Solo’s appearance in Revenge Of The Sith would have been fleeting - perhaps amounting to a few seconds. In an early draft of the script, Lucas gave him just one, rather pedestrian line: “I found part of a transmitter droid near the east bay. I think it’s still sending and receiving signals.”Nevertheless, this brief appearance would have revealed something new about Solo’s past: he was been raised from boyhood by his future co-pilot, Chewbacca.“It’s not in the script anymore,” explained concept artist Iain McCaig in the Revenge Of The Sith art-of book, “but we were told that Han Solo was on Kashyyyk and that he was being raised by Chewbacca. He’s such a persnickety guy later on – he always has to have the best of everything – so I thought it’d be great if when he was a kid, he was an absolute slob.”The scene would also have been significant for another reason: it would have marked the first and only time Solo met Yoda. In fact, that line Solo was to utter about finding a scrap bit of droid would have been directed at the pointy-eared Jedi master, who was to have been hunting around on Kashyyyk for clues as to General Grievous’ whereabouts.“Good, good,” Yoda would have replied. “Track this we can back to the source. Find General Grievous, we might…”The scene got as far as the concept art stage before it was scrapped as Lucas raced to get his story into shape; casting for the young Han hadn’t even begun, so we’ll never know who Lucas might have picked to play him. Certainly, McCaig’s painting of a scruffy lad with long hair looks right for the Star Wars universe - there are even echoes of Rey’s Jakku outfit in those pieces of cloth bound around his legs. But Star Wars fans might have collectively sighed with relief that the scene was ultimately dropped as Lucas refocused his script on Anakin’s fall, and the various sub-plots he’d originally wanted to put in gradually fell away. For one thing, the revelation that Han Solo was raised by Chewbacca isn’t necessarily a plausible one, given their future dynamic - they’re more chummy roommates than father and adopted son. And as Slashfilm points out, Solo’s Kashyyyk childhood would have effectively negated the Extended Universe story that Chewbacca met Solo after he escaped from slavery.Then there’s a further question, one that is perhaps unanswerable: would audiences have even recognised the kid as Han Solo? His name isn’t uttered in Lucas’s early draft, so there would have needed to have been some kind of visual cue that linked this scruffy youngster to the Corellian smuggler he’d one day become.Most of all, removing Han Solo from Revenge Of The Sith left the character unaffected by Lucas’s prequel melodrama. Where episodes one to three demystified much that was implied in a throwaway sentence in the Original Trilogy (“I was once a Jedi Knight, the same as your father...”), Han Solo would remain a rogue element - a loveable scoundrel whose past is hinted at in his cynical mindset and loner status, but never directly laid out.
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