5 Reasons to Be Worried for Chewbacca in 'Star Wars: Rise of Skywalker'

This walking carpet has been around for 7 out of 9 episodic 'Star Wars' movies. Is this the end of his life debt?

Other than C-3PO, we all know the most important character in Star Wars is obviously Chewbacca. Like C-3PO and R2-D2, Chewie is a secondary character who feels like a primary one, and in The Rise of Skywalker, it seems like his journey could get a little bit heavy.

If you’re familiar with the LCD Sound System song “Losing My Edge,” then you know the refrain of the song is mostly about James Murphy claiming “I was there” for a lot of cool historical events. This song could easily be about Chewbacca. He was there when Yoda cut off the heads of those bad clone troopers. He was there when Han Solo used to look like Alden Ehrenreich. He was there when Luke blew up the Death Star. And yes, he was probably there when little-kid Ben Solo first started dressing all in black and listening to Evanescence records.

Overall, Chewbacca has seen so much of the Skywalker saga that this movie will be the end of his story, too. And that means there’s every reason to believe he’s gonna die. Here’s are five reasons we’re worried about Chewie in Episode IX.

Speculative spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ahead!

Chewie in the climax of 'The Last Jedi'
Chewie in the climax of 'The Last Jedi'

5. The Rise of Skywalker Needs Some Hardcore Stakes

So many beloved characters will be running around in The Rise of Skywalker it almost feels like acting out a giant battle with all your favorite action figures. In order for the game to be interesting, you and your friends have to agree that some of these characters can die, otherwise, what’s the point of the fight?

Star Wars is about war and conflict, and so far, the sequel trilogy hasn’t shied away from killing-off various characters from the classic trilogy. So, having Chewie bite it early in the film would actually put audiences on guard. If Chewbacca can die, then maybe you’d start out the movie a little worried.

Chewbacca died in the novel 'Vector Prime' but it was also depicted in several Dark Horse Comics
Chewbacca died in the 1999  novel 'Vector Prime' but it was also depicted in several Dark Horse  Comics

4. Chewie Has Died Before

Back in 1999 in the Star Wars novel Vector Prime by R.A. Salvatore, Chewbacca sacrificed himself to save several children, including Han and Leia’s son, Anakin Solo. All of this was the very beginning of the Yuuzhan Vong alien-invasion storyline which dominated Star Wars novels for a long, long time. The point is, even if you didn’t like the Yuuzhan Vong (I didn’t!) it was very smart to make sure the readers were legit scared of them, and the best way to do that was to kill-off a Star Wars character that really mattered.

Naturally, none of this stuff is canon anymore, but, because the new films have borrowed so much from the Legends canon (Han and Leia’s son being evil, Palpatine coming back to life, Luke’s failed Jedi school) it’s not crazy to think J.J. Abrams would literally take another page from Star Wars history and kill off Chewie.

Han and Chewie in the 'Solo' Trailer
Chewbacca's loyalty to Han clearly was transferred to Rey in 'The Force Awakens'

3. His Life Debt to Han Clearly Now Extends to Rey

Even before the new movies, we’ve always know Chewbacca had a “life debt” to Han Solo, meaning, because Han saved his life, Chewie would do anything to protect him. In Solo, we actually saw this event depicted, but what does it mean after Han’s death? Based on the way Chewbacca acts in both The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, it’s fairly clear he considers Rey to be the new Han, relative to his complete loyalty. And that means that Chewie would take a blaster bolt for her in a nanosecond.

Lando Calrissian in 'Return of the Jedi'
Lando Calrissian in 'Return of the Jedi'

2. Chewie and Lando Could Possibly — and Probably — Die Together

If you’re already worried Lando is a goner in The Rise of Skywalkerand you should be — the fact that he’s racing around in the Millennium Falcon with Chewbacca might mean both of these guys have a death wish. If Lando goes, it seems really likely Chewie will go with him. Even though Lando was the owner and pilot of the Falcon before Han, that doesn’t mean he was the better pilot. Plus, Chewie and Lando are getting up there in years. Heck, these guys could crash the Falcon on accident.

Chewie's family from the 'Star Wars Holiday Special' were made semi-canon in 'Solo'
Chewie's family from the 'Star Wars Holiday Special' were made semi-canon in 'Solo'

1. If Chewbacca Doesn’t Die in The Rise of Skywalker We Deserve to See His Family

Okay, so what if Chewbacca survives The Rise of Skywalker. Well, if that’s the case, then the new movie owes us something big: we should see Chewbacca’s real family. In the infamous Star Wars Holiday Special from 1978, Chewbacca’s son, wife, and grandfather were depicted on the planet of Kashyyyk. In fact, a huge part of the plot involved Han returning Chewie to his home planet to celebrate Wookiee “Life Day.”

The Holiday Special and the canonicity of “Life Day” are highly dubious, but the movie Solo did, in fact, low-key establish that Chewbacca had been separated from his family. So far, this plot point has not been chronologically resolved — unless we count The Holiday Special as canon, which you shouldn’t. So if Chewie lives, let’s at least get this guy reunited with his family. After all, we haven’t visited Kashyyyk since Yoda punked some Clone Troopers in Revenge of the Sith.

Come to think of it, everyone has been wondering about a jungle planet or a forest/jungle planet in all the trailer for The Rise of Skywalker. What if it’s not Endor or Yavin IV at all? What if we’re headed back to Chewie’s home planet!


Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. hits theaters on December 20, 2019.

Media via Lucasfilm, StarWars.com