tag and bink

Eagle-eyed fans have surely noticed by now that ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story‘ is packed with references both to established characters and events in the new, Disney-era canon and to elements of the now-defunct Legends continuity. But as might be expected, there are even more that didn’t make the final cut. Of these, by far the most high profile was to have been an appearance by Tag and Bink.

Tag and Bink, a pair of hapless Rebels introduced in a series of ‘Star Wars’ spoof comics by Kevin Rubio and Lucas Marangon, are often described as the Rosencrantz and Guildenstern of the ‘Star Wars’ universe. In the course of their various misadventures, the two would routinely (albeit unwittingly) cross paths with the heroes of both the original and prequel trilogies (giving Anakin Skywalker romantic advice or surviving the attack on Princess Leia’s blockade runner by disguising themselves as Stormtroopers, for example). This tradition was all set to continue in ‘Solo’… Until it didn’t.

So what happened? According to co-writer Jon Kasdan, the scene that would have featured Tag and Bink was filmed, with the pair played by Kasdan himself along with first assistant director Toby Heffernan. As described by Kasdan, it was a brief scene, less than two minutes in length, which showed Han Solo’s flight training at and eventual expulsion from the Imperial Academy. Following an official tribunal, the two would have appeared as the officers escorting Han out of the courtroom.

As Kasdan explains it, the scene was considered important enough to have remained in every version of the script from the first draft onward. Ultimately, it was one of the last things to be cut from the film, a decision that surprised the writer:

“And we were certain that this scene was going to remain because it’s a crucial moment in his life. And it was the last thing to come out. It was heartbreaking. We were so sure, too, that Ron actually put his wife Cheryl, who has to be in all his movies because it’s his only superstition, into the scene because he’s like, “Well, this is the one thing that isn’t coming out.” And then it did come out, and Ron had to get Cheryl over to Disney and CGI her into another shot just so we weren’t curse. So, when I think you’ll see Tag and Bink is on the blu-ray, because no way we’re putting that on blu-rat without the Imperial Academy sequence. It’s a great sequence, too.”

‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ is now playing in theaters everywhere. The film stars Alden Ehrenreich, Woody Harrelson, Emilia Clarke, Donald Glover, Thandie Newton, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, and Joonas Suotamo. Be sure to check back with ScienceFiction.com for more on ‘Solo’ and other upcoming ‘Star Wars’ films as it becomes available!