Warning! If you are one of the 13 people who are waiting for home video to watch Star Wars: The Force Awakens, or passed out from all of the opening night excitement and missed the climatic third act, there will be Spoilers. In fact, today, we're talking about the biggest spoiler of them all. The Death of Han Solo. And the director responsible for his demise, J.J. Abrams. It's no secret that actor Harrison Ford wanted to have his iconic space pirate killed off in Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi. He finally got his wish, some 30 years later. Han died at the hands of his own son, Ben Solo. And it comes as the movie's most emotional scene.
Even the most heartless and jaded Star Wars fan was stirred by the impaling of Han Solo, who had a lightsaber thrust through his chest so that Ben could fully transition to the dark side and become Kylo Ren. But nearly three decades later, did Harrison Ford still feel the same way about his former smuggler-turned-Rebel War Hero-turned husband and father-turned smuggle? Speaking with Fandango, J.J. Abrams peers behind the mindset of the actor, and offers why the Death of Han Solo was necessary for the franchise to carry on with some much needed weight of its own.
"He was very thoughtful about it, and he got it. He understood why it was so powerful. And I think part of it was because Harrison himself - Han, the character- has so much ahead of him. Has so much life and fight and adventure-that this was the time to do that thing. If we felt like the character was sort of at the end of his days, it wouldn't have been as powerful. The thing that made it potentially meaningful wasn't just who does it and how it happened, but that it's a character that is so vital that is meeting his demise."
Obviously Han Solo won't be back in Star Wars: Episode VIII, but there have been rumors that he could appear in a flashback. And we're getting a Star Wars Anthology: Han Solo in 2018, so Disney and Lucasfilm are not done with the character by any stretch. But it's very unlikely that Harrison Ford will return for more than a fleeting cameo. About the decision to kill off Han Solo at this point in time, with the franchise just refinding its legs to the tune of $2 million worldwide, J.J. Abrams continued.
"I'll also say that Harrison's always said that he knew that Han needed to have clear utility, and that's what he wanted to do. And that's why he argued back in the day that Han should die and George [Lucas] didn't want to do it. And I don't know what his utility in that regard would've been, though I'm sure Harrison would've come up with a clever pitch for it. But in this case there was such a clear utility- it's about bringing this new villain to the fore, and there's nothing I could think of that is more hideous than patricide, especially when it comes to Han Solo."
While Harrison Ford has never really expressed any nostalgia for his time spent in a galaxy far, far away back in the late 70s and early 80s, he appeared to be very happy to return this past year. And he's gone out of his way to promote the movie. Perhaps we wouldn't have seen this kind of enthusiasm from the actor had he been forced to return for another trilogy. And he gives us one of his best performances in years with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Perhaps killing off Han Solo is the best thing to happen to Star Wars in years. What do you think? Sound off in the comments below.