Will Han Solo Die in Star Wars Episode VII?May 26, 2014
It’s been an interesting couple of months with news rolling out about Star Wars: Episode VII and some of it just managed to raise more questions than give us any hints to what we should expect from J.J. Abrams and company.
When news broke that Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Peter Mayhew and Harrison Ford were all being brought back to work on the film, Star Wars fans everywhere rejoiced. Then, they remembered something important: that any content that wasn’t a part of the original six films, the Star Wars: Clone Wars television series and film, and anything from the new films was no longer considered ‘canon’ in the Star Wars universe and would be branded under a different title, Star Wars Legends.
That’s right. All of the books so many have read, the characters that were developed (like Mara Jade, Jaina, Jacen and Anakin) and the stories that were told within the books and comics were effectively tossed to the side. It was a blow to the fans, but the official press release did offer some hope that ‘creators of the new Star Wars entertainment will have full access to the rich content of the Expanded Universe.’
You are probably asking yourselves what this all has to do with this articles ominous title; well I’ll tell you. Setting the expanded universe to the side allows the new creators of the Star Wars franchise to do what they please with the characters, and that could include killing off our favorite scruffy nerfherder.
In an interview with ABC News in 2010, Harrison Ford said,
[blockquote]”I thought he should have died in the last one to give it some bottom…George [Lucas] didn’t think there was any future in dead Han toys.”[/blockquote]
This wasn’t the first time the actor spoke out about wanting Solo dead. In the 2004 documentary titled Empire of Dreams Ford explained, “I thought Han Solo should die. I thought he ought to sacrifice himself for [Luke and Leia]. He’s got no mama. He’s got no papa. He’s got no future. He has no story responsibilities at this point. So let’s allow him to commit self-sacrifice.”
So here we are now in 2014 and some of us are wondering: what did they say to Ford to get him to reprise the role as Han Solo?
The answer may just be that the actor wants to give the scoundrel the death that he deserves. While merchandising may still be important, especially with Disney at the helm, perhaps it’s time to give the actor who played Solo many years ago what he’s always wanted.
Return of the Jedi was originally the film in which Han Solo would meet his demise. In 2010, producer Gary Kurtz laid out how it was supposed to happen:
[blockquote]”The original idea was that they would recover [the kidnapped] Han Solo in the early part of the story and that he would then die in the middle part of the film in a raid on an Imperial base. George then decided he didn’t want any of the principals killed. By that time there were really big toy sales and that was a reason.”[/blockquote]
Instead of the story ending happily, it would have ended with success for the rebels, but at a cost that no one could have ever imagined. It would have proven that even the most popular heroes could meet a grisly demise for the cause and would have given a much different feel to the overall trilogy. The ending could have shown the rebel forces in pieces due to high casualties and the loss of a man who moved from scoundrel to hero. It could have even had the ‘spaghetti western’ ending that Gary Kurtz once spoke about, depicting Luke walking into the sunset alone, “Like Clint Eastwood in the spaghetti westerns.”
Did Ford’s contract to return as Solo promise that he will go out in style? Are the creators of the new Star Wars franchise intending on shaking the fandom to its core with Solo’s death? Will he see his end in Episode VII or perhaps that’s how Episode IX will end; with the death of a character many of us have loved so much (even if Ford says he’s “dumb as a stump” and that he’s “not interesting”.).
We’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Please leave your belief on Solo’s fate in the comments section below.