Han Solo’s death at the hands of his only son in Star Wars: The Force Awakens broke a lot of hearts. But, his demise certainly wasn’t the end of Han’s influence on a galaxy far, far away. If you think otherwise, you haven’t been paying attention.
A recent series of stories about Star Wars: The Last Jedi confirmed that Han Solo will still very much be present postmortem. Last Jedi director Rian Johnson told Entertainment Weekly that Han is still important to the story saying, “Han, the ghost of — well, not literally. I don’t want to misguide. I have to be very careful with my words here. But a figurative ghost of Han had to be present throughout this entire film.”
Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa will undoubtedly be heartbroken despite pushing forward. Fans got to see some of Leia’s reaction in Force Awakens — the moment Han dies, Leia is struck by an overwhelming feeling of loss from the Force that forces her to sit down and take a breath — but she’ll undoubtedly still be thinking of him when Last Jedi picks up. Despite their problems, she still loved him.
Chewbacca will also mourn his best friend, with Johnson saying: “Chewie’s doing all right. It’s tough. It was obviously a big loss for him, but, you know, he’s Chewie. He’s resilient. He’s got broad Wookiee shoulders, and he also has a new mission.”
And, though Rey didn’t know him long, she’d already imprinted on the smuggler by the time he took a lightsaber to the gut. It can’t be too easy for a girl without a family to lose her new-found father figure.
So, yes, Han will be very prevalent in Last Jedi, just as you nerds should’ve expected.
Anyone who thought that Han would just be written off and ignored probably hasn’t paid much attention to how important he is to Star Wars as a whole. The rogue smuggler with a soft spot for Wookies and the twin children of Darth Vader might be more willing to look after his own self-interests at first, but he’ll always do the right thing in the end; that’s why people always loved him.
Well, that, and because Harrison Ford has such a charming smile.
Star Wars: The Last Jedi, with the “figurative ghost” of Han Solo hanging around, premieres in theaters on December 15.