The Star Wars movies have never shied away from death, which was a constant threat throughout George Lucas’ original trilogy. From Obi Wan Kenobi, Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine and Yoda, to Luke Skywalker’s Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, numerous characters died in emotional scenes. The prequels saw even more of this, with Qui Gon Jinn, Darth Maul, Shmi (Anakin Skywalker’s mother), Mace Windu and Padme Amidala all counted among those who lost their lives as the Jedi and Sith waged their brutal war.
The list of the dead goes on and on, which makes sense given that Star Wars has always revolved around the battle against cosmic tyranny and dictatorship. Then came Rogue One: A Star Wars story, a film that preceded A New Hope’s narrative and, well, no one made it out alive, a turn that regulated in the most war-driven and grueling film in the franchise to date. In times of war, there will be casualties — a theme fans somehow tend to forget — which is why J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: The Force Awakens, shocked everyone when Kylo Ren killed his father, Han Solo.
From what we’ve seen thus far of director Rian Johnson’s Star Wars: The Last Jedi, the sequel appears to be one of, if not the darkest Star Wars films of all time. The latest trailer not only depicts all-out war between the First Order and the Resistance, it also highlights the familial struggle within the Skywalkers, from Luke to Leia to Kylo Ren, as well as the battle between the Light and Dark sides of the Force through Rey and Supreme Leader Snoke. What the trailer also did was paint the stakes higher than ever and cast ominous shadows over what’s to come. So with this harrowing impression left on us, it must be asked — who will die next in the Star Wars universe?
General Leia Organa is the most obvious choice for a couple reasons, including the most tragic: Carrie Fisher’s death. While Disney has kept mum on whether her character will perish in this film, the company has made it clear that she won’t be in Abrams’ Episode IX. In the trailer, we see Kylo Ren in his ship, hand on trigger, seemingly ready to kill his mother. “Let the past die. Kill it if you have to. That’s the only way you’ll become what you were meant to be,” he says in voiceover, hinting that he could be gearing to take his other parent out, bringing him full-circle to the Dark Side.
We already saw Kylo’s inner-conflict illustrated in The Force Awakens,, which he alleviated by murdering his father, so perhaps Leia’s death would serve its purpose in terms of completing the transformation he began by betraying his Uncle Luke, years ago. Despite Disney’s protests, it’s possible Leia could survive and return, briefly, in Abrams’ sequel through some clever editing of footage that hd already been shot at the time of her passing. But we’re guessing her story ends here, out of respect for Fisher and for what her character means to so many fans.
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