If you’re worried that Chewbacca will follow Han Solo to the grave in Star Wars: Episode VIII, we’re here to reassure you with good news: Chewie’s probably going to make it.
YouTuber Mike Zeroh indirectly caused a frenzy of Chewie worry this weekend with his theory that there will be a land/air battle above the planet Ahch-To in Episode VIII. Zeroh doesn’t mention the death of Chewie, but other reports have dog-piled on this theory and for some heartbreaking reason think the rumored battle will result in Chewie’s death. We’re howling like Wookies and calling bullshit. Here’s why.
While we all love a good Star Wars rumor, this one doesn’t make sense, especially after the brutal murder of Han Solo in The Force Awakens. Chewie was, of course, heartbroken at the death of his best friend. This may have something to do with their lifelong history, or with the “fact” that Han wasn’t supposed to die first.
In the book The New Jedi Order: Vector Prime — which has been firmly declared as not included in the official Star Wars canon — Chewie died after saving several lives, including that of Han and Leia’s youngest son, Anakin Solo. Han holds Chewie’s death against Anakin, who then dies two years later. Anakin Solo’s death is thought to be a large reason for his older brother Jacen — aka, an indirect inspiration for Kylo Ren — turning to the Dark Side of the Force.
In the newest in-canon film trilogy, Han and Leia’s son is named Ben, not Jacen, but he certainly does turn to the Dark Side. And while Han was the one to die first in the films, speculators don’t have a problem with Chewie being next.
But, since the Star Wars books sit firmly outside of canon and the filmmakers already broke our hearts once with the death of an original character, we firmly don’t believe they’ll do it again. The death of one rogue smuggler was hard enough. With Chewie having been in five of the seven total Star Wars films, we don’t expect him to be going anywhere.