Han Solo may not have a physical presence in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, but his “figurative ghost” informs Rey’s dynamic with Kylo Ren in the film. Breaking from Star Wars tradition, Episode VIII takes place just moments after its predecessor, meaning the events of The Force Awakens are still fresh in everyone’s minds. Few scenes in that film were as emotional as the death of Han Solo at the hands of his son, the former Ben Solo. It was unquestioningly a pivotal sequence that laid the foundation for the remainder of the sequel trilogy, setting up the arcs for both the main heroine and the villain.

As a loner living on the ...

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