WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Star Wars: Age of Resistance - Rey #1, by Tom Taylor, Ramon Rosanas, Guru-eFx and Travis Lanham, on sale now.
J.J. Abrams' Star Wars: The Force Awakens, as successful as it was at the box office, had a few points of contention, with a some fans displeased over the prominence of new characters like Finn and Rey, who took on central roles in the iconic franchise.
One frequent target of criticism was the scene where Chewbacca brought Rey to the Resistance Base at D'Qar following them seeing Kylo Ren murder Han Solo. In that moment, Leia moved past her old friend Chewie and hugged Rey, someone she barely knew, and this moment drew heavy criticism. Now, however, courtesy of another of Marvel's Star Wars: Age of Resistance one-shot, the Rey solo outing fixes this by giving Leia and Chewie proper grieving time together and reminding us of the bond they share.
Writer Tom Taylor's script connects and tugs at our heartstrings with a sentimental exchange that sees Chewie and Leia hugging it out and reminiscing about their loss. While Abrams later said that Chewie deserved a hug too as he, Han and Leia had gone through so much together since A New Hope. However, it didn't happen because the Wookiee was tending to the injured Finn, and so, while Chewie was like a brother to Han and Leia, we simply had to imagine him mourning with the latter in our minds.
Just when that moment seemed lost to time, this comic finally gave fans the closure that they'd been missing. As Leia's seen hugging him, she tells her friend her tears don't bode well for the scent of his fur. It's a typical Han tribute, cutting through grief with some a bit of levity, as she urges him to be strong and focus on Han's successor on the Millennium Falcon, Rey.
It also builds naturally to Rey needing Chewie on her new journey in The Last Jedi, both as her protector and to ensure she finds Luke Skywalker so she can understand her fate. Leia makes it clear she's their new hope.
That fact is underscored when she tells a doubtful Poe Dameron that "there is another" when he says he thinks Luke alone will save them, it's all too obvious that she sees Rey's obvious potential and needed to nurture that by helping the young warrior come to terms with Han's death.
This reconciles both scenes, patches up the film's alleged fault and in so doing, the comic also informs why Chewie looked after Rey en route to Ahch-To to find Luke. It's symbolic that Rey now gets Han's ship, Luke's lightsaber and Leia's blessing, with the message embedded in her from the general that they must never run.
Leia indicates that's what Rey must do -- never give up, never retreat and keep believing -- and it's also why she might not kill Kylo when they fight in The Rise of Skywalker. This entire philosophy is passed down when Leia and Chewie have their moment, and it's why they're intent on helping Rey fulfil her destiny as the warrior meant to liberate the cosmos from the First Order.