Han Versus Chewie: Extended
Fans have known Han and Chewie as inseparable friends for more than 40 years, but they got off on the wrong foot. At one point, Han was going to be nothing more than a snack for "The Beast," a mistreated Wookiee held in captivity on Mimban. Of course, the two ended up joining forces and escaped together, forging a lifelong partnership in the process. It was a moment so important to Solo, original directors Phil Lord & Chris Miller spent three weeks filming it in an attempt to get it just right.
There was a lot more to the sequence in the finished film, as evidenced by this deleted scene. Extra bits include include Han throwing more insults at Chewbacca as part of their breakout plan (do not speak poorly of Chewie's mother) and the Wookiee initially giving up on the idea before being goaded back into it by Han. It's fun to watch the two go at it for a little longer, but there's nothing here that needed to be kept in. Especially since audiences know Han and Chewie are best friends, it's simply prolonging the inevitable to keep them in this situation. Padding the scene doesn't do anybody any favors.
In a moment that screams Lord & Miller, this scene is precisely what the title implies. After the failed Conveyex heist, Beckett, Han, and Chewie walk through Vandor to get to Dryden Vos' elaborate lair. Along the way, Han and Chewie decide to have a little snowball fight and roll around on the ground. Beckett, who's still mourning the loss of his close companions at this point, chastise the two, unimpressed by what he's seeing. Solo and the Wookiee fall back into line, but not before one last snowball is thrown.
It's a fun little bit and shows the growth of Han and Chewie's friendship. Instead of battling to the death in the mud, they're frolicking in the snow. However, this scene is the very definition of filler and doesn't serve a real purpose in the larger story. It almost feels like Alden Ehrenreich and Joonas Suotamo were killing time in between takes and the cameras happened to be rolling. If the snowball fight survived the final edit, it wouldn't have been the worst thing in the world, but even those who like this scene would be hard-pressed to make a case for its inclusion.
Meet Dryden: Extended
Solo's main plot is thrown into gear when Beckett, Han, and Chewie meet with Qi'ra and her boss, Dryden Vos, in the latter's lair. Illustrating Dryden's opulence, the extravagant place is filled with all kinds of riches and memorabilia, which Han seems to enjoy very much. The young Solo is also way out of his element here, having been used to scrounging on the streets of Corellia for any scraps he could get. This is more than apparent as Han attempts to eat the luxurious cuisine brought before him by Dryden. Even Qi'ra can't watch as Solo fumbles about with the food.
Again, it's easy to see why this was cut. The comedic bits of Han snacking clash with the overall tone of this scene. Audiences are supposed to feel intimidated by Dryden here and fear for our "heroes'" lives. In some respects, Dryden's conversation with Beckett is a secondary component of the deleted scene, which focuses more on Han's misadventures with food. A veteran like Howard knows a moment like this doesn't call for much humor. Dryden should command the room, and he does in the final film.
Coaxium Double Cross
Solo's third act revolves around a web of classic betrayals that eventually ends with Dryden and Beckett dead, Qi'ra in charge of a division of the Crimson Dawn syndicate, and Han on his own with nobody but Chewbacca by his side. The driving force behind all this is the coaxium, which played a rather significant role in the film. Upon learning the atrocities Crimson Dawn will commit with the valuable resource, Han comes up with a plan to pull a fast one on Dryden and give the coaxium to Enfys Nest.
In this deleted scene, viewers see the genesis of the idea, with Han examining some coaxium with a goofy grin on his face. He asks one of the refinery workers if they have more cases, which will be used for Han's ruse. Shortly after Solo's query, Dryden's ship arrives on Savareen (note the unfinished effects). This means in terms of the chronology, this was supposed to be set between Enfys Nest's reveal and Dryden coming to the planet. It doesn't add much to the movie, which is likely why it was cut.
A majority of these scenes are either alternate takes or additional bits of sequences that made the finished film. None of them include integral story or character beats that would have substantially improved the final product. While it's always smart to shoot more than what you need, Howard demonstrated a keen eye by what he left on the cutting room floor. As fun as it is to watch these clips, they should be nothing more than special features on a Blu-ray.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is now available on Blu-ray and digital.
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019