This prison-break sequence didn’t make it, but you can still see the head and tail of it in the final Ron Howard cut.
The handoff was a conversation over the phone, with carte blanche to lay out Han & Chewie’s sprint to safety. As you can hear in the video below, there were some ideas in play on exactly when Beckett’s crew would be hijacking the shuttle and how that could be shown. Fast and flexible was key.
The pitch posted below is the one used for the production on-set. I was in NY at the time, the directors were in London at the legendary Pinewood Studios, and this was decided as the most effective way to present.
Select a panel below this video to click through the sequence with your own timing.