Stories behind the new Star Wars creatures, Easter eggs, and deleted scenes in Solo

Contributed by
Sep 17, 2018, 12:00 PM EDT

Films are collaborative in nature. When a screenwriter begins their work, they're never writing the final version, but a blueprint. That blueprint from the initial architect goes through many hands before the final house, as it were, is built. There are a lot of great ideas that get refined further and further until they may only be barely recognizable when they made it to the silver screen. Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story is no exception.

Jon Kasdan, one of the writers on Solo, posted a commentary of sorts on his Twitter that outlined some of the evolutions, and many others are documented in Phil Szostak's book The Art of Solo: A Star Wars Story. Taken together, we can track some pretty fascinating evolutions through the making of Solo.


"The name "the white worms" is an homage to a thoroughly mediocre Bram Stoker novel, The Lair of the White Worm," Jon Kasdan wrote in his Twitter commentary. "In the original script, they were not worms at all, but described as "well-dressed, vampiric albino aliens a la David Bowie in The Hunger."

Luke Fisher, a concept designer for Solo, set to work on these designs based on the initial ideas outlined in that first version of the script. In The Art of Solo: A Star Wars Story, you can see his thought process. He took Proxima a step further from the albinos from The Hunger and imagined her in a pond as some sort of globulous plant creature. Neal Scanlan, the creature and droid effects supervisor of Solo, wrote about that intermediary step in the process, "I love the A New Hope trash compactor-esque psychology of Han walking into this water and not really knowing what is beneath his feet. Every step he takes, there is some form of organic life. Proxima is like some sort of plant with roots growing out — all-consuming."

Jon Kasdan explained the final leap: "Once [Chris Miller and Phil Lord] got involved, they became actual worms. Mother Proxima's design evolved through the production. The element that stuck from the very beginning was their sensitivity to light."

Phil Szostak posted some of the early art from this stage of the idea on Twitter:


According to Jon Kasdan, his father, the legendary Lawrence Kasdan, was fascinated by the Dickensian roots of Han Solo. The foot chase through the Corellian fish market was a thing he fought for over the speeder chase we got in the final film.

"In early drafts of the script there was no speeder chase," Jon Kasdan wrote. "This was something conceived by {Chris Miller and Phil Lord] and [Ron Howard] executed, in my opinion, beautifully. They all felt we needed to see Han's skill "behind the yoke" and that it could pay off later in the Kessel run. [Lawrence Kasdan was] much more focused on the Dickensian element, [and] was much more passionate about the foot-chase and the deleted eel barrel scene."

That scene actually got shot. You can see it here from USA Today:


Sometimes ideas are good, but you can't quite fit them into the movie. That's the case with the Wapota, an "elephant-sized naked mole creature." This was a creature that would have figured prominently in the escape scenes on Kessel. It would have been chasing Han and Chewie out of the mine in the "slowest foot chase ever" according to Phil Szostak in The Art of Solo: A Star Wars Story.

Don't be surprised if the Wapota finds it's way into a future project. Matt Martin from the Lucasfilm story group fired this back at Kasdan:


Dryden Vos, played in Solo by Paul Bettany, is a menacing underworld villain, the opposite of everything we've seen of the criminal element in Star Wars films to date. His character went through a long evolution of design, though. In some versions, he was more slug-like. In others, he was very reptilian. At one point he was going to be a very sophisticated brute.

At another point, he could have even been a Lasat, like Zeb from Star Wars Rebels.

Ron Howard's Solo: A Star Wars Story is available digitally now. It comes out in physical media on September 25.