Picking the scene-stealer in The Force Awakens was a tough choice. It came down to a few options with both Maz Kanata and Unkar Plutt both in the running. In the end, I had to go with Han Solo as he just chews up (no pun intended) every scene he is. He absolutely owns the screen when he’s on it in this film and brings a great mix of humor and seriousness to his role.
Han is closer to who he was in A New Hope in Episode VII than he was to when we last saw him in Return of the Jedi. He’s gone back to his smuggling ways and is a grizzled looking character who finally tracks down his beloved but stolen Millennium Falcon.
He still has his roguish charm but also is able to dispel some wisdom to young Finn and Rey when he tells them about Luke Skywalker and the Force. We see he’s come a long way since his cynical days of believing in only luck. Han is a bit downtrodden as he’s separated from Leia, his son has fallen to the Dark Side, and he’s gotten himself involved in some sketchy deals with shady characters.
He finally gets back to the Leia and the Resistance and helps Finn enter Starkiller Base. He confronts his son where he ultimately meets his demise as Ben plunges his lightsaber through his father’s abdomen.
While it was hard seeing Han die, his return to the screen was an enjoyable and fun ride. It was full of plenty of moments that have since become classic to Han’s character, and while he was on the screen in this film, it was hard to pay attention to anyone besides this scruffy-looking nerf herder.