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Should Han have died in ROTJ?

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I apologise if there’s already a thread for this, but I did a quick google and didn’t see one. It’s well known that Harrison Ford thought Han sacrificing his life for the Rebellion in Return of the Jedi would be a fitting end to the character arc of selfishness to selflessness begun in 1977 (or maybe he was already fed up of acting in Star Wars films!). Was the character of Han served well enough in ROTJ or would this have been a needed boost of high-stakes and gravitas to the film?

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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Dont get me wrong I love Han in Jedi… but I think Han should have died in Empire. I think if Han died in Empire it would leave an emotional impact in ROTJ. Think about it If Han died and the emperor won Han would have died for nothing. It adds another driving point to defeat the empire.

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I agree with Lucas on not killing Luke and Han in Return of the Jedi. At the same time i can understand Harrison saying Han had no story purpose in the film. The film is a Luke Skywalker film and Han and Leia are supporting players. Well Harrison finally got a bigger role than Mark on Force Awakens, and they finally gave him his wish.

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ROTJ is supposed to be a happen ending (for now) and any of the major characters dying would have been a bummer.

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HanWasTheOnlyOneToShhot said:

Dont get me wrong I love Han in Jedi… but I think Han should have died in Empire. I think if Han died in Empire it would leave an emotional impact in ROTJ. Think about it If Han died and the emperor won Han would have died for nothing. It adds another driving point to defeat the empire.

To be honest, I kind of think that would’ve felt a disservice to Han. I think it would feel like all the dialogue and characterisation that went towards making him likeable in Empire, as well as the romance plot with Leia, was in the end just a set-up so that Han could be used as a plot device to make the Empire even more hated in the next film. If he was killed off so suddenly, and dying without ‘payoff’ for his character, it would have FELT like a lack of respect for his character, even not necessarily so.

I agree that having more of an emotional investment in seeing the Empire defeated would have made ROTJ even better, but in particular that would be directed towards Vader, being the one who effectively killed Han. Unless you’re thinking of a totally different death scene for Han than carbon-freezing-gone-wrong?

Oh and just in case, please don’t think that as the creator of this thread I’m trying to put your idea down, I think it’s a great suggestion and I’m just trying to bounce ideas around in here. Come to think of it, maybe this should go in the script rewriting section…

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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 (Edited)

For the record, I’m agreed with yotsuya. I love Return of the Jedi as it is and I’m glad Luke, Leia, Han, Lando and company all survived. Led to many great EU novels too.

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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jedi_bendu said:
Unless you’re thinking of a totally different death scene for Han than carbon-freezing-gone-wrong?

Roasted on a spit in “Golden Rod’s” honour.

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The answer is no. Spending one third of the film on his rescue just to kill him would have been beyond stupid.

真実

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Slavicuss said:

jedi_bendu said:
Unless you’re thinking of a totally different death scene for Han than carbon-freezing-gone-wrong?

Roasted on a spit in “Golden Rod’s” honour.

Hahahaha, brillant!

imperialscum said:

The answer is no. Spending one third of the film on his rescue just to kill him would have been beyond stupid.

This never occurred to me before. I suppose that plot point helped make Empire great but constrained Kasdan and Lucas quite a bit… no matter what, you’re going to have to devote a significant portion of the film to the rescue attempt so it doesn’t come off as half-arsed, which gives less time for the other things you want to build up to. Part of why I think ROTJ is a great final chapter is it coped with this very well.

“Remember, the Force will be with you. Always.”

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imperialscum said:

The answer is no. Spending one third of the film on his rescue just to kill him would have been beyond stupid.

This and more! I understand the thought to kill one of the main three, JK almost did it to Ron in Harry Potter, but I think ROTJ has its own issues and killing Han would ultimately be more of a band-aid to the real problem which is that a lot of Endor stuff is boring. It’s not death you seek, it’s depth!

“The ability to destroy a planet is insignificant next to the power of the Force.” - DV

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I’m forever glad.

Meaning my childhood is locked in a happy - and not bittersweet - party on a forest moon.

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It’s interesting to think on what might have been in movies but I think it was the right call on letting the main cast including Han to survive ROTJ. If I recall correctly, it was Kasdan that also wanted or suggested that Lando should get killed by the Sarlacc to show how dangerous it was and that if he died the audience would be worried for their heroes. Ultimately, I think it was a good choice to let Lando live. We wouldn’t have gotten him and Nien Numb piloting the Falcon to destroy the DSII with Wedge tag teaming. I never get tired of watching the flipping back and forth between all their conflicts during the final battles of the film.

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GlastoEls said:

I’m forever glad.

Meaning my childhood is locked in a happy - and not bittersweet - party on a forest moon.

Same, man. Same.

Kasdan seemed oddly intent on killing off characters. I know he also suggested killing off Luke and having Leia take his place. It seemed he was really after a darker vision of Star Wars than what Lucas wanted. I do think Han and Leia should’ve had more of their own story going on, but ultimately, it was the better choice to have the main cast survive. After all the struggles and character separation of ESB, it was satisfying to watch all the heroes coming together and succeeding.

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 (Edited)

Definite no. They froze him in the last movie and then did a whole mission to bring him back. Having him then die would just make it feel like the writers are just trying to be tear jerky and play with our emotions. You sort of kill him, then you bring him back, then you kill him again for real… you don’t see how that wouldn’t just feel like its emotionally manipulating you? It would be more annoying then anything else.

Link to thread for my Star Wars fan-edits: https://originaltrilogy.com/topic/My-Star-Wars-Saga-Edits-episodes-1-6/id/76327
Other fan-edits include “This is Tokyo” (combination of original 1954 Gojira and the 1956 Americanization) and Heisei Godzilla Series Remaster.

And finally, proud creator of Dinosauria: Ascension, Domination, Downfall. https://dinosauriadocu.wixsite.com/dinosauriadocu

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Servii said:

GlastoEls said:

I’m forever glad.

Meaning my childhood is locked in a happy - and not bittersweet - party on a forest moon.

Same, man. Same.

Kasdan seemed oddly intent on killing off characters. I know he also suggested killing off Luke and having Leia take his place. It seemed he was really after a darker vision of Star Wars than what Lucas wanted. I do think Han and Leia should’ve had more of their own story going on, but ultimately, it was the better choice to have the main cast survive. After all the struggles and character separation of ESB, it was satisfying to watch all the heroes coming together and succeeding.

Couldn’t agree more!