Disney and Lucasfilm kicking Phil Lord and Chris Miller off Solo: A Star Wars Story was one of the most boneheaded decisions a studio has made in years. Lord and Miller were on an incredible hot streak, having vastly exceeded expectations with 21 Jump Street, 22 Jump Street and, of course, the thunderously amazing LEGO Movie. Rumor was that Lucasfilm was concerned they were making the spinoff too fun and not taking Star Wars seriously enough, but given that the finished product was a dull-as-dishwater flop that sank without a trace at the box office, their version would’ve had to have been an improvement.
Ever since the film was released, fans have been wondering what scenes they were responsible for. Replacement director Ron Howard reportedly reshot nearly all of the movie and the script underwent a comprehensive re-write, but what elements survived the process? Well, co-writer Jon Kasdan has the lowdown, courtesy of a fascinating Twitter thread containing 43 random factoids and notes.
As it turns out, Lord and Miller were responsible for pretty much all the best bits of the spinoff. For example, they decided that rather than Lady Proxima being the leader of a group called The White Worms, she should actually be a worm. They also smartly realized that you needed to demonstrate Han’s skill as a pilot early on and inserted the Corellia chase sequence. Most importantly, though, they masterminded the excellent introduction of Chewbacca, kept as a ravenous and terrifying ‘beast’ and forced to fight Han in a mud pit – they even wrote the fight’s ending with Han speaking Wookie.
Other elements are the character of L3-37, whose demeanor resulted from the pair pondering why R2-D2 and C-3PO get thrown out of the Mos Eisley Cantina in A New Hope and also a few scenes to callback to Han and Leia’s interactions in The Empire Strikes Back.
We also learned what didn’t make it into the final cut from Kasdan’s report. Namely, an elephantine creature with a drill strapped to its face that would’ve spiced up the mining heist sequence and the Falcon stopping off during the Kessel Run on a planet full of massive and terrifying creatures.
While I still hold out faint hope that we’ll one day see the Snyder Cut of Justice League, I think it’s unlikely we’ll ever see the Lord and Miller cut of Solo: A Star Wars Story, because there simply wasn’t enough filmed. Imagine what we could’ve gotten if Disney hadn’t chickened out, though. I guess it’ll always be one of those cinematic what-ifs.