The "figurative ghost" of Han Solo will loom large in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, says director

Star Wars: The Last Jedi is taking a darker turn – much like Empire Strikes Back did all those years ago – and it’s not just Luke in danger of going off the rails. Han Solo’s death at the climax of Star Wars: The Force Awakens has hit a few people close to him pretty hard (well, duh!). Here’s how Chewie and his son/murderer Kylo Ren is going to deal with the aftermath of that Shakespearean-style space slicing. Minor spoilers follow…

Rian Johnson has revealed to Entertainment Weekly that Kylo Ren, surprisingly enough for someone who, y’know, did the deed, is struggling to cope with losing his father, Han Solo.

“He’s definitely been knocked off base,” said the director. “The defeat that he had at the end of The Force Awakens, but even bigger than that, his huge defining act which, spoiler alert, is the murder of his father… that’s the more interesting thing to dive into. How has he dealt with that in his head? Where is he at in terms of that act and what does that mean for him?”

In fact, Han will have – by the sounds of it – arguably a bigger impact than the one he had in Star Wars 7, as Johnson explains: “Han, the ghost of — well, not literally... I don’t want to misguide. I have to be very careful with my words here. But a figurative ghost of Han had to be present throughout this entire film.”

But enough about moping Sith Lords, what about Han’s best (furry) bud Chewbacca? Thankfully, that fluffy Wookiee exterior hides a tough core: “Chewie’s doing all right. It’s tough. It was obviously a big loss for him, but, you know, he’s Chewie. He’s resilient.” 

So, after Han’s death, Kylo Ren is acting like a wantaway teenager and Chewie’s got a stiff upper lip. The more things change, the more they stay the same, right?

Want more Star Wars: The Last Jedi coverage? There’s the Star Wars 8 info drop explained right here, and Mark Hamill on why Luke abandons the Jedi in Star Wars 8.

Image: Lucasfilm

Bradley Russell

I'm the Senior Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, focusing on news, features, and interviews with some of the biggest names in film and TV. On-site, you'll find me marveling at Marvel and providing analysis and room temperature takes on the newest films, Star Wars and, of course, anime. Outside of GR, I love getting lost in a good 100-hour JRPG, Warzone, and kicking back on the (virtual) field with Football Manager. My work has also been featured in OPM, FourFourTwo, and Game Revolution.