Solo: A Star Wars Story Writer Wasn’t Keen On Including The Kessel Run
Though it’s been a long established fact of Han Solo’s backstory that the famed smuggler once made the Kessel Run in less than 12 parsecs, what’s been less apparent all these years is what that little tidbit of information – spawned from a throwaway line in A New Hope – actually means.
Enter Solo: A Star Wars Story, which dedicates an entire action set-piece to demystifying this once puzzling boast as Han and his crew navigate the Millennium Falcon through the treacherous route in a record-breaking distance (after rounding down, at least).
Not everyone, however, was on board with the idea of incorporating the Kessel Run into the new film when the notion was first introduced. Solo writer Jonathan Kasdan recalls his initial doubts about the inclusion as he worked on the script with his father Lawrence:
When he said that, I said ‘Really, do we have to?’ Because it’s such a complicated bit of logic, and solving it was really challenging. We spent a lot of time arguing about how it could work [and how] the language of what [Han] says in that one scene shot years ago that you know George [Lucas] was just sitting there thinking, This sounds cool: ‘I did it in 12 parsecs’ — could be flushed out into a fully fledged coherent sequence that was satisfying and fun. I’m thrilled with how it came out, but it was one of the daunting elements of this always.
Lawrence, meanwhile, saw the Kessel Run as a vital addition, regarding the episode as an important part of the series mythos that was in need of some on-screen representation. Regardless of whether you feel it was necessary for Solo: A Star Wars Story to offer the full context to Han’s oft-referenced line or not, I think we can all agree that the decision to do so resulted in one of the more exciting chapters in the film.
The choice to give us an origin story for Han’s surname, on the other hand, remains a little more controversial…