During the comic’s long hiatus, Star Wars returned and broke my heart.
Don’t get me wrong, what Disney and J.J. Abrams accomplished with “The Force Awakens” was a major achievement. They managed to produce a Star Wars movie that captured the fun and spirit of the Original Trilogy, and created a new set of characters that we actually cared about and couldn’t wait to see more of in future films. I thought the movie had a few flaws, such as a puzzling, almost carbon-copy of the finale of “A New Hope,” but I could live with those.
What I couldn’t live with was *SPOILERS* the death of Han Solo and the way in which it happened. That moment just sucked the wind out of the theater for me. And I had already spent the whole film dreading it would happen, since I knew of Harrison Ford’s unfulfilled desire to kill Han in “Return of the Jedi,” and the fact that a shocked man about my age had wandered forlornly out of the showing before mine saying he was still “processing” what he had seen. I was pretty sure I knew what that meant.
I think if Han had heroically sacrificed himself and the Falcon to destroy Starkiller Base after the Resistance attack failed, I would have been pretty satisfied with that. But the way it did happen… the moment he walked onto that bridge, you knew he was doomed. I appreciate that he was willing to risk everything to try and save his son, but the way he attempted it was so suicidal, not really in-character for Han. It was telegraphed, by-the-numbers and – yes, I get that he had to die that way to further Kylo’s story – but I just hated it. To make it worse, could Leia (God bless Carrie Fisher.) have poured on the guilt trip on Han any thicker? “You HAVE to save our son.” This is one of those cases where I feel like J.J. Abrams lacks a little something in his storytelling pertaining to characters and satisfying resolution. Worst of all is that we’ll NEVER see the onscreen reunion of Han, Luke and Leia.
But anyway, Han was dead and I had to live with it. The hero of my youth, my favorite Star Wars character, was Obi-Wan-Kenobied. It bothered me enough that I couldn’t even watch “The Force Awakens” again until a couple of months ago. It took me that long to process Han’s fate. It doesn’t bother me as much now – I’ve moved onto the acceptance stage, I guess – and I enjoyed the film a lot more than I did the first time.
However, I still needed some catharsis, and this comic was my way to do it. If your feelings about Han Solo’s end are anything like mine, I hope this gave you a smile, too.
Anyway, “The Last Jedi” is out THIS WEEK, and I know I can’t wait!