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Star Wars Novelist Says Killing Luke and Han Is A Force Push In The Wrong Direction

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Longtime Star Wars novelist Timothy Zahn, whose “Thrawn Trilogy” created most of the Star Wars Expanded Universe, is joining the chorus of fans who are unhappy with the killing of original characters in the latest film trilogy, arguing it is a Force push in the wrong direction.

Killing The Old To Make Room For The New

By now, most know that main Star Wars characters Han Solo and Luke Skywalker were killed off in the last two movies, while Princess Leia is likely to be next due to the passing of Carrie Fisher.

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But Zahn recently argued during one interview that killing off Solo and Skywalker was a mistake. Instead, the author said, the movies should have been built on the heirs of the original Star Wars characters. “My vision always for the sequels would be, you would pick up with the children of our main characters. [The original cast] would be the elder statesman type and not necessarily die on camera. They’d be off doing beekeeping like Sherlock Holmes allegedly did. You don’t have to kill off a character to get them offstage.”

Legacies Are More Important

As proof, look no further than his original “Thrawn Trilogy,” in which he created Han and Leia’s twins, Jacen and Jaina Solo in the novels that take place following Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. Further in the Expanded Universe, Han, Luke, and Leia continued to fight for the galaxy while their children grew up to become powerful characters themselves.

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In some ways, the trilogy is similar to Zahn’s novels: Zahn’s Imperial Remnant became the First Order in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, and Han and Leia’s Force-adept Jacen Solo became Ben Solo, aka Kylo Ren. Also, Leia, Han, and Luke did continue to fight for the galaxy, although Han later is depicted as going back to his smuggler ways. Speaking of Han, Harrison Ford is one person who disagrees with Zahn over his character’s death.

Expanded Universe Lives On

It’s no secret that Ford hasn’t always cared much for Han Solo, at one time arguing that the character should have died in Return of the Jedi. George Lucas is said to have told him that there wasn’t any future in dead Han toys. Turns out, Lucas was right, and it took until after 2010 for Ford to change his mind and say he was glad his character didn’t die decades ago…at least so he could be killed off in the Star Wars: Force Awakens movie.

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Meanwhile, Zahn continues to write Star Wars stories. His latest book, Thrawn: Alliances, was released in July. The book follows the events of season 3 in Star Wars Rebels and shows Grand Admiral Thrawn teaming up with frequent adversary Darth Vader. Which just goes to show that when Zahn says he believes in keeping original characters around, he means it.

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