If there’s one downside to the culture of nostalgia in which we now live—and there are many—it’s that our desire to see old faces and familiar locales is negatively impacting modern storytelling. One major critique of the Marvel franchise, for example, is that it lacks stakes—there’s no way the franchise is going to seriously shake things up, not with the dual threat of diminishing returns and an angry, fidelity-commanding fanbase. The ending of Infinity War found half of the main cast literally floating off into ash, a plot point that’s undercut somewhat by Spider-Man: Far From Home slated for next summer.
Still, part of why we go to these movies is to see the faces that made them the phenomena that they are. And, though we just got an origin story for the character, the thirst for more Han Solo remains strong, despite the fact that he died by his son’s hand in The Force Awakens. Filmmaker/Star Wars superfan Kevin Smith first floated the idea on Twitter, where he was reflecting on the recent announcement that Billy Dee Williams would reprise his role as Lando Calrissian in the forthcoming Episode IX:
Now, Smith is, to some degree, kidding, or simply asserting his love for the aforementioned Lando line. But his mere whisper tipped off an avalanche of speculation in his mentions, getting at least Nerdist to look into the feasibility of the whole thing. Though not explained as such in the film, the Starkiller Base where Han died apparently has the capacity to manipulate time and space.
Here’s an explanation from writer Donna Dickens:
Starkiller Base did not originally drain the sun, it was powered by dark matter. 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.
Star Wars has a habit of bringing characters back from the dead. Sometimes that’s good—Boba Fett deserved better—and sometimes it’s, well, kinda weird. Whether or not this works for the story is up to you, but who wouldn’t want to see Williams and Harrison Ford heartily laugh in each other’s presence again?