Warning: spoilers ahead for Solo: A Star Wars Story! Read ahead at your own risk!
Now that Solo: A Star Wars Story has finally debuted in theaters, we have begun to learn much more about how the film evolved when Phil Lord and Chris Miller were fired, and Ron Howard was hired to replace them. We know Howard reshot several sequences to put his own spin on the film, and it turns out that he even reshot the emotional scene in which Han (Alden Ehrenreich) and Qi'ra (Emilia Clarke) reunited with one another. In a recent interview, Solo editor Pietro Scalia explained:
I think one of the critical scenes in the film was really the reunion between Han and Qi'ra, when he finds her again on Dryden's (Paul Bettany) ship. It's a very delicate point, but also a very critical point in the story. They haven't seen each other for several years, how do they react to each other?
The reshoots clearly weren't just reserved for the action sequences or the major set pieces. Ron Howard also got to work reshooting some of the film's more emotional moments, including the scene in which Qi'ra returns to Han's life after their separation on Corellia. Phil Lord and Chris Miller had previously shot a version of the scene, but Howard went back and retooled it when he joined the project, and he reportedly tried out different options until he got the scene right.
Even though the sequence between Han and Qi'ra was reshot, the reason for the reshoots apparently didn't stem from the performances. Pietro Scalia continued in his interview with /film and explained that the scene evolved to adjust the camerawork and the fact that Paul Bettany joined the cast as Dryden Vos. The editor continued:
That scene was shot several times. The first time around, when Chris and Phil were there, there were different actors, different blocking. Ron wanted to do something different and we shot it. It was not so much the performance, it was more about blocking and moving the camera, getting a little bit more of the environment and the party. We also had Paul Bettany come in as a new character, so things changed a lot. So we shot that again. We went back for a pickup and re-shoots and we went back to do a few more lines between the two of them, so we incorporated the first shoot Ron did and the second time around.
It's certainly understandable to learn why this scene proved so crucial to Solo: A Star Wars Story's production. Much of Han's arc in the film stems from his relationship with his long-lost love, and the scene in which they reunite stands out as a key sequence that paves the way for the eventual betrayal that defines who he becomes in the later years of his life. It may have taken some fine-tuning, but that's because it was important.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is currently in theaters, so if you want to check out that heartfelt reunion between Han Solo and Qi'ra, then you can head to your nearest cinema and see it for yourself. Plus, if you're looking for more information about the film, then check out our full review and our To 3D guide. Beyond that, watch out for the final installment in the current trilogy when Star Wars: Episode IX debuts in theaters next year on December 20, 2019.