Following the behind-the-scenes shake-up on Solo: A Star Wars Story the film changed directors and went through a lot of reshoots, so how much of the movie was actually the work of the original directors? it's a question that a lot of Star Wars fans have been asking and, one that nobody appears to be very interested in answering. However, a recent information dump from Solo co-writer Jon Kasdan reveals quite a few details about the final product that were apparently the work of Phil Lord and Chris Miller.
The first major influence that Phil Lord and Chris Miller (referred throughout Jon Kasdan Twitter thread as C&P for Chris and Phil) had on Solo: A Star Wars Story was on the character of Lady Proxima (referred to by Kasdan as Mother Proxima, showing another way the character changed). She's part of a group called the White Worms in the script but in the original draft they're described as "well dressed, vampiric, albino aliens" it was apparently Lord and Miller that turned the White Worms into actual worms.
Another addition to the script from Lord and Miller was the speeder chase that sees Han and Qi'ra attempt to escape Corellia. Apparently, the chase simply wasn't in the script originally, but Lord and Miller felt that the audience needed to see Han be a pilot and show off his skill early in the movie. If the speeder chase hadn't been there then we wouldn't have seen Han fly anything until he took over the Millennium Falcon near the end of the film. Needless to say, that would have been too long to wait.
If you liked the way Chewbacca was introduced in Solo: A Star Wars Story, you can thank the original directors as they apparently had the idea to make Chewie "the beast" and they even created the aesthetic, making the cage fight a massive mud pit. They also devised how the fight would end, with Han speaking in Chewie's language at a key moment.
Lord and Miller were also largely responsible for the look of The Lodge at Fort Ypso, the gambling den where Han and Qi'ra find Lando. They were apparently inspired by Robert Altman's McCabe and Mrs. Miller for the look of the location.
One of the more interesting new characters introduced in Solo: A Star Wars Story was Lando's co-pilot, the droid L3-37. Jonathan Kasdan reveals that the creation of the character came about through conversations he, and his co-writer, father Lawrence Kasdan, had with Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Specifically, the character came from Chris Miller pointing out the oddness of the fact that the Mos Eisley bartender throws out R2-D2 and C-3PO, something Miller thought was odd since droids would generally be considered the most well-behaved patrons a cantina could have.
The scene between Han and Qi'ra in Lando's cape closet on the Falcon was an idea of Lord and Miller that was specifically designed to remind the audience of a similar scene between Han and Leia in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back.
Kasdan also credits Lord and Miller, along with Solo casting director Nina Gold, for finding Erin Kellyman, the actress who plays Enfys Nest. They were, of course, also responsible for selecting Alden Ehrenreich himself as Han Solo.
Interestingly, Jon Kasdan also calls out Lord and Miller for two items that you won't see in Solo: A Star Wars Story. The first involved a creature Lord and Miller came up with called a Wopota, which was some sort of elephant-like animal that was being used in the Kessel mines. It apparently had a drill strapped to its face for making new tunnels, and during the prison break, the creature gets loose and chases Han and Chewie through the tunnels. Kasdan wishes the scene had been filmed, it apparently had some great banter, but it was ultimately deemed too expensive.
The second sequence that you don't see in Solo is a stop off on a random planet during the Kessel Run that would have been full of massive terrifying alien creatures. It was here where the alien in space the Falcon must escape from in the final cut was originally found. Lord and Miller apparently nixed this scene themselves, feeling the stopover would kill the momentum of the escape. In this case, Kasdan agrees this was the right move.
And so, while Phil Lord and Chris Miller may not have completed the responsibilities of directing Solo: A Star Wars Story, it's clear that the final product still owes them a great debt, as they did help create much of what we see on screen. It's unclear how much of what they created they actually filmed, we may never know that, but Ron Howard certainly used a lot of the work they did.
Solo: A Star Wars Story is now available in Digital format and will hit Blu-ray September 25.
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