One of the great things about Star Wars is that it inspires endless debates and opinions on a wide array of topics. Best bounty hunter? Most powerful Jedi? Does Salacious Crumb have the best haircut in the saga? In that spirit, StarWars.com presents From a Certain Point of View: a series of point-counterpoints on some of the biggest — and most fun — Star Wars issues. In this installment, two StarWars.com writers discuss which scene from Solo: A Star Wars Story stands above the rest. (Spoiler warning: This story contains some details and plot points from Solo: A Star Wars Story.)
The final scene is the greatest, says Bria.
Picking a favorite scene ended up being a lot harder for me than I’d initially expected because there were so many awesome ones to choose from. Do I go with the obvious Maul cameo or the slightly less obvious Enfys Nest reveal? Or maybe I change things up and pick the campfire chat with Beckett, Han, Chewbacca, Val, and Rio? Can a simple “I hate you”/”I know” exchange be considered a scene? After a little bit of musing, the answer soon became apparent: the final sabacc scene.
From the minute we heard Lando Calrissian was going to be in Solo, we knew this scene was going to happen. We knew it had to happen. How can you possibly do a pre-A New Hope Han Solo film and not show him winning the Falcon? It’s hard to beat such a quintessentially Star Wars scene.
Even though it was very much expected, the final scene in Solo is a true delight. Ostensibly, it’s about a card game where the Millennium Falcon changes hands, but it also encapsulates how much some characters and relationships have grown and how others have remained relatively stagnant.
Perhaps the showdown with Beckett is a more obvious demonstration of this, but the scrumrat from Corellia has, in fact, learned plenty since he first stumbled into Tobias Beckett on Mimban. He lost his first chance to win the Falcon (because, let’s be honest, Lando cheated) and this time, he comes prepared to counter the hidden cards up the other man’s very brightly-colored sleeve. Han paid attention, he adjusted his approach, and therefore he wins. Pure sabacc, baby.
And then there’s Lando. Or more specifically… Lando’s outfit. First spotted in his cape closet, everything about Lando’s outfit here is made to catch the eye. This is a man with style and you will notice him and appreciate his flair. He’s here to make an impression. How many other people can so casually wear not only white pants but a white cape, a brightly printed yellow shirt, and a red accent scarf to top it all off? (One. The number you’re looking for is one.) While Han evolved, Lando didn’t change quite as much and he tries to pull the same trick on the same man twice. He may be destined to lose but at least he loses in style.
Of course, they’re far from the only people there for this momentous occasion. Chewbacca’s role in the scene may be relatively small but his mere presence speaks louder than any words. Going along with the plan shows how much he trusts him to actually win and finally get them that ship. They’ve only known each other for a short time and yet that confidence and brotherhood between them already exists.
To top it all off, it’s just a fun couple of minutes to watch. Parts of the film can get pretty heavy, but this scene? Pure joy. It’s impossible not to smile as you watch the sabacc cards fly and credits change hands until the final hand arrives and the Millennium Falcon is on the line. A feeling of hope accompanies that smile as we finally see Han and Chewie aboard their ship; the most iconic trio of all time properly together for the first time. What could possibly be better than that?
The Kessel Run is the best scene, says Bryan.
I went and saw Solo: A Star Wars Story for the seventh time after getting this assignment because I wasn’t quite sure what the best scene in the movie was. Not because I didn’t think any of the scenes were the best, but because I think too many of them are. Like Bria, I had trouble doing the math, but it’s a simple equation: the film goes by too fast and with too many good scenes for you to adequately decide which is best. But I had to choose a scene that got one of the biggest reactions I’ve ever seen in a movie theater.
The best scene, in my view, is the Kessel Run.
The Kessel Run is this film’s trench run, complete with impossible odds and an even more impossible shot. And it leads to a climax every bit as satisfying as the destruction of the Death Star.
It has a lot of moving parts, but you’re never confused about what the goal is. Director Ron Howard was able to build a sequence where you could understand intuitively why the maelstrom was so dangerous, how lethal the Maw was, and how the Falcon was going to be able to get out of the danger it was in. It had a ticking time bomb inside the ship in the form of the coaxium, which was as tense as watching the countdown on the Death Star’s orbit of Yavin.
They even worked in a beautiful reference to The Phantom Menace when they come across the eyes of the creature and Han sparks the power on the Falcon back to life, just like Obi-Wan on Naboo.
The scene works the audience into a frenzy and brings us to a point where we can’t take one more set back. The opening for their escape is closing. The ship is being pulled deeper toward the gravity well. Beckett injects the coaxium into the fusion reactor, and the engine seems as though it’s going to kick into high gear.
Then the sound leaves the theater and you can hear the collective gasp of the audience at the trademark sound of the Falcon’s engine failure.
The moment is electric. You can feel the oxygen get sucked out of the room.
By the time the engines kick back to life and Han makes the moonshot through the colliding planetoids, adrenaline explodes and the audience cheers.
I’ve never experienced a moment seemingly that visceral for a crowd in a Star Wars movie — or any movie — before. And that’s why I have to say the Kessel Run is the best scene in Solo: A Star Wars Story.
What do you think was the best scene in Solo: A Star Wars Story? Let us know in the comments below!
Solo: A Star Wars Story is in theaters now.
Bria LaVorgna is a writer who doesn’t remember a time when she didn’t love Star Wars. She also really loves Alderaan, Doctor Aphra, and Inferno Squad. You can follow her on Twitter @chaosbria.