TBT: Han Solo’s death changed the Star Wars universe – on and off screen


It’s been almost three years since Star Wars fans experienced the most shocking death in the history of the movie universe, and fans are still talking about the loss of Han Solo.

It’s hard to believe Han Solo’s death happened three years ago already, as it felt like it was just yesterday I was excited to see Solo on the big screen again. While the character is gone, he will never be forgotten, and we look at what his death meant for the Star Wars fandom.

The Significance

What exactly did Han Solo’s death mean for the Star Wars universe?

More from Han Solo

First and foremost, I feel the way Han Solo died impacted the new trilogy immensely. He was stabbed in the gut by his own son, and that, of course, made Kylo Ren take a close look at his inner feelings. He is still a conflicted character, not knowing whether he should revert back to being a Jedi or continue his mission of galactic conquest, and all of that is thanks to Han’s sacrifice.

Something else that is signified by Han’s death is a passing of the guard. Han Solo was the first original trilogy character to die in the new movies, and it let the fans know the new Star Wars movies aren’t going to be dependent on the nostalgia from previous trilogies.

We are dealing with all new characters in a universe we know and love, and losing Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are just the first steps to accepting the next generation.

However, the biggest impact of Han’s death is that The Resistance now has something to drive them. Sure, a state of constant suppression by an evil superpower is enough to make anyone want to battle back, but nothing motivates like a personal loss. Everyone loved Han, and his death is what made them really want to defeat

The First Order. No matter how bad the situation gets, our characters are going to remember what Han gave up, and they’re going to want to fight back because of it.

Fan Reception

Photo Credit: [StarWars.com]LucasfilmThe fan reception to Han Solo’s death was absolutely phenomenal. Not every fan agreed with Han meeting his end, but everyone talked about it. It was almost impossible to avoid spoilers. The only conversation fans could have for weeks was how shocked they were over his death, and that really shows why this decision was made.

Han Solo dying in The Force Awakens was almost a bigger event than the movie itself, and I feel like it really brought Star Wars fans together. In a fandom that is polarized right down the middle about the new trilogy, this was the one moment that hit every fan right in the feels. There may have been arguments over whether it was right to kill Han Solo, but no one argued over how beautifully his death scene was done, and that is something that should make us all proud.

dark. Next. 9 fun facts about Han Solo

Critic Reviews

While most fans were fond of how Han Solo’s death was executed, a lot of critics did not feel the same way. A writer for Time.com (and someone who proclaims in the article that he is not a Star Wars fan) says, “Han Solo’s death in The Force Awakens isn’t operatic at all, and I can’t help feeling that this character deserves better.” Many critics carry the same sentiment, and while I’m sure not everyone has the same opinion, it seems that the majority feel this way.

Photo Credit: Lucasfilm

However, I have to say that it is a critic’s job to find what is wrong with movies and particular movie scenes. The critics didn’t appreciate the way Han Solo died, but then again hardly any of those critics actually like Star Wars.

The Force Awakens made over $2 billion at the box office, and was nominated for five Oscars. The film received possibly the best reception of any other Star Wars movie, yet the critics still talk about it like it’s a disaster.

So while almost every critic despised the method of Han’s death, the movie was still one of the most successful and lucrative films of all time. I would like to think that the overall love of the movie is a sign that you can’t always listen to what the critics think, and while it disappoints me that so many of them disliked how Han Solo died, The Force Awakens is going to long outlive what the critics had to say about it.

How did you feel when Han Solo died? Let me know in the comments!