The Star Wars sequel trilogy in a strange position at the moment with Star Wars fans, with many dismissing the recent set of films following the massive success of The Mandalorian. From ill-defined plans to constant changes behind the scenes, the Star Wars sequels have been in a constant state of back and forth from the beginning.
The Force Awakens was seemingly a return to form, but many criticized its similarities to A New Hope. The Last Jedi went in the complete opposite direction, delivering something entirely new to Star Wars fans, to the dismay of some. The Rise of Skywalker tried to win back the goodwill of audiences through numerous callbacks and fan service, though these efforts were not nearly as fruitful as the House of Mouse may have hoped
Ultimately, Disney has been very protective with its films thus far, which seems to have extended to its extra material. Alan Dean Foster wrote the novelization for Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and recently revealed that Disney made the author remove implications of a potential relationship between Rey and Finn.
Foster discussed another change that Disney made to the book, relating to a callback line from Han Solo...
In an interview with Midnight's Edge, Alan Dean Foster discussed his work on the novelization for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Foster revealed that Disney made the author remove a line from Han Solo, which featured a callback to the classic "Don't get cocky, kid" line from A New Hope:
"There's a scene in there from the film and in the book where Rey has come aboard the Millennium Falcon and Han Solo can't get things to work and she fixes it and the Millennium Falcon starts up. And Han Solo says something to the effect of 'good work' or 'good job' reluctantly he says it. And then I had him say 'Don't get cocky, kid.' Which of course is a throwback to what he says to Luke in the first film. I thought that was a wonderful way of connecting the character to the first film and the first story. I thought fans would love that, and they made me take it out."
WHAT THIS MEANS
Disney's approach to its films have certainly been interesting, with the company fluctuating between its creative tendencies movie by movie. The Force Awakens and The Rise of Skywalker seem to be very controlled in what they portray of the galaxy far, far away, whereas The Last Jedi seemed to have been given a lot more freedom.
This novelization removal seems to demonstrate that Disney was being very careful with how it called back to the original trilogy, even though this was somewhat of a throwaway line. This seems peculiar, as The Force Awakens contains a number of references to the original films, particularly A New Hope. Therefore, for Disney to not want this line included shows some restraint in this regard.
In some ways, this is somewhat of a respectable move from Disney, who were criticized for their heavy reliance on fan service in Episode IX. While the line does make sense in context and is a nice Easter egg, it may have been a bit distracting in an already nostalgia-focused, reference-heavy narrative.