When Rey crashed a party for the aquatic caretaker nuns on the planet Ahch-to, nobody in the movie theater cheered, because it wasn’t actually a scene in the final cut of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. That deleted scene and others are coming very soon, though some of these scenes you won’t be able to watch. Instead, you’ll have to read them.
On Wednesday, The Star Wars Show debuted a brief feature with director Rian Johnson and author Jason Fry. In it, they reveal that the novelization for The Last Jedi will contain additional scenes not found in the film, including some moments that were probably never even filmed. This means the long-rumored funeral of Han Solo will be in the novelization. Fry said that the novelization will also feature scenes of Paige and Rose together, as well as more stuff on the planet Canto Bight.
Then there’s a glimpse of that scene in which Rey runs on the beach, thinking she’s going to rescue the caretakers’ village from burning, only to discover it’s actually just a party. Unlike some of the stuff in the novelization (like Han’s funeral), this looks like a scene which was actually filmed and completed. At the end of it, we see Rey tell-off Luke Skywalker for being an asshole saying, “That legend of Luke Skywalker, the one you hate so much. I believed in it.”
So, it looks like there are basically two types of deleted scenes we’ll be getting with The Last Jedi. The first is the conceptual kind, found only in the novelization. And the second kind will be more conventional, like the big Rey running scene above. The unconventional thing about The Last Jedi novelization is that it is coming out so many months after the release of the film.
Though the novelization for the first Star Wars was released six months before the film came out, these days the novelizations of movies are usually released concurrently with the film they adapt. But, because The Last Jedi had so many secrets in its story, it seems possible that Lucasfilm wanted to minimize the number of ways information could leak. For those of us who worked in bookstores in the early 2000s, it was really easy to figure out what happened in The Phantom Menace or Attack of the Clones ahead of time. All we had to do was peek at the stacks of novelizations in the stockroom weeks before the movie — and books — were released.
The fact that The Last Jedi novelization contains scenes not found in the film is nothing new. This is fairly common with novelizations, and even more common with Star Wars novelizations. The 1999 novelization of The Phantom Menace was written by fantasy legend Terry Brooks and opens with a totally different podrace than the one we see in the movie. Older novelizations have different or additional scenes due to time constraints, but newer Star Wars novelizations, since 1999 anyway, have these extra material sanctioned by Lucasfilm directly. In other words, differences between the Donald Glut novelization of The Empire Strikes Back and the film are just mistakes. But after the original trilogy, that’s not the case. These additions are on purpose.
But, are deleted scenes or additional stuff found in novelizations actually canon? There is some debate. Pablo Hidalgo, of the Lucasfilm Story Group, has said in the past that it really depends on how you look at canon. For example, when it comes to Han and Greedo, the only “real” canon is that Greedo was killed; how it happens might differ depending on the media. That doesn’t necessarily mean an uncompleted scene from The Clone Wars makes a video game Sith Lord canon, but you never know. It may, however, mean that Han Solo’s funeral is totally canon.
The novelization for Star Wars: The Last Jedi is out on March 6. A Blu-ray release date for The Last Jedi has yet to be announced, but The Star Wars Show has confirmed it will contain deleted scenes and a director’s commentary.