How 'Solo: A Star Wars Story' Explains a Holochess Question From Original 'Star Wars'

One of the most memorable scenes from Star Wars: A New Hope involved seeing Chewbacca play a game of Holochess with C-3PO on the Millennium Falcon's Dejarik table. Fans saw a similar scene unfold in Solo: A Star Wars Story, with the visual effects team responsible for the sequence taking the opportunity to explain why the original film was two characters short of a complete set of holographic characters.

"For [A New Hope], Phil Tippett and Jon Berg designed and created 10 stop-motion creatures for a scene aboard the Millennium Falcon. Out of the 10, George Lucas chose eight of those characters to be used for the final shots," VFX Supervisor Chris Morley shared on "In Solo, the Millennium Falcon is new and clean, much different from the grimy, heavily modified version we see in the later years of its service. We decided that it would be a good idea to pitch bringing back the two Holochess characters that didn’t make it into the first film in 1977, as if in the Solo movie the Dejarik table was in full working order with all pieces intact. This led to capitalizing on a very serendipitous moment during the shoot where, in one shot, Chewie slams his paw down on the Holochess table in frustration. The force of the blow broke two buttons off the screen right side of the table set piece."

Given that the game is entirely fictional, fans who saw the original movie wouldn't have noticed that the table was missing these pieces, though it is a nice nod to the original film to help elaborate on the Falcon's history.

Despite audiences not necessarily requiring this piece of information to comprehend the scene in the original film, it was an exciting opportunity to pay homage to Phil Tippett's work on the movie.

"An unplanned event that we thought would be a great opportunity to tell the story of how the two new Holochess pieces were lost from that day forward," Morley detailed. "We added some sparks, glitched off the two creatures and showed a version to Lucasfilm VFX supervisor Rob Bredow who loved the idea and pitched it to Ron Howard who ran with it. It was a great feeling to be able to embrace the magic of what we call a happy accident."

Solo: A Star Wars Story is out now on Digital HD and hits Blu-ray and DVD with a number of bonus features on September 25th.


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