Han Solo in the Cantina in Star Wars: A New Hope

While George Lucas is most well known for the changes that he made to Star Wars after the films were released, quite a few things never made it to the film in their original form at all. One significant change involves how Han Solo got involved in the plot. In both cases, Obi-Wan and Luke offer Han Solo money they don't really have in order to get him to take them off the planet, however, in the original version, the pair actually claims to have the money before Han discovers that they had no way to pay him the balance of what they owed him.

The version of the scene that exists in Star Wars: A New Hope that we all know Obi-Wan Kenobi gets Han Solo to take them on their journey by appealing to his greed. They offer him more money than he asked for, but less up front to get him to agree. Luke has to sell his speeder to make the initial cash, and it seems clear that the plan is to get the rest from Princess Leia once they rescue her. The plan works (more or less) as Han gets his reward near the end of the film and little is made of it, beyond Luke needing to convince Han to help with the rescue by telling him the Princess is rich. Han never realizes Luke and Obi-Wan had to play him at the outset.

However, in the original version (via The Hollywood Reporter) Han tries to finish the deal once they arrive at Alderaan's coordinates. Finding the planet gone Han says that's he's completed his share of the deal and wants the rest of his money now. It's at this point that Luke is forced to admit that they don't have it saying, "I think there are some things we should talk about." It seems that in this version there was no expectation that the Princess would be the one paying the bill on the back end. At least, not until Han and Luke had their talk.

The change is a subtle one. In the version that we all see there's sort of a tacit admission that the old man and the boy don't have the cash to pay Han with them, but there's a promise that he'll get his money from the people they meet when they arrive. There is, of course, no such agreement with the people of Alderaan, so things could have been very rough had the Rebel Alliance refused to pay the smuggler. Originally, however, it seems that they agreed to Han's original request for payment, acting as if they had the money. Check out the full admission in the casting video below.

Overall, the version we got probably works better. Though one has to wonder if Luke ever admitted to Han that there was a possibility he might not have been paid. Might have put a damper on their friendship.

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