Briana Hansen
February 28, 2016 8:18 am
Lucasfilm Ltd & Bad Robot Productions

There are so many reasons to love Star Wars: The Force Awakens. There was the introduction of our new amazing hero Rey, the Storm Trooper-turned-surprisingly-funny-good-guy Finn, and, of course, the most charming new droid in the entire galaxy, BB-8.

Lucasfilm Ltd & Bad Robot Productions/ Tumblr

Not to mention, of course, the fact that we got to see some of our favorite classic Star Wars characters back at it again on the big screen.

Now, fair warning if you haven’t yet seen the movie and have somehow (amazingly) been able to avoid all spoilers about it: There are major spoilers ahead.

If you’re reading this, I assume you saw the movie. Which means you got to revel in the incredible moment when Chewie and Han Solo returned to the Millennium Falcon.

Lucasfilm Ltd & Bad Robot Productions/ Tumblr

And, if you loved that, you then likely had the same reaction I did when Han Solo died. I was balling in my seat, screaming “No! Why?” when I saw the beloved character die at the hands of his estranged son, Kylo Ren. And I know I wasn’t the only one.

Well, the movie’s director J.J. Abrams finally answered my “No! Why?” question and spoke out about Harrison Ford’s reaction to his character’s demise in an interview with Fandango. J.J. said that Harrison was “thoughtful” about it and “understood why it was so powerful.” He also said that Harrison had always argued Han Solo “needed clear utility,” and had actually tried to convince George Lucas to kill him before. But George (understandably) didn’t want to do it.

But, the new movies introduced an opportunity for Han Solo’s character to have a different kind of “utility.” With the infamously evil Darth Vader gone, the galaxy need to have a villain who people would despise just as much as the deep-breathing sith lord.

But how do you show that? Well, maybe if the villain is willing to kill his own father in cold blood, then we might start to know just how dark into the dark side this guy has gone. Not to mention, if his father is the fan-favorite Han Solo, you’re going to get a lot of people who now hate this new bad guy (which is exactly what the storytellers want).

At least that’s what J.J. Abrams and Harrison Ford seemed to believe. Take a listen to the interview yourself. It certainly made me better understand and appreciate how, even in his death, the charming renegade pilot was one of the most important moments in the entire film and for the future of the franchise.

Of course, I still don’t like it. But at least I get it.

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