[SPOILERS for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.]
Blasting off to that galaxy far, far away, it turns out that the sacrifice of Admiral Holdo and one of Star Wars: The Last Jedi's biggest moments (aka. the hyperspace scene) was inspired by Han Solo.
Although Harrison Ford played the smug smuggler in George Lucas' original trilogy and 2015's The Force Awakens, his death at the end of Episode VII was one of the biggest shocks in the entire series. Han may not have appeared in The Last Jedi - and barely got a mention - but the spirit of Solo apparently lived on in writer/director Rian Johnson's own planning of the movie.
Laura Dern's purple-haired leader was a wonderful new addition to the Star Wars franchise, but sadly, her time was cut short when she launched her cruiser in a kamikaze mission against Snoke's ship the Supremacy. However, speaking to Empire Online, Johnson revealed that there was a poignant reminder of Han's wise words as Holdo helped save the Resistance from destruction:
“I’m sure that a lot of fans had thought ever since Han was talking about if you don’t get the calculations right you could go through a star… I always wanted to see what that would look like, and at some point, one of the guys at ILM hit upon that exposure idea of everything going silent. We were struggling with how do we make this visually impressive and when we hit on that, we loved it.”
For those who need a refresher, if you head back to A New Hope in 1977, a much younger Ford said the immortal lines to Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker:
“Traveling through hyperspace ain’t like dusting crops, boy! Without precise calculations we could fly right through a star or bounce too close to a supernova and that’d end your trip real quick, wouldn’t it?”
With Johnson taking note of the line decades before he landed the job as director of Episode VIII, it shows how much of a connection he has to the franchise's early days. Also, even all these weeks later, when you think you know every secret you could possibly know about The Last Jedi, there are still so many hidden homages and echoes of the series' past.
There is no doubt that the striking scene of Holdo splitting the Supremacy in half in pure silence was one of Last Jedi's standout moments. However, the imagery becomes even more beautiful when you realize why Johnson made that decision. The lack of Han or mourning following his tragic demise could be seen as a criticism of Episode VIII, but at least fans can take solace that there was another Solo Easter Egg hiding right under our noses.
Luckily, with Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story just around the corner, fans will get to see Alden Ehrenreich take over as a younger version of the infamous Nerf-herder. As for the future of the main series, while Han is unable to do a Yoda and return as a Force Ghost, who knows how J..J Abrams or other directors can include references to the Captain of the Falcon in Episode IX and beyond.
Source: Empire Online
- Solo: A Star Wars Story (2018) release date: May 25, 2018
- Star Wars 9 / Star Wars: Episode IX (2019) release date: Dec 20, 2019