For a long time now, we've heard that Harrison Ford shot a flashback scene for Star Wars: The Last Jedi that will reunite his Han Solo with Mark Hamill's Luke Skywalker on screen for the first time in 35 years. While Lucasfilm has yet to confirm or deny that, one thing is true, Han Solo's ghost will loom large over the story being told in the latest chapter of the Skywalker saga. And his absence affects everyone from Rey to Luke, Leia, and especially Chewbacca.

Director Rian Johnson has done a spat of interviews lately, showing up at D23 and participating in an Entertainment Weekly cover story. He assures fans that Han Solo still has a major role to play in Star Wars 8, even if he's not there in physical form. As most Star Wars fans know, Han was killed off by his own son Kylo Ren during the climax of The Force Awakens. And that act will certainly push the former Ben Solo' destiny forward in ways that fans aren't yet anticipating.

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Johnson says The Last Jedi retains Han Solo's 'figurative ghost' and that he is 'present' through the two hour runtime. About how the death of Han Solo affects his son, Johnson says this via IndiaTV.

"Kylo has 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?"

While Han Solo's demise has come as a shocking blow to new friend Rey, Leia sensed it all along, being from a long line of Force sensitive Jedi. But perhaps taking it the hardest, understandably so, is Han Solo's lifelong co-pilot Chewbacca. Though the Wookie is going to be expressing his feelings in some odd and disturbing ways. Chewy is going to go agro at at least one point in the movie, and you can expect to see some limbs ripped from bodies. But don't expect to find the Wookiee sitting and crying. He has a new friend in Rey, and he's also becoming rather friendly with the Porgs, cute aquatic sea birds that inhabit Luke's exile planet of Ahch-To. Chewbacca will be keeping guard, holding campfires outside the Millennium Falcon, as Rey begins training with Luke. Rian Johnson has confirmed that Chewbacca will have his own mission in the movie, and he will get to funnel some of his rage in ways Star Wars fans haven't yet imagined.

Star Wars 8 is heading to theaters this Christmas. Fans are eagerly awaiting a new trailer, which may or may not actually show up before the movie hits theaters. Both Mark Hamill and Rian Johnson have warned fans to be weary of any and all merchandising and promotional materials from here on out. If they can contain themselves. The next big rush of Star Wars information is expected in just a few weeks, when Force Friday hits stores nationwide with a new tidal wave of Last Jedi merchandise that is sure to reveal more than a few secrets early this September.

B. Alan Orange at Movieweb
B. Alan Orange