Why Must Han Solo Die? Revisited
[SPOILERS AHEAD! (But if you still haven’t seen the new Star Wars films yet, you probably don’t give a damn, right?)]
On July 28, 2014, right here on Black Gate, I predicted that in the new Star Wars film (Part VII: The Force Awakens, released December 18, 2015), Han Solo would die. I also offered some further conjecture about where this would take the plot.
I thought it would be fun to revisit my predictions and see how they panned out. You can read the original brief post HERE, so you can keep score with me.
First off, let me just humbly say that I was right! Ho ho! Spot on. Slam dunk. Nearly 17 months ahead of the film’s premiere, I NAILED IT. I’m still waiting for my prize. Hello out there? Where the heck’s my frickin’ prize? (There was a prize for that, right?)
But then look at my second prediction in that article, and be truly awed and amazed… I speculated that the death of Han might have a major character-motivating impact on his and Princess Leia’s son. Score another one for me that I predicted they would have a son! And that he would be a major player, with his father’s murder playing a significant role in his development.
Okay, the one thing I didn’t quite nail was how it would motivate him. I guessed that it might spur the son (whom we now know as Kylo Ren) into becoming a hero like his dad. The big shocker: the son is the one who murders Han. And Kylo aspires to follow in his maternal grandfather’s footsteps rather than in those of his parents.
But can I still get a prize?
Definitely a No Prize.
Having been fairly young whn the films first started this film disappointed me much in the Alien 3 caused all of Ripley’s victories from Aliens to be wiped away and for nothing. Likewise was very disappointed that Han went back to his old ways and he and Leia weren’t the love match they could have been (much like Robin Hood and Maid Marian I suppose). I felt the character advancement Han had made in Empire and Return were reduced to just a phase. I perked up at Han saying that isn’t how the Force works so there was some change in his way of looking at his world-view and his death left me almost not caring-been spoiled by too many deaths in DC and Marvel Comics as having more shall we say flair. Heartbreaking with Carrie Fisher no longer among us we’ll probably wonder all the rest of our cinematic lives how the saga would have continued. Just a thought-I found myself disappointed I wasn’t enjoying the ride as much as I used to. Similar to a favorite book series going on three books too many.
@Gabe Dybing: Thanks Gabe; I’ll take it!
I enjoyed The Force Awakens very much, although the way Han perished left me wanting.
I’ll tell you, it may help that I have young children, and that film has proven to be the gateway for them into the SWU. Much better than the “prequels,” which I don’t even wish to slog through again. Watching The Force Awakens with them is like experiencing A New Hope again for the first time.
Han Solo’s death seems pointless to me, but it was probably the only way they could have gotten Harrison Ford on board. I think Ford has irrationally despised his role in the Star Wars saga for years. Personally I would have rather they had gotten someone else to do the role than let HF continue to take a crap on it. I’m not as emotionally invested in Star Wars as some people though. So, it probably wouldn’t have gone over that good.
Nick-Totally get passing the torch on to the kids plus giving them some insight in to what the old man loved back in the day. One of my earliest heroes was Mac Raboy’s Flash Gordon (wasn’t until my early 20s I was able read Alex Raymond’s material) so Star Wars holds a place in the heart for that. My secret desire for Star Wars is a Chewbacca movie–I NEVER get enough of him.
FWIW, I’ve read some of the new books (most particularly Claudia Gray’s Bloodline), and the impression I got was that Han & Leia hadn’t split up; they just had lifestyles that required them to spend substantial amounts of time away from each other, but were still happy to reunite when they could arrange it.
(Although based on the dialogue in the movie, it does sound like Ben’s falling to the Dark Side might’ve pushed things closer to an actual breaking point.)
@CMR, Yeah, I was one of the ol’ fanboys who was happy to see all the original cast returning. Would’ve been jarring to have familiar faces in all the old leads except HS/HF.
@Allard, There was a whole TV special that featured Chewbacca and his family… Of course, there was a reason it was only aired once and then hidden away in a vault somewhere on Skywalker Ranch.
@Joe H., I haven’t followed the SWU novels, but I’d say — based on TFA — it can be inferred now as canon that Han and Leia split after Ben went dark. Han is afraid to even show his face to her, and they act like it’s been a while since they’ve seen each other and have a lot of unsettled emotional business to deal with.
Nick–Never saw that special but it rang a bell when you mentioned it. I have pretty much settled for the official movies and ignored the comics and novels-back then movie and TV tie-ins were usually a let down (The Prisoner, The Invaders–sigh)which later changed greatly (Quantum Leap and Highlander had some very well done books)-at my age and somewhat wide spread interests something has to give.