‘Star Wars: The Last Jedi’ and the Han Solo Effect

How Han Solo's climactic moment in 'The Force Awakens' will affect 'The Last Jedi'.

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Han Solo Harrison Ford The Force Awakens The Last Jedi Star Wars

The most shocking moment of Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be felt throughout The Last Jedi. For the five of you who haven’t seen The Force Awakens, this is your final warning since there will be spoilers throughout.

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Most of the principle characters will be affected by Han Solo’s death. The cast and crew of The Last Jedi spoke with Entertainment Weekly. Director Rian Johnson spoke about how Solo (Harrison Ford) will affect the film.

“Han, the ghost of — well, not literally [laughs]. 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.”

Ben Solo/Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) drove his lightsaber through his father at Starkiller Base near the end of The Force Awakens as Solo plummeted to his demise off the catwalk.

Rey (Daisy Ridley) and Finn (John Boyega) witnessed the act from above. Ridley spoke about the contrast between Rey and Kylo.

“She just doesn’t understand Kylo. When all she wanted was parents, why would a person who has parents do that? It’s so beyond comprehension, it’s ridiculous. So she has grief for the loss and then there’s anger. To be honest, she couldn’t understand doing something like that – let alone to your parents.”

Luke (Mark Hamill) will likely feel the guilt and sorrow for not being there for his best friend and to some degree, confronted by Rey on why he didn’t do anything as the First Order took over and Kylo Ren terrorized the galaxy. Leia (Carrie Fisher) felt the loss through the Force and will likely take a more direct role to confront her son to avenge her former love.

We’ll also see how Han’s best friend and first mate Chewbacca (Joona Suotamo taking over the role from franchise staple Peter Mayhew) will be affected. Johnson went into detail on what we’ll be seeing out of Chewie.

“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. Johnson said of the big walking carpet, who will be a little more volatile than usual. He’s got broad Wookie shoulders, and he also has a new mission. He’s got Rey, and she’s someone that Han, to a certain extent, handed the keys to. So I think that helps. If Chewie was just unemployed and sitting at home, things might be a little rougher, but he’s got a task to focus on.”

As Solo was cut down, Chewie fired his bowcaster and hit Kylo Ren in the abdomen, which will affected his fight with Rey in their climactic battle of the film.

Rey won the fight, but Kylo will be dealing with more than his humiliating defeat. Johnson went into how he’s coped with his patricide.

“He’s definitely been knocked off base. The defeat that he had at the end of The Force Awakens, but even bigger than that, his huge defining act which, spoiler alert, is the murder of his father… that’s the more interesting thing to dive into. How has he dealt with that in his head? Where is he at in terms of that act and what does that mean for him?”

Johnson said Ben Solo’s shift to darkness is symbolic of “the treacherous road through adolescence” that Star Wars often explores.

“Kylo represents kind of the rebellious anger that you feel during that period. Honestly, sometimes it’s a healthy desire to push away from the place that you know, from the things that you came from. But he obviously does it in an extreme that’s not healthy at all.”

He said Kylo and Rey are “two halves of the dark and the light.”

I also wouldn’t put it past Johnson to have a Han Solo flashback as a way to shoehorn in Ford into the film.

The Last Jedi comes to theaters December 15.

SOURCEEntertainment Weekly
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Sci-fi and technology geek since the NES days, Tom loves everything from the cult classics, the contemporary hits to the beast with two backs that is Disney and Marvel. His life's mission is to be the ultimate nerd savant sitting on the iron throne as CEO of Skynet while masquerading as a vigilante at night wearing hockey pads.

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