Scruffy nerf herders, rejoice! Jonathan Kasdan, co-screenwriter of Solo: A Star Wars Story, has revealed a whopping 53 cool factoids that reveal new insight into the making of the film, as well as very subtle Easter eggs even hardcore Star Wars fans might miss.
On Friday, Kasdan commemorated the Digital HD release of Solo and its imminent arrival on Blu-ray on September 25 with 53 random facts about the film on Twitter. They include everything from personal anecdotes to hidden Bruce Springsteen homages, to even admitting Thandie Newton was “too good” to play the fated smuggler Val.
Kasdan also reveals which parts of the final cut of Solo came from original directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord (often abbreviated as “C&P”), new director Ron Howard (“RH”), his father Lawrence Kasdan (“LK”), and even mentions Lucasfilm’s Kathleen Kennedy (“KK”).
“In honor of the digital release of #SoloAStarWarsStory & in lieu of a commentary,” Kasdan tweeted, “here are 53 random factoids & notes about the making & writing for anybody who’s interested.” Um, yes please, Mr. Kasdan. Can we have some more?
Out of the 53 points Kasdan shared, here are some of the coolest that reveal new Easter eggs and references to other pieces of pop culture and literature beyond this galaxy far, far away.
- Lawrence Kasdan wanted a “Dickensian” childhood for Han Solo “before I, or anyone else, was involved.”
- White Worms is an homage to Bram Stoker’s The Lair of the White Worm. In the original script, the worms were “well-dressed, vampiric albino aliens” reminiscent of David Bowie in The Hunger, but they turned into real worms when Miller and Lord came on board.
- Linda Hunt was sought after for the voice of Mother Proxima because of her “haunting narration” for the Showtime series Nightmare Classics. Apparently Hunt had no idea what Kasdan was talking about. “But it’s definitely her.”
- There were no speeder chases in early drafts. It was an idea from Lord and Miller that Howard executed. The filmmakers felt it was needed to pay off for the Kessel Run, but the elder Kasdan argued for a deleted foot-chase which included a bit with Han pulling eels out of his pants (itself an homage to River Phoenix, the second actor to ever play Han Solo, whom Kasdan worked with in the 1990 comedy I Love You To Death).
- Moloch is a reference to beat poet Allen Ginsberg and his classic American poem Howl.
- Coronet Spaceport was a name the filmmakers found on Wookiepeedia.
- Tag and Bink’s scenes were cut because Ron Howard “felt the actors portraying those characters were too attractive and charismatic and might distract from or diminish” lead actor Alden Ehrenreich.
- Kasdan admits Thandie Newton “may actually have been too good” as Val. “It was always in the design of the story that Beckett would lose his trusted crew members,” Kasdan writes, “but Thandie is so compelling to watch tat the death of her characters feels a little like a cheat.”
- Kasdan advises fans pay attention to an Ithorian antiques dealer named Dok-Ondar, who is mentioned by name by Qi’ira. “You’ll see it again someday.”
- Paul Bettany’s Dryden Vos was inspired by Don Draper from Mad Men and Robert Prosky’s character in Michael Mann’s Thief.
- Kasdan hilariously admits that the Maelstrom scene was conceived with imagination first and science second. “It was something we discussed endlessly and knew would never satisfy anyone, and specifically never satisfy Neil DeGrasse Tyson.”
- The Kessel Heist was inspired by Mission: Impossible, but Kasdan acknowledges that Han Solo isn’t Ethan Hunt. “He’s much more… laid back, and things tend to go best for him when he just sorta bullshits his way through.”
- The Maelstrom monster, the Summa-Verminoth, is a thinly-veiled homage to H.P. Lovecraft’s Cthulu mythos and named after Robert Bloch’s fictional tome De Vermis Mysteriis. “I remember [Kathleen Kennedy] would go into her office and Google images Frilled Sharks and giant squids for reference. She loves that stuff.” Kasdan added that the filmmakers stumbled upon a short film called The Leviathan by Ruairi Robinson that provided a lot of cues. You can watch it on Vimeo.
- Han and Lando talking about their parents was inspired by Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography Born to Run. “His father led a working-class life, full of disappointment, and he had a complicated, difficult relationship with his son,” Kasdan says about Han’s father. “I like to think Han’s father was still out there somewhere, drinking himself to death.”
- Darth Maul was “built” into Solo from the start. “For me, Maul was destined to pass through Solo as the ultimate SW Keyser Söze.”
- Kasdan closes off his reveals explaining that a sequel to Solo is possible, but not likely. “I think there are great Star Wars movies to be made that don’t need to cost quite so much,” he says. “Given the way Hollywood, and the culture at large, seem to run from anything labeled a disappointment, the odds seem like they’re against it happening anytime soon. But, I suppose, Han wouldn’t have it any other way.”
Solo: A Star Wars Story is available now on Digital HD. The film hits Blu-ray on September 25.