Let’s just face the facts – Star Wars: Episode VII will be upon us in a year and a half. I never thought I’d say that, let alone write it (especially in May), but so be it. We live in a strange, strange time. As expected, with the hype building and the marketing team “leaking” production pics on Twitter, there have been rumors rising from the far reaches of the Internet.
And, rumor has it that meesa – sorry, someone’s gonna die.
Odds are good that J.J. Abrams and company are unlikely to kill off one of the new faces of the franchise, so crosshairs are now firmly fixed on one of the original cast members. The question is who? Well, I’m hedging my bets that the droids are safe. They’ve been shown to be absurdly sturdy in the past and a reliable form of comic relief (outside of the prequels). Lando is likely safe well, since frankly the producers seem to have forgotten he exists.
So, without further adieu, here are five beloved characters – in order of likelihood of death – that might bite the blaster blot in the the upcoming film. Just remember, as Obi-Wan said, this is all from a certain point of view (mine).
Chewie is at number 5 because he’s had the benefit of dying already in the (formerly canon) Expanded Universe. For those who missed it, he saved Anakin Solo’s life and then a moon fell on him. If you’ve read any of the New Jedi Order books, you know that back then it was a very weird time to be a fan. That being said, Disney won’t kill Chewbacca on screen because killing him would be the equivalent of killing a dog on screen. They’re not going to do that, right?
Seriously though, he’s too fuzzy and lovable for them to kill off, especially if they’re going to try to appeal to a younger audience. And spoiler alert, Disney is going to try with all their might to make these films appeal to children.
If they do…
Should they push the envelope and decide that it’s time to put the Wookiee down, then I would assume that it would be an off-screen death. It wouldn’t be anything graphic, like when Qui-Gon Jinn was impaled, the Clone Troopers executed the Jedi, or when someone died from a broken heart. More likely it would be a large explosion that we see at a great distance, so that we can hold on to the hope that he escaped.
4. Leia Solo
Yes, I’m assuming that Leia marries Han in the years between Return of the Jedi and Episode VII and that she will not hyphenate. So while I’m making assumptions, I’m going say that I don’t think she’s very likely to die. If the original trilogy is any sort of guide, Leia is probably still going to be a high ranking authority figure, one that is far too vital in forming a new government to go on dangerous space missions.
If they do…
It depends. If she’s a Jedi, I’m going with a lightsaber duel. If she’s a ruler, then I’d say an assassination. Hell if that’s what happens, then that might be how the whole new trilogy starts off. You heard it hear first people.
3. Han Solo
Some would disagree with me on putting Han at number three. I’ve heard many of them say, with a sense of certainty, that Han is going to die. Not just going to, but absolutely must die so as to properly pass the scoundrel torch to someone equally scruffy looking. There is also, of course, the whole part about how Harrison Ford has about as much love for Star Wars as Alec Guiness did. Ford is just more polite about it. However, I think killing off the character would be pointless. Han Solo is an action hero and Harrison Ford isn’t so much these days.
If they do…
It would be in the Millennium Falcon. Han is a bit old to be initiating bar fights or shooting Rodians first under tables. That is, unless Malcolm McDowell is cast as a villain. In that scenario, they’d just drop a bunch of rocks on Han.
2. Luke Skywalker
Kill off the hero of the original series? What madness is this?! Well, it’s not that far of a stretch. I mean afterall, they killed Qui-Gon in Episode I and Obi-Wan in Episode IV. Killing off a Jedi Master to motivate the lead character is a bit of a habit in this series.
Since it’s clear that Obi-Wan was taught how to become a force ghost after Qui-Gon was dead for years, it’s not a great leap to assume that Obi-Wan or Yoda could impart that same knowledge onto Luke. Essentially, they can kill off Luke and still have him around in Episode VII and Episode IX.
If they do…
He’ll die from fatal Lightsaber wounds. Jedi Master Luke Skywalker getting offed by a ledge kill seems very unlikely. A duel that mimics Obi-Wan’s (unnecessary) sacrifice wouldn’t be that surprising.
1. The Millennium Falcon
Most people wouldn’t deny that this ship is considered a character as much as anyone else on-screen. So why do I think it would be at the top of Abrams kill list? For the emotional impact? The passing of the torch to a new ship for a new mission?
Nope. If they kill the Falcon, they’ll do it for merchandising.
The Star Wars franchise makes heaps of money from various forms of merchandising. Frankly, that’s the reason Disney paid over 4 billion dollars for it. They weren’t looking to save the franchise from Lucas or bring their own vision of continuing the saga in a galaxy far, far away. They paid for a money making machine and they’re damn well going to use it.
There’s a problem though. You see, most people who want a Millennium Falcon toy, model or statue already own one at this point. They are easy to find at reasonable prices on Amazon. Disney doesn’t make money that way. This make it a very sad Disney. A new ship that could be marketed in a billion different ways would be far better deal for the mouse.
If they do…
The way I see it, there are two ways they would kill the Falcon.
And they’re both pretty horrible to conceive.
Option A: They just blow it up. This is the more merciful of the two options, believe me. It could tie into the possibility of killing Han (although others have piloted the ship before). There’d be a dog fight and someone sacrifices themselves so that allies can escape. A heroic death, but a big boom that results in Falcon chunks all over the screen. Cue the tissues.
Option B: They “refit” the Falcon. Now by a refit, I don’t mean that Han just lovingly restores the ship to look classy. Before we get into that though, let me ask you – do you expect that the Falcon should look exactly the same over the course of 35 years? No.
It would be prettier.
Let’s be fair here, if Han married a rich princess and was a big damn hero of the Republic, then wouldn’t he have fixed her up a little? Remember – this is the ship that, at first sight, a moisture-farming kid on a backwater planet thought looked like shit.
It probably wouldn’t have the same beat-up skin and gruff exterior as when it finished the Death Star II run. Han would have had decades to fix up all the carbon scoring and battle damage, and likely would have replaced the antenna dish that stupid Lando and Nien Nunb broke off.
But I know, I know. I understand how you feel. The ship has so much personality in it’s cobbled-together form. It defines everything we love about Star Wars – it feels lived in, beat up, down on it’s luck, and through one-too-many close calls and near misses. It’s been a central part of countless major story lines and visually brings a warm feeling to our hearts.
This being said, they don’t have to blow up the Falcon to kill it. My fear is that they will instead go beyond a simple cosmetic facelift and deck out the ship in all new parts and armaments. Enough to look different and sell more, different, merchandise. A Falcon 2.0 if you will.
I’ve got a bad feeling about this…