Originally Jabba the Hutt’s criminal for hire, Han Solo quickly became Star Wars fans’ favorite big-mouthed, hot-tempered anti-hero. When Han agrees to pilot Luke, Obi-Wan, R2-D2 and C-3PO to Alderaan, he’s gruff, defiant and about as lone-wolf as one could get. But after falling in love with Luke’s twin sister Leia, he becomes much more lovable in addition to his already comical demeanor.
Han has already faced death on more than a few occasions by the time the latest trilogy came around, the most notable being the time he’s imprisoned in carbonite just after Leia says she loves him for the first time. But Han’s official death comes at the hand of his and Leia’s own son, Ben Solo, many years later.
After Ben was seduced to the Dark Side by Sith Lord Snoke, Ben is presented with the final test of killing his own father–running him right through the gut with his red lightsaber. For a moment, it looks light Han managed to convince his son to “come back home,” but Ben’s doubtful face soon turns to anger and he kills his father on the spot.
After Han, Leia and Luke had been a dynamic trio for so long, it was almost too much to take watching an original Star Wars hero caress his lost son’s face just before plummeting down a space shaft to his death.