WARNING: If you're one of the few who hasn't seen Star Wars: The Force Awakens, this post contains spoilers.
Nearly three months after the theatrical release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, we're at a point when devoted fans want all remaining questions answered. Of course, many questions about the plot and characters will need to wait at least until Star Wars: Episode VIII hits theaters on December 15, 2017.
That still leaves various loose threads hanging, however, and that includes something that happens after Han Solo (Harrison Ford) dies. You might remember that a few minutes later, the resistance fighters return to Starkiller base and General Leia Organa (Carrie Fisher) embraces Rey (Daisy Ridley). (Above is the only official photo of Leia hugging someone, and it's not Rey.)
As pointed out by Slashfilm, however, Leia and Rey had never met before, and Leia's longtime ally Chewbacca (Peter Mayhew) was standing nearby. Why did Leia seemingly ignore her grieving friend Chewbacca in favor of someone she didn't know?
"That was probably one of the mistakes I made in that," says director J.J. Abrams. "My thinking at the time was that Chewbacca, despite the pain he was feeling, was focused on trying to save Finn and getting him taken care of. So I tried to have Chewbacca go off with him and focus on Rey, and then have Rey find Leia and Leia find Rey. The idea being that both of them being strong with the Force and never having met, would know about each other — that Leia would have been told about her beyond what we saw on-screen and Rey of course would have learned about Leia. And that reunion would be a meeting and a reunion all in one, and a sort of commiseration of their mutual loss."
Abrams concedes that he could probably have eliminated any confusion: "Had Chewbacca not been where he was, you probably wouldn’t have thought of it. But because he was right there, passed by Leia, it felt almost like a slight, which was definitely not the intention."
Speaking of Chewbacca and Han Solo, did you ever wonder how they met and started working together? It looks like those questions will be answered in the forthcoming Han Solo spin-off movie, which will focus on the young Han Solo.
Up until now, we've heard precious few hints. As reported by The Wrap, however, Disney CEO Bob Iger recently described the movie as "an orgin story about Han Solo and Chewy." He added: "Then there'll possibly be more thereafter," referring to Star Wars movies in general.
This is the first official confirmation that Chewbecca will appear in the movie in a major role. We're still waiting to hear who will snag the coveted role of young Han Solo, though we're hoping that Peter Mayhew will reprise his performance as the Wookie.
The Han Solo spin-off movie is set to begin shooting in January 2017, based on a script by Lawrence Kasdan and Jon Kasdan. Phil Lord and Chris Miller will direct. It will open in theaters on May 25, 2018.