The Close Calls of ‘Star Wars’

There is no logical reason why these characters survive their ordeals, but who needs logic when you have The Force.
Star Wars Return Of The Jedi Han Solo
By  · Published on December 12th, 2017

There is no logical reason that these characters should survive their ordeals, but who needs logic when you have The Force?

In every good story, there’s some level of drama that will put characters against insurmountable odds. Star Wars just happens to do that much more frequently – or at least that’s how it seems. Almost every character has had their close calls; whether it be Obi-Wan actually fading away and becoming a ghost, Leia escaping the clutches of the Empire, or Jar Jar Binks actually surviving, there are plenty of instances in which Star Wars characters have been in deep trouble.

There are numerous characters that are in a bit of trouble going into The Last Jedi, including Finn, who might recover from his severe injuries at the end of The Force Awakens. There are two other characters that barely made it out of The Force Awakens alive; mostly because the creators decided to keep them around.

Captain Phasma

You might remember that Captain Phasma was left in a trash compactor near the end of The Force Awakens. Perhaps you also remember that the Starkiller Base was destroyed. That should’ve been the end of Captain Phasma, except that the writers of Star Wars weren’t done with her yet. The first issue of the Marvel comic book series Captain Phasma goes to great lengths to detail just how she managed to make it off the base before it blew up: in six minutes, Phasma gets out of the trash compactor, disables security codes, and finds a ship featuring BB-9E that will help her escape. There is no way that this character should’ve been able to survive in order to appear in The Last Jedi, but here we are.

Luke Skywalker

There are so many instances in which Luke is in over his head. This could just as easily be the time when he fights Darth Vader, or when he is hanging with one arm in Cloud City. Actually, this is an instance where no one else could’ve possibly saved Luke other than himself. That’s right: this is when he was one-on-one with a Wampa. When One-Arm attacked Luke on his Tauntaun, Luke was in some real trouble.

Despite not having his Jedi training from Yoda at this point, Luke is able to summon his Lightsaber to his hand and defeat One-Arm before becoming lunch. He also had the wherewithal to take his Tauntaun out of the cave, travel with it until it died, and then use its body as protection from the cold; all of a sudden, Luke Skywalker turned into Bear Grylls. Yes, Luke does get discovered by Han Solo in the end, so he doesn’t make it back all by himself, but this is a situation where he didn’t have a prayer, and yet, he survived.

Poe Dameron

There’s a sub-section of Star Wars fans who love the bromance between Finn and Poe, but Poe wasn’t even supposed to survive after his first scene. Oscar Issac was going to Paris to talk to J.J. Abrams about a big part of The Force Awakens until this exchange sort of soured the mood:

“He’s amazing!” said Abrams.

“Sounds good!” thought Isaac, whose first experience in a movie theater had been seeing The Empire Strikes Back.

“He opens the whole movie!” said Abrams.

“Sounds great!” thought Isaac.

“And then,” Abrams went on. “He dies.”

“Oh,” thought Isaac.

Issac was supposed to have this grand entrance and be a character that would be remembered by Star Wars fans for generations to come. He just wasn’t supposed to appear in the entire movie. Watching The Force Awakens now, one can see just where Poe might’ve exited the film. Everyone is supposed to believe that Poe dies when the duo escapes Kylo Ren. Finn pretty much believes that to be true. Thankfully, he managed to survive to fight another day.

Han Solo

There are few moments as memorable in the franchise as when we learn of the fate bestowed upon Han Solo at the end of Empire Strike Back. There are plenty of reasons that this scene works so well. Despite Solo miraculously coming out alive in Return of the Jedi, things weren’t looking very good for everyone’s favorite bounty hunter. For one, you have the good guys submitting to the villains in a no-win scenario. Han Solo is going to get into that magical box, and no one knows whether he is going to come out alive or dead. There’s something terribly frightening about a technology that doesn’t exist; it doesn’t have any rules within our reality.

Finally, you have the confession that everyone has been waiting for throughout the last two films. Leia announces to Han Solo that she loves him and, in a nature that is completely fitting to the man we know, he simply replies, “I know.” Second chapters of series are supposed to be terrible, since they don’t start the series and nor do they end it. Empire Strikes Back, however, is the perfect example of a middle chapter that is better than everything before and after it.

Anakin Skywalker

Perhaps no one in the Star Wars universe has survived as much pain and suffering as Anakin Skywalker. At the end of Revenge of the Sith, we learn how exactly it was that he became Darth Vader, as he has most of his body lobbed and burnt off. Then, he is put into a suit that is the equivalent of an iron lung, and becomes the terror of the universe. No one would think that this character would survive the outcome of his duel with Obi-Wan Kenobi, and yet, by the time he is fighting Obi-Wan, we already know he will.

The entire prequel series has been building up to this point. This is how Darth Vader came to be, and Star Wars would never be what it is without him (if you recall, his helmet even appears in The Force Awakens, and, of course, he is also in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story). How he will appear in The Last Jedi remains to be seen, but chances are he will have some involvement in the new chapter; for no other reason than he is Darth Vader.

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News Writer/Columnist for Film School Rejects. It’s the Pictures Co-host. Bylines Playboy, ZAM, Paste Magazine and more.