Rian Johnson Never Had Any Intention Of Adding Han Solo’s Funeral To The Last Jedi


If The Force Awakens was celebrated and criticized in equal measure for playing it safe, then Star Wars: The Last Jedi has truly been raked over the coals for trying something different.

The Rian Johnson sequel opened to rave reviews back in December, only to be torn to shreds by a vocal minority hellbent on kicking up a fuss – even if they haven’t changed a thing. As a result, these past six weeks have turned into one prolonged post-mortem of Johnson’s divisive follow-up and, to his credit, the filmmaker has been pretty forthcoming about the choices he made on The Last Jedi – including the one that relegated Han Solo’s funeral to the literary world.

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.

Early on in the creative process, Johnson had considered earmarking a special little moment for Leia, but ultimately decided to leave Han Solo’s funeral by the wayside in the name of pacing.

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’.

And we couldn’t agree more. Like it or lump it, The Last Jedi took Lucasfilm’s prized asset in a radical new direction, all the while setting the stage for a truly unmissable conclusion ahead of Star Wars: Episode IX. Look for that one to beam into theaters on December 20th, 2019 – long after Solo: A Star Wars Story whisks us off to that galaxy far, far away once more.