Massive spoilers lie ahead, so, proceed with caution. Or, you know, don’t proceed at all.
Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been in theaters for a little over two weeks, and it would be fair to say that the list of questions surrounding the plot and characters and just how everyone is related to everyone and everything else just keeps growing. Now, though, we have some insight into one of the biggest moments in the film: the death of Han Solo.
The screenplay for Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been handed over to members of the Writers Guild of America so it can enter awards consideration. SlashFilm has gotten their hands on, what appears to be, an authentic copy, and now we can all pick it apart for even more answers as to what’s happening with certain aspects of the film. So, we can now look a little closer at the devastating moment when Kylo Ren spears Han through with his blood red lightsaber and dumps him into the abyss of the Starkiller Base.
The script gives us some understanding of what, exactly, Kylo Ren was thinking right after he brutally murdered his own father. The screenplay tells us that "Kylo Ren is somehow WEAKENED by this wicked act," and that even though he did it willingly, he’s "horrified" by what he’s done and is in shock over his actions. But, that shock is almost immediately broken when Chewbacca roars in anguish over the loss of his dear friend and shoots him, snapping him out of his stupor of disbelief and pulling him toward the next act of the Dark Side.
I think many of us knew that Han Solo was doomed in this film, especially once we had confirmation that Kylo Ren was his son. And, then, with Leia imploring with Han to "bring our son home," we all knew a confrontation was imminent and it would likely not end well for our favorite smuggler. Obviously, the writers (Lawrence Kasdan, J.J. Abrams and Michael Arndt) made good use of the parallel of father/son, Light Side/Dark Side dynamic given to us in the original trilogy with Luke Skywalker and his dastardly dad, Darth Vader.
The official novelization of the screenplay notes that Supreme Leader Snoke told Kylo Ren about how Vader’s weakness for Luke led to his ultimate downfall. And, when Kylo Ren lures his father in with tears and talk of how he’s being torn apart in trying to fight his light and dark tendencies and make choices, I tend to believe he’s telling the truth. I’m sure we’ll find out eventually (or get significant clues to it) why he decided to join team Dark Side, but it makes complete sense that he would think, with the Vader/Skywalker history a part of his bloodline, that killing his father would be the answer to that internal battle that’s probably been raging inside of him as long as he could form coherent thoughts.
Of course, the kicker here is that killing Han Solo didn’t push him even further to the Dark Side and solidify his place there. It brought his Light Side out, even if it was just for a few seconds. So, what does this mean? Well, I’d like to think they won’t go the typical last-minute-sacrifice route with Kylo Ren; this character is too screwed up for that. But, I think we will continue to see him fight his Light Side by taking the Darkest actions possible at every turn and, often, failing to have it make him feel any better about his choices. At any rate, this character is going to be intriguing to watch for many films to come.