I try not to read too many spoilers about The Force Awakens because I want to be surprised by the story just like anyone else. However in a couple of recent posts/interviews people have alluded to the possible death of one of the original characters.
Before I go any further I am going to do the ole’ SPOILERS warning. If you have read any of the books from the expanded universe then I won’t unveil anything new (and I am referring specifically to Vector Prime). Also, if you don’t want to hear the rumors going around about the upcoming movie, you may want to stop as well.
Continuing on …
If you are familiar with any of the Star Wars lore then you know the reason Chewbacca is always by Han’s side is he owes Han a life debt. At some point in the past Han saves Chewie’s life and therefore Chewie will remain by his side to fulfill said debt. I don’t recall anywhere else in the canon that suggests Chewie has ever fulfilled his life debt but its probably safe to assume he has not. Which brings us to Vector Prime. Vector Prime takes place several years after ROTJ and Han and Leia are married with three kids (Jaina, Jacen and Anakin). I don’t know the specifics as I haven’t read Vector Prime (yet) but I do know that Chewie fulfills his life debt by giving his own life to save Hans’ kid(s).
So that’s the lore as it stands today. (Btw, all books published using the Star Wars name and characters must be approved by George Lucas.)
In recent plot discussions about The Force Awakens, there have been statements that allude to the fact that either Han or Chewie die and the popular rumor is that it’s Han. At the risk of sounding like a nerd raging fanboy, this is NOT in line with the expanded universe. It doesn’t matter which one of them dies (assuming the rumor is true), neither are supposed to die before Han and Leia’s kids are born. When we deviate from the widely known canon we start to look as inconsistent as Star Trek!
Yes, I went there! I just compared Star Wars to Star Trek! Granted Star Trek couldn’t keep its story/timeline straight through all the television series and movies whereas we are comparing movies to books. You cannot use the old [Star Trek] cliché that the books are an “alternative universe or timeline” because that is WEAK! You cannot expect us nerdier Star Wars fans to read the books outside the context of the movies because, in our mind’s eye, that’s our sole basis for comparison.
After all, it is those of us that are the mega-Star-Wars-Universe-nerds that can look past the plot and acting flaws of the prequels (or Phantom Menace at the minimum). So, just like a losing wookie, it would also be unwise to piss us off.