Do you feel, as Harrison Ford did, that Han Solo should have died in Return of the Jedi? I understand that. Han Solo really doesn’t have a lot of purpose in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi. He is pretty much thawed out, flies a space ship to Endor, blows up a bunker, and finds out his brother kissing girlfriend is finally his. The end for Han Solo. Until Star Wars Episode VII, should Harrison Ford return.
Ford wanting to kill off Han Solo seems to be THE fun fact of this pre-Episode VII era.
I find it taxing to endure the discussion about Han Solo’s death because it just isn’t pertinent.
Han Solo dying as a man with his whole life ahead of him has some gravitas. He’s a swashbuckling hero, who is loved, looked up to, and respected by the cast of characters we followed for the second trilogy of the Star Wars story. His death would have “kept it real” so to speak. Kasdan wanted that death for Solo, but Lucas wanted a fairy tale ending where everything wrapped up in a neat and happy manner. Both perspectives are entirely valid.
But saying Harrison Ford is coming back to Star Wars Episode VII so he can kill Han Solo seems silly to me. It makes Harrison Ford sound like a psychopathic killer. In reality, Harrison Ford wanted to move on and put Star Wars behind him. As an actor, who can blame him? The guy had a bright future ahead of him and it had nothing to do with Star Wars. Killing Han Solo would free up Ford, putting the character far behind him. Today, Ford has had Han Solo behind him for 30 years. The reasoning for Ford wanting to kill Han Solo today just doesn’t add up. Ford didn’t want Solo killed because he thought he had the greatest idea in the history of Star Wars storytelling. He wanted him killed for personal career reasons and for artistic reasons (i.e. the point of his character being on screen at all in Episode VI).
So today I ask our fun fact dropping fandom what the value is in killing a 71 year old man? On screen it will not have the same gravitas as it did in 1983, when the character was 30 years younger. Han Solo is an old guy now. If he dies in the new trilogy, I don’t think it will necessarily have anything to do with the production of Return of the Jedi or Harrison Ford’s Reagan era yearnings.
Old mentors die to make room for the heroes to finally do things on their own, we’ll likely see that in the sequel trilogy since we’ve seen it in the past trilogies. But this discourse about Ford’s old desires is trivial at best when taken into context. Besides, wouldn’t it make more sense for Luke Skywalker to die since Qui-Gon Jinn dies in Episode I and Obi-Wan Kenobi dies in Episode IV?