[Editor’s note: The following contains very light spoilers for “Solo: A Star Wars Story.”]
The final cut of Ron Howard’s “Solo: A Star Wars Story” stays mostly true to the script penned by franchise regular Lawrence Kasdan and his son Jonathan, but it is missing at least one compelling scene, complete with an unexpected cameo. Asked by IndieWire in a recent interview how much of their screenplay made it to the big screen, and Lawrence Kasdan estimated about “90 percent,” though that still means that some of their original script was left on the cutting room floor.
That includes at least one scene from the first act of the film, which follows Han Solo (Alden Ehrenreich) during his early years, including a look at his young life on Corellia and his stint in the Imperial Navy. The film doesn’t show much of Han’s enlisted time, instead picking up after he’s been in the armed forces for three years and is just about to break out. Mention to the Kasdans that you wanted to see more of Han’s experience in the navy — including glimpses of the aerial training that turned him into a skilled pilot — and you’ll get a surprising answer.
“Yeah, so did we!,” Jonathan Kasdan said. “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.”
He added with a laugh, “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.”
Yet that little snip was apparently for the best, and even cut-from-the-film Kasdan was clear: The movie is better this way. “Ultimately, I think you would think, and all people would agree, that the trajectory of the movie is helped by not having it,” Jonathan Kasdan said. “But it is a moment that we too would have loved to see more of and really believe in.”
Even with that cut scene — and, presumably, a deeper look inside Han’s time in the armed forces, toiling for the hated Empire — the Kasdans remain enthused about the final product, one that reflects that movie they wanted to make, snipped sections and all.
“It’s very faithful to what we originally did,” Jonathan Kasdan added. “It’s very much the movie we sort of hoped it would be. Certainly, in its heart, and in its tone, and in its basic shape, but it was enhanced and enriched by all the genius people who came in and helped us and made it better and contributed to it.”
“Solo: A Star Wars Story” is in theaters now.