Plenty of movies have unscripted scenes in them that some fans might be able to guess at and others might have no clue about. But pretty much every Star Wars movie has unscripted moments that the director allowed to stay in the movie, either because it was perfect at the time or because it was wiser to see how things developed. A few of them were instant classics, such as the “I Love you” “I know” moment, while others, like the ‘bigger fish’ comment in The Phantom Menace, might have been thought by a lot of fans to have been planned this way. Directors don’t always like going off script, but the best among them realize that there are times when improvisation can do wonders for a movie when it happens. Star Wars has definitely been going through a rough patch in the theaters in recent years, no matter that the box office might say differently. People have been losing faith in the directors and their visions for the franchise, and have even been losing faith in Disney since the Mouse House has been responsible for the current direction of the movies.
But the slight nods to the old movies and the adherence to bits and pieces of the Legends canon, no matter that according to Disney the canon is irrelevant to the direction that is desired. The small things that manage to be placed in the movies are actually easy to notice sometimes and definitely easy to appreciate. One of them, a personal favorite, is the Solo shrug. Some might debate that this is even the same thing, since Han Solo’s shrug and grin in Return of the Jedi when he and the other Rebels get the drop on the Imperial troops, is all Han, cocky, and a little too much so for his own good. But it’s still a nice touch.
This shrug comes again in its own form when Ben Solo, who has finally cast off the mantle of Kylo Ren and is seeking to confront the Emperor, has to go through his own Knights of Ren first. As Rey displays a Force power that few, if any, knew about beforehand, she manages to transport a lightsaber as she senses that Ben is near. Armed with one Rey’s sabers, Ben gives a small version of his father’s customary shrug as if to say ‘What are you going to do?’ before the Knights of Ren are upon him. It’s strange, but without a lightsaber, it’s all Ben can do to stay alive, but with one, he absolutely dominates the Knights of Ren, who after all that buildup turned out to be great against an unarmed opponent, but fell apart when facing someone who was trained in the Force and lightsaber combat. But that small moment was still pretty cool if people noticed it since it established that Ben was his father’s son, no matter what he’d done. Quite a few people thought that Ben should have paid a lot more for what he did as Kylo Ren, but his act of redemption appeared to clear him in the eyes of the Force since he faded away like a true master.
Another great moment came during Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, when K-2SO, played by Alan Tudyk, actually reached over and slapped Cassian Andor, played by Diego Luna, upside the face. As the video says, one can actually see that Diego is trying not to laugh the blow off since hiding his face behind his hand is probably the only reason that he didn’t blow it. This slap was unscripted apparently and yet it came at such a perfect moment that one couldn’t help but think that it was planned as a funny bit for the actors to play out. Well, Alan and Diego both played it off quite well since up until now it’s likely that a lot of people, meaning those that don’t over-analyze every part of a movie, likely thought that it was scripted and meant to happen. Even the remark made by Chirrut Imwe, played by Donnie Yen, was scripted as he yelled that he was blind as he was blinded just as everyone else was.
Star Wars hasn’t been shy about leaning into humor when they can since it tends to lighten the mood and make things flow a little easier, though Han Solo’s bumbling speech during A New Hope when reporting blaster fire in the detention level was funny but also kind of ridiculous. Hey, it worked though. These unscripted moments have added quite a bit to the movies to be perfectly honest since they’ve included a bit of character and distinction that the movies might have otherwise been missing. But let’s leave it there and not get into what else the sequel trilogy was missing.