Death is a part of life in Star Wars. Sure, it’s often very sad — look at how Anakin reacted to Padme’s passing, or Luke’s reaction to the tragic murder of his Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. But a lot of the characters from the Skywalker Saga we’ve known and loved over the years — Obi-Wan, Yoda, and Anakin — have eventually returned as Force ghosts. So as Luke said in The Last Jedi, “no one’s ever really gone.” (Well, they probably are if they can’t use the Force, but let’s not dwell on that.) There’s been all sorts of rumors about Force ghosts appearing — and not appearing — in The Rise of Skywalker ahead of the release of the final trailer. Now that it’s arrived and we’re less than two months away from the film’s release, we’re more than a little bit worried for two major characters we hadn’t really considered losing.
Warning: leaks and potential spoilers ahead for The Rise of Skywalker.
About a week ago, someone over on the Star Wars Leaks subreddit claimed to have obtained insider information about the upcoming movie’s soundtrack. “There is a TROS musical motif called, ‘The Falcon’s Last Ride,’” they wrote. As iconic as the Millennium Falcon is, we can live without her if it’s for the good of the galaxy. After all, that thing was a hunk of junk way back when the Battle of Yavin happened. What we’re more concerned about is the people we see inside the Falcon, and what they appear to be doing.
No big deal, right? It’s just good old pals Chewie and Lando, together again, back in the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon. Standard operating procedure. We’d be pissed if they didn’t show us this. They might be a bit long in the tooth at this point, but these two hotshot pilots are not about to let Poe Dameron steal the show in the final showdown with the First Order.
Here’s the problem. It seems pretty likely that Lando and Chewie are leading the Resistance fleet, rather than just doing their sporting best. This wouldn’t be a problem — it’s only natural they’d be front and center — if it weren’t for that whole “The Falcon’s Last Ride” thing.
See, the thing about space battles is, you tend not to survive them if your ship goes down. The Skywalker saga has burned through its fair share of Wilhelm screams sending various X-Wing and TIE Fighter pilots to their firey doom. (We’ll never forget you, Porkins!) There’s reason to suspect the battle against the Sith Fleet might take place in-atmosphere. We see a Star Destroyer rising out of the water, after all, and even space horses can’t breathe in a vacuum. Still, from where we’re sitting, there are some compelling arguments to be made for why Lando and Chewie may not make it.
For starters, it makes narrative sense. Chewie and Lando are totally the type of people who would sacrifice themselves for a good cause, despite wanting to put on airs to the contrary. We also know, practically, that these characters probably won’t appear in another Star Wars movie, now that the Skywalker saga is concluding. But perhaps the most compelling — and admittedly cynical — reason Chewie and Lando might meet their end in The Rise of Skywalker: the sequel trilogy has already killed off far, far more important Star Wars heroes. Like it or not, a very unsubtle message carries through Force Awakens and Last Jedi — this is not a story about the old characters. Like it or lump it, the torch has been passed to Rey, Poe, and Finn. (And maybe Kylo Ren, we’re not too sure.)
The Rise of Skywalker comes to theaters December 20.