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Harrison Ford's return to the Star Wars franchise more than three decades after Return of the Jedi's release was short-lived. As advertised, Han Solo played a major role in The Force Awakens, but towards the end of the movie, he met his demise at the hands of his own son, Ben, a.k.a. Kylo Ren. It was a tragic moment, to be sure, and with The Last Jedi taking place immediately after The Force Awakens, there was rumblings that the latest Star Wars movie would feature Han's funeral. Alas, such a scene wasn't shown in The Last Jedi, as director Rian Johnson felt that there wasn't enough time to pause and grieve more for the beloved smuggler. Johnson explained:
[There was no debate of showing Han Solo's funeral], just because pacing-wise it didn't have a place. It's tough in Star Wars because I always think about the mourning that Luke gives to Ben's death, which is all of four-and-a-half seconds before, 'Come on kid we're not out of this yet' and then boom, you're into 'Yay, woo-hoo! Don't get cocky!' There's the moment for it, but it's not long. We don't have time for our sorrows, commanders. That's kind of the thing of Star Wars; you don't really linger on grief because you're moving forward.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi didn't waste any time jumping into the action, as The Resistance had to evacuate D'Qar when The First Order arrived to unleash its revenge for the destruction of Starkiller Base. So because of the quick pacing, Rian Johnson believed there just wasn't room to fit in Han Solo's funeral, noting how Luke Skywalker didn't have long to mourn Obi-Wan Kenobi in A New Hope before he had to start shooting down TIE Fighters with Han. With all the insanity happening after The Last Jedi's opening crawl, pausing to watch his allies play one last tribute to him just wasn't doable.
I think we do it a little more in this movie than typically is done. I really held onto that moment of Leia before they come out of hyperspace, just that moment of feeling the weight of the world on her shoulders... It was never something where there was an organic place for it like, 'Oh it would go here.' It was always something like, 'We wanna get this right up on our feet and going from the start.'
It's worth noting that even though Star Wars: The Last Jedi didn't show Han Solo's funeral, fans will still have the opportunity to see this event depicted. It was announced last week that The Last Jedi novelization, which hits shelves on March 6, will feature the funeral as one of the pieces of extra material included in this version of the story. So for those of you who wanted to see The Resistance give a proper goodbye to Han, make sure to pick up a copy of the book next month.