STAR WARS: How ILM Brought The Kessel Run To Life On SOLO


One of the most exciting moments in SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY, would have to be the exciting Kessel Run sequence. When Han and the crew escape the Salt mine on Kessel, they think they’re in the clear that is until they go face to face with an Imperial Blockade and a squad of Tie Fighters. When it was announced that a Han Solo film was going to be made, THE scene that I knew had to be included in the film was The Kessel Run. I really wanted to finally see how Han beat the run the 12 parsecs and we were in for a ride.

When director Ron Howard took over directing duties he knew the only SFX company to make this scene possible would be Industrial Light and Magic. The Imperial blockade could have been enough to make the sequence thrilling, but Howard decided he wanted to add one more obstacle to the run, a giant space creature. “The biggest change that Ron brought, but had been discussed early, was the giant space monster,” said Rob Bredow, the co-producer and VFX supervisor at ILM.

“It was an idea that got some early development, and ILM had done some previs on six different variations of the kind of sequences that would include such a character,” added Bredow. But the character was abandoned until Howard decided the sequence needed greater danger. “The big obstacle was always the gravity well and the [storm],” he added, “and then they combined that with the creature. Ron really helped elevate the sequence and keep it building until the end.”

The space creature was actually one of the last things to create for the film. Since Howard took over so late and he had to re shoot the film, there wasn’t much time to truly focus and spend time on the design so they looked over an array of different concept art until they settled on one. “Ron liked the head from one creature and the tail from another,” said Matt Shumway, ILM’s animation supervisor. “They combined them to make the space creature, with nearly 50 tentacles. It wasn’t the easiest character for our animation team, but they pushed through on it. Being pulled by the gravity well provided some creative license in terms of physics.”

Back in April the actors mentioned that while filming the Kessel Run sequence it was like being on a ride. The Millennium Falcon cockpit had an IMAX screen wrapped around so it felt like the actors were actually being attacked and going thru this exciting sequence. “If you pointed the camera above the actors, you would’ve normally gotten a visual effects shot with blue screen,” Bredow said. “But we were doing it all in real time, all in camera, going into hyper space. And then when you turned the camera around, that same screen was used to light the actors. So, the light had nice interactive detail and consistency.”

“The exciting moment for me was when Han releases that escape pod on top of the Falcon to lure the space monster away,” said Shumway. “We had a dynamic shot of the Falcon way back in camera getting away from the space monster, and that’s the first time we see the Falcon the way we remember it. We wanted to have a little moment there where you get to enjoy it.” Joey Bosa Womens Jersey

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