What began as a joke by filmmaker Kevin Smith, and then developed into seemingly far-fetched theory by writer Donna Dickens, has turned into a rather popular fan theory as to how Han Solo could be brought back to life in Star Wars: Episode IX.
The director, who is an avid Star Wars fan, was reacting to news that Billy Dee Williams will return to play Lando Calrissian in the upcoming Star Wars sequel.
He joked on Twitter that they need to come up with some way to bring Han back, via the Force or via time travel, just so Williams could recite his famous line from The Empire Strikes Back again, "There's still a chance to save Han!"
If, due to a time travel device or the Force, there’s a plot development that allows Lando to repeat his EMPIRE STRIKES BACK line “There’s still a chance to save Han!” and get us back to that fateful bridge on Starkiller base? Then I’ll kiss JJ on the mouth. I’ll French him even. https://t.co/Tf1B4ppnmG— KevinSmith (@ThatKevinSmith) July 10, 2018
Yes, Han's son, Kylo Ren, stabbed him with a lightsaber and then threw him to the center of Starkiller Base. That seems like it would be a pretty clear death. However, remember, due to the existence of Boba Fett banners in Star Wars: The Force Awakens, it sure seems like Boba Fett lived beyond his apparent death in the Sarlacc Pit in Return of the Jedi. Similarly, Darth Maul was literally cut into two pieces and plummeted down a mine shaft in The Phantom Menace and he survived. So the history of characters surviving seeming death while falling into pits is actually pretty good in the world of Star Wars.
However, the specific aspect of Smith's tweet that has drawn attention from fans is the time travel aspect. You see, while The Force Awakens ended up vague on the point, in the novelization of the film, Starkiller Base was actually powered by dark matter. Donna Dickens explained on HitFix:
One of the few head scratchers in “The Force Awakens” was how the Starkiller base actually worked. Was it draining one sun after another and then moving on? How did it shoot a beam across the galaxy in real time? Why did it turn INTO a sun at the end (other than the visual metaphor of the light triumphing over the dark?) Turns out, it was never supposed to be powered by the sun. Situated in one place, messing with science they didn”t understand, the First Order was harvesting dark matter to power their weapon. As the matter congealed to be sucked into the core, the light was supposed to dim. Then, using more science they barely understood, they beamed the concentrated dark matter THROUGH the galaxy instead of across it. Basically they were ripping holes in time/space. Oh! And the target didn”t explode originally. It turned into a tiny sun.
So if Starkiller Base actually ripped holes in time and space, couldn't it be possible that Han Solo fell through one of those holes in time and space and might be alive somewhere? Perhaps even in a sort of time stasis that prevents his wound from progressing?
It is not particularly likely, but it is an interesting fan theory nevertheless. We have plenty of time to think of more theories, as Star Wars: Episode IX is set to hit theaters on Dec. 20, 2019. Directed by J.J. Abrams, the film will star Daisy Ridley as Rey, John Boyega as Finn, Adam Driver as Kylo Ren, Oscar Isaac as Poe Dameron, Billy Dee Williams as Lando Calrissian and Keri Russell in a currently unnamed role.