Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker: Killing Chewbacca a storytelling taboo

Joonas Suotamo is Chewbacca, Oscar Isaac is Poe Dameron, Daisy Ridley is Rey and John Boyega is Finn in STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
Joonas Suotamo is Chewbacca, Oscar Isaac is Poe Dameron, Daisy Ridley is Rey and John Boyega is Finn in STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER /

Chewbacca almost died in The Rise of Skywalker, and some Star Wars fans think he should have. Wrong. You don’t kill Chewbacca. You just don’t.

Warning: Spoilers for Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker ahead.

There’s a general rule in the literary and entertainment world that you can’t kill a dog. You just can’t. If you ask ten literary agents, you’d hear at least nine of them tell you that if a dog dies in a book, they can’t sell it. Star Wars clearly knew this world.

The world just doesn’t want to see that. Dogs are pure love. Pure loyalty. To kill them is the ultimate story-telling taboo. You just don’t.

Which is why Esquire is dead wrong in their belief that Chewbacca should have died in The Rise Of Skywalker. According to the article in question, they were less than enamored by the fake death and, to them, felt “spineless.”

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Okay. That’s one way of looking at it. But I don’t see why The Rise Of Skywalker needed to be any bolder than it already was. Pincess Leia already died. Ben Solo died. We don’t have to kill off every character just to prove bravery.

Least of all Chewbacca.

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Chewbacca is like that temperamental old dog that everyone loves. I realize it might seem a tad demeaning to liken Chewie to a dog, but hear me out.

What do dogs do? They don’t speak English, but we can still understand them at times, if we’ve had them for awhile. They stick loyally to their master (or rather, to their friend, since Wookiees don’t have masters). They’re strong, sometimes overly brash, and they protect those that they love with fierce resolve.

Chewie does all those things for Star Wars. And don’t forget what Harrison Ford said on the set of A New Hope, about it being weird because there’s a guy walking around in a big dog suit.

Chewbacca mirrors the dog companion, which is more than a little ironic, seeing as how Harrison Ford will be starring in Call of the Wild. About him and a dog. But I digress.

You can’t kill Chewbacca. Look what he did when Han died, or when Leia died. Now you’re going to kill him too? No. And besides, the fake death felt unearned. If anything, I’d have rather they just not had that scene at all. It wasn’t conducive to anything except a little “Ha! Gotcha!” moment that I didn’t need. I would have enjoyed the movie just fine without thinking Chewie had anticlimactically died at the hand of Rey.

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Let me say this again—killing Chewbacca is never a good idea. But I want to hear from you. Should he have died?