How Han Solo’s Death Will Affect Star Wars: The Last Jedi

Han Solo Harrison Ford Star Wars: The Force Awakens

There are many franchise-changing events that go down in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but none were more significant than the death of Han Solo. The character was not only one of the most beloved of all time by fans, saddened to see him go, but he also met a legitimately dramatic end at the hand of his own son, Kylo Ren. All the same, if you're expecting characters like Finn and Poe to spend a lot of time mourning in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, you may be disappointed. John Boyega said earlier today,

We're just keeping it moving, to be honest with you, man. It's true. The pressure's on, man. There's no time. I think that's one thing unique to me about watching this movie was the commentary on war. There hasn't been a Star Wars movie yet that has explored war in the way The Last Jedi does. It's very messy; the categorizing of 'good' and 'evil' is all mixed together. In terms of Han, I'm sure we all feel sentimental - if someone were to sit Finn down, sit Rey down. But Rey's off training, she's got stuff to do. I've got a back injury, I've got stuff to do. I can't think about Han at the moment.

Today saw the stars and director of Star Wars: The Last Jedi assemble in Los Angeles for a press conference, and it was during the proceedings that the cast was asked about the impact of Han Solo's death in the film. Being blunt enough to inspire a laugh from the audience, Boyega explained that Finn doesn't really have much opportunity to think about the death of the legendary space pirate who he had only recently met. Not only is he recovering from the serious injuries he sustained at the end of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but he is also trying to save more lives by supporting the war effort of the Resistance.

Furthering that point was Oscar Isaac, who was sitting to John Boyega's right on stage. Admittedly there wasn't much of a relationship showcased between Poe Dameron and Han Solo in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, but he did continue his co-star's point about how the film depicts life during wartime and the necessity not to dwell on any single death -- regardless of how significant the person. Furthermore, the Resistance apparently finds itself in serious trouble at the star of The Last Jedi's story, so time just isn't on their side for that. Said Isaac,

This is reverberating, but he's right. It's a dire situation, it's critical to the Resistance, which is on its last legs. We're trying to survive. The First Order is right on top of us. It is like war - you just gotta keep moving to try and survive. So I think you feel the momentum of everything that happens in The Force Awakens just pushing and getting to a critical mass in this film.

Unlike every other Star Wars sequel, The Last Jedi picks up in the moments following the end of The Force Awakens -- which is why we can confirm that the Resistance definitely isn't in good shape when Rian Johnson's movie starts. It's true that Poe Dameron and his crew of X-Wing pilots were able to successfully destroy the Starkiller Base, but The First Order remains as powerful as ever under the guidance of Supreme Leader Snoke. Given all of this happening, it makes sense that there just isn't the opportunity to grieve for Han Solo that fans might expect.

Daisy Ridley had a response of her own to the question, but her thoughts on the matter definitely ran contrary to what John Boyega and Oscar Isaac had to say. While Finn and Poe are both soldiers who are seasoned in war, Rey doesn't have that kind of background, and Ridley explained that she quickly latched on to Han Solo as an important figure in her life -- leaving her emotionally hurt by his sudden death. Said Ridley,

I will interject there. And I think it's the beauty of having storylines that are happening in tandem and affecting each other. Because I would say that where it leads very much affects me. Rey is a character who has been alone for a very long time. And she's really open to love and friendship, so Finn and BB-8 come along and it's like this amazing adventure. And then Han, without trying to, she seeks something from him because there's an intimacy, and there's a sort of figure or something she never dreamed of for her. Everything is new to her, so she's understanding things in a different way - and lucky for me, because I was trying to get to grips with everything going on, and Rey is trying to get to grips with everything going on. So for Rey there is some time. Everything is moving forward, but she has some time to ask questions and wonder what it means it is that led someone to do something like that. And also how that directly affects the world around her. And she's worried about being at home. So I'd say she's a bit more affected.

John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, and Daisy Ridley all had to dance around spoilers in their responses to the question, but it won't be long until fans find out for themselves what kind of impact Han Solo's death has on Star Wars: The Last Jedi. The newest chapter in the legendary sci-fi saga is almost upon us, with the film set to come out in theaters on December 15th -- and we'll have tons more from the movie's press days here on CinemaBlend for you in the coming weeks!

Eric Eisenberg
Assistant Managing Editor

Eric Eisenberg is the Assistant Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. After graduating Boston University and earning a bachelor’s degree in journalism, he took a part-time job as a staff writer for CinemaBlend, and after six months was offered the opportunity to move to Los Angeles and take on a newly created West Coast Editor position. Over a decade later, he's continuing to advance his interests and expertise. In addition to conducting filmmaker interviews and contributing to the news and feature content of the site, Eric also oversees the Movie Reviews section, writes the the weekend box office report (published Sundays), and is the site's resident Stephen King expert. He has two King-related columns.