an assignment and stealing a speeder to get away from danger. He sees this as an opportunity to finally leave Corellia, but returns to Lady Proxima's den (even though that puts his life on the line) so he can bring his first love and oldest friend, Qi'ra, to freedom with him. In the finished film, the two have a brief exchange where they discuss using stolen coaxium to get their way off-planet. Han actually gives Qi'ra a container of it, which they use to bribe an Imperial officer.
Apparently, different versions of Han's initial meeting with Qi'ra were shot, as this deleted scene has numerous differences from the one audiences saw in theaters. While Han and Qi'ra's conversation hits similar beats, the execution has changed. This is less romantic (no warm embraces or passionate kisses) and doesn't completely establish the pair's dynamic, which is the beating heart of the film. It cuts right as Han is brought before Lady Proxima, so it's unknown what other changes were made to this sequence.
Corellian Foot Chase
This is taken from the sequence where Han and Qi'ra are on the run from Moloch and the White Worms after escaping Lady Proxima's den. In the scene, the two youngsters make their way through a market and hide in a barrel of eels to avoid detection. They stay in there for a short while, as the Corellian hounds are distracted by the foul stench. For some peculiar reason, Han feels this is the proper time to get intimate and awkwardly goes in for a kiss before Qi'ra rejects him.
There's a definite Raiders of the Lost Ark vibe here (it calls to mind the scene where Marion hid in a barrel to hide from Nazis), but it's something director Ron Howard could afford to lose. It's just an added bit of suspense and delays the film from progressing forward. Solo's first act needed to get through a lot of setup before jumping into the crux of the narrative, so trimming something inessential reads as a smart decision.
Han Solo: Imperial Cadet
Before becoming a smuggler (and eventually a hero of the Rebellion), Han was just trying to get by in life by joining the Empire. Solo unfortunately skims over this section of his life, showing the tail-end of Han's tenure as an Imperial. During the Battle of Mimban, he has a chance encounter with Beckett's gang and chooses to follow a criminal's footsteps. As for how Han found himself on Mimban, this deleted scene answers the question.
After crashing his damaged TIE fighter in a star destroyer's hangar, Han faces trial for insubordination. Instead of following orders, Solo made a bold maneuver to rescue a fellow pilot in need. Despite his plea, Han is reassigned to the infantry division, stationed on Mimban. This scene was probably cut due to time and story concerns (it doesn't add much to the narrative, admittedly), but it would have featured a fun Legends connection. If the novelization is anything to go by, this is where Tag & Bink made their cameo, but they'll have to wait another day to make it to the big screen.
The Battle of Mimban: Extended
Most fans know the primary members of Beckett's gang, like Val and Rio Durant, but there were more. This extra bit on Mimban showcases Korso, who (based on text in the novelization) was essentially the muscle of the operation. In this scene, he dies during the Battle of Mimban, and his fellow team members pause for a moment to say goodbye to their fallen comrade. Korso is featured slightly in the film proper, but he's only onscreen for a few fleeting seconds and his name is never said.
The reasoning behind that is because there was so much ground to cover on Mimban, it didn't make much sense to properly introduce a character that was going to die shortly after. Watching the clip, a case can be made that's for the best, since the audience has precious little time to get attached to Korso before a swelling, emotional musical cue signals his death. At least before Val and Rio died, there was the campfire scene, which built up their personalities a bit. In the case of Korso, his farewell would have rang hollow if it stayed in.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019