Warning: SPOILERS to follow for Star Wars: The Last Jedi and obviously The Force Awakens.
One of the sad consequences of the Star Wars sequel trilogy is that we see characters we know and love who rode off into a twin sunset in 1983 forced to continue on. They didn't get to live happily ever after, but instead are still fighting and struggling, as well as suffering heartache and loss as evil persists in the galaxy. One such loss was the death of Han Solo at the hands of Kylo Ren in The Force Awakens. The pivotal demise of one of the original big three felt like it deserved an on-screen funeral for the fallen hero. While some hoped and suspected that this would happen in The Last Jedi, it was not to be. But it turns out that the funeral of Han Solo will be canonized in the novelization of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.
Rian Johnson and author Jason Fry, spoke about the latter's upcoming novelization of Star Wars: The Last Jedi in the most recent episode of The Star Wars Show. Jason Fry mentioned that he and the director worked together to write entirely new scenes for the book, including Han Solo's funeral. The theatrical version of The Last Jedi didn't feature a funeral for Han, but it still honored him, and his presence was felt throughout the film. The loss of Han weighed heavy on the goodbye between Luke and Leia with the fading of the dice being something of a farewell to the charming smuggler. Of course, with The Last Jedi picking up right after The Force Awakens, I do wonder where in the story the Resistance would have had time for a proper funeral. I sort of forgave the film eschewing the funeral because the Resistance was pretty much on the run the entire time, so I am curious if the funeral for Han will be at the beginning of the novelization or at the end as perhaps a denouement.
Han Solo deserves a funeral, and I am glad he will be getting one in some form of Star Wars canon, but it does feel like something of a missed opportunity to not have this realized on screen. It doesn't sound like this is one of the many deleted scenes from the film that will end up on the eventual Blu-ray release. I had always envisioned something somber akin to Padmé Amidala's funeral in Revenge of the Sith, but if I'm being honest, Han Solo would have probably much preferred something like an Irish wake. I thought there was a possibility Solo: A Star Wars Story might start with Han's funeral in the present before flashing back to tell his tale, but with the funeral being included in the novelization of The Last Jedi, that seems unlikely now.
Han Solo's funeral isn't the only extra material included in the The Last Jedi novelization. The book will have stuff with Paige and Rose Tico together, as well as more of Canto Bight. Those eager to read these additions and the story of Han Solo's funeral can pick up the Star Wars: The Last Jedi novelization by Jason Fry when it hits stores on March 6. Now let the speculation begin about whether or not J.J. Abrams will give Luke Skywalker a Jedi funeral in Episode IX.