269 days until Star Wars: Did Han Solo commit suicide in 'The Force Awakens'?
Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be available on home video April 1, 2016. Ignore the fact that saying “home video” makes you sound like you just time traveled from 1985. Focus instead on how this fact means Harrison Ford is once again doing the rounds on talk shows because he is a national treasure.
Part of Ford’s whirlwind tour brought him to Jimmy Kimmel Live! where talk of course turned to the now iconic moment when Han Solo shucks this mortal coil and becomes one with the Force. As far as Ford is concerned, it was a long time coming.
“I argued for 30 years for this to happen and finally, I wore them down.” When Kimmel joked that Han Solo won’t be in any Star Wars movies going forward, Ford was quick with an accusatory “Who said that? Who made you the boss?”
Pressed to confirm or deny that Han Solo is gone for good, Ford refused to answer. He must have known this will start the speculation mill going again. Let’s grind her up!
Down the rabbit hole we go! Unless you inhabit the dark parts of the Internet where fan theories spring like mushrooms from the wet firmament of lore, you probably took Han Solo’s death at face value. He was just a man, standing in front of his estranged son, asking for a second chance to be a present father, goaded on by his wife’s insistence there was good in left in their emo child. By all accounts, Leia was wrong. Kylo Ren is swathed in darkness (literally) and stabs his father, forever turning away from the light.
Or did he?
Dive deep enough into the forums on TheForce.net and you’ll find theories that Snoke managed to ignite Ren’s lightsaber from a far or even that Han Solo turned the lightsaber on himself to save his son from the dark side. Unfortunately, the novelization by Alan Dean Foster poked holes in both those theories by definitively stating Kylo Ren ignited his saber.
Yet all hope is not lost. There is another (explanation). This theory revolves around two passages from Foster’s Star Wars: The Force Awakens novel. First, Han knows exactly what he’s doing. This is not a man who’s judgment is clouded by parental love. His son is turning into Space Hitler™ and Han knows it.
Image Credit: Lucasfilm
But Han also knows he promised Leia he’d bring their son back if he could. And as well all know, Han Solo is the master of the word game. He told Leia he’d get past the shields on Starkiller base, but didn’t tell her how because he knew she’d freak out. Could he possibly have hatched a plan to bring Ben back from the Dark Side that wasn’t a literal “Get in the car, mister! You are grounded FOREVER!” parenting moment? Parents will do anything to save their children. Even if it means purposefully goading them into killing you so they can see the error of their ways and turn away from the Dark Side.
Image Credit: Lucasfilm
A surface read of Han’s statement that he’ll do anything to help Ben says he means it as “I’ll help you escape Snoke and integrate back into polite society.” But a deeper — and more sacrificial read — sees Han accepting his role as a martyr in order to save Ben from the darkness.
I, for one, would much rather believe this theory than accept a reality where Han Solo goes out like a punk in a moment of misplaced loyalty. Wouldn’t you?
How does this tie into the possibility of Han Solo returning in future installments of Star Wars? The Jedi Temple...or whatever the equivalent is for a Sith Temple. The finale of The Force Awakens sees Kylo Ren spirited away to Snoke to complete his training. Training that may include the former Ben Solo facing his fears...such as his father's image perhaps?