While Star Wars: Episode IX sees the return of several stars of the Original Trilogy, most of us had long assumed that the saga was done with Han Solo by this point, with Harrison Ford’s character perishing at the hands of his son in The Force Awakens before remaining absent for the events of The Last Jedi. But whether it’s through flashback or other means, a new rumor alleges that the famed smuggler is set to return in J.J. Abrams’ upcoming trilogy-closer.
Cosmic Book News reports of a now-deleted image posted to Reddit featuring various Episode IX production swag that was uploaded by a user who claims that their wife works in Pinewood Studios. Since then, an image of an identical set of branded goods was shared on Instagram by a different user, suggesting that the Redditor isn’t lying about their inside connection. So when this same anonymous Reddit user offers the tease that “Han is back,” there’s reason to believe that their claim just might be legit.
Obviously it’s still best to take this report with a grain of salt, but it seems like a plausible enough idea. After all, The Force Awakens gave Han a pretty grim sendoff, suggesting that Abrams may use this next film to end his journey on a more optimistic note, if only through a flashback to a more pleasant memory of the man.
A good point of comparison may be Obi-Wan Kenobi, whose death in A New Hope seems to conclude his arc in a fairly bleak manner, before his subsequent Force Ghost appearances showed that he’s at peace in the afterlife. And while Han isn’t exactly the Force Ghost type, there are definitely other ways of ensuring that this cherished character’s final scene in the entire saga isn’t a moment of tragedy.
With Leia also making a comeback via unused footage of Carrie Fisher, it even seems possible that Harrison Ford will return in these scenes, showing the classic couple together at least one more time before the Sequel Trilogy’s finished. That’s just speculation for now, but we’ll find out when Star Wars: Episode IX hits theaters on December 20th, 2019.