Star Wars is such a beloved franchise that it’s practically a living, breathing entity. We love the space opera and connect with its characters so deeply that they feel like family. From the first time we witnessed Princess Leia stand up to Darth Vader to when we recently lost her beloved twin brother, Luke, it became a part of us.
When we lose any of our favorite characters, it hurts deeply. Some losses hurt the series itself. Losing Thandie Newton’s character Val from the recent Star Wars: A Solo Story, for example, seemed a lost opportunity for further growth and development of a really cool character. There are also the characters we hate, not because they’re evil and we’re supposed to (does anyone truly hate Darth Vader?) but because they seem to detract from the universe we hold so dear.
While some Star Wars fans are known to become vicious in defense or defamation of their favorite characters, there are a few Star Wars characters that we can likely all agree just need to hit the road and never return. Jar Jar Binks is a prime example of a character no fan wants to see again. There are also characters we love, but must acknowledge that it’s time for them to part after so many years in the saga.
From the losses that take the series down a notch to the cringe-worthy characters who just need to go, here are 13 Character Exits That Hurt Star Wars (And 7 Who Need To Go).
20 Hurt: Han Solo
We can argue the emotional impact of losing Han. We can acknowledge that his exit was necessary to further Rey’s path, but the argument that Rey’s development could occur without his loss has plenty of validity. Han’s removal so soon in the series before we could understand what happened within his family feels like a disservice to his character.
While we’ve been teased about future sequels to Solo, those likely won’t venture into his recent life, leaving us with far too many questions. Star Wars has never been a series that dips deeply into each character’s story, giving us plenty to speculate and argue about until the end of time. More revelations before Han’s demise would have been welcome.
19 Hurt: Darth Maul
Maul is only getting more interesting as time passes, especially now that we know he was the leader of the crime syndicate Crimson Dawn thanks to Solo. We may even see Qi’ra become Maul’s second-in-command, which would be an exciting plot to play out.
It’d be great to learn more about the Sith Lord’s history in a prequel because we had almost zero context as to who he was and how he came to be. Losing him in the first Episode seemed way too soon. We didn’t a sliver of character development, as the films were so focused on Anakin Skywalker.
18 Needs To Go: General Hux
General Hux is every bit as petulant and whiny as Kylo Ren– just without the Force to back him up. How are these two heading the First Order? Not only is he an incapable general, making us long for the likes of Captain Phasma’s foreboding presence on deck instead, but Hux can’t even stand up to Kylo Ren, who uses the Force to control him.
Hux obviously contests Ren’s claim as leader now that the Supreme Leader is gone, so maybe we’ll see him betray the young Vader wannabe in Episode IX. That might make him redeemable as an interesting character, but if he remains the same, he’s got to go.
17 Hurt: Shmi Skywalker
After all these years and all of the flaws of the Star Wars: Episodes I-III prequels considered, we still can’t fathom how Obi-Wan Kenobi and Qui-Gon Jinn, two Jedis with incredible powers of both political persuasion and The Force, couldn’t manage to rescue a slave woman and her son off Tatooine.
Shmi’s loss was obviously a catalyst to prod Anakin Skywalker further into the Jedi’s hands and we’ll always wonder if their ineptitude to save his mother from slavery was real or an indirect way of securing him for the cause. If the latter, it changes both Jedis and not for the better. It also helped lead Annie to the Dark Side; Shmi’s torture and loss at the hands of Tusken Raiders led to Anakin’s first mass execution.
16 Hurt: Obi-Wan Kenobi
What we needed from Obi-Wan before his passing wasn’t just for him to give Luke a kick in the pants, but to fire a hologram right back at Leia saying something along the lines of, “Princess, you’re your own hope. Go see Yoda about those Jedi powers.”
As cool as Leia is in canon, the series could have been incredibly different had Obi-Wan and Leia had any actual interaction aside from her escape from the Death Star alongside Luke and Han. Whether it would have been better or worse, we’ll never know after losing Obi-Wan so early on, only seeing him as Luke’s ghostly adviser afterward.
15 Needs To Go: Nien Nunb
We just lost Admiral Ackbar, yet Nien Nunb is still alive and kicking. How is this guy still around? Not only is he a Sullustan, which means his life span shouldn’t exceed 75 years, but he’s an arms dealer and smuggler, not a warrior. While some dumb luck is expected among our heroes and we all have soft spots for smugglers, making it through decades of battles and missions just doesn’t seem likely.
Sullustans are known for their tech prowess, but they are humanoids with bodies just as vulnerable as a standard human’s. It’s not as if he has a big role in the sequels other than his nostalgia factor and his fun liquid cadence, either. Maybe he’s being reserved as a casualty in Episode IX.
14 Hurt: Amilyn Holdo
While Amilyn Holdo’s sacrifice saved lives is a stark juxtaposition against Poe Dameron’s reckless behavior that lost lives, the cost was too steep to serve as a mere lesson for Poe. There must have been a wayto carry out Holdo’s plan without her on the ship. The big red herring that made us believe she was a villain all along, while a bittersweet surprise in the end, does her a disservice when we realize what a cool and capable person she is.
Why couldn’t we get a bit more Holdo before her exit? Laura Dern was fantastic, and while every cool character can’t get unlimited airtime, it still felt like there should’ve been another way.
13 Hurt: Supreme Leader Snoke
While Kylo Ren taking out Supreme Leader Snoke made for some good storytelling, getting rid of the obvious villain before the third movie and preventing it from becoming a cliche, it also hurts the series by leaving us with Ben Solo, aka Kylo Ren. Are we really supposed to dread this kid with the awe we had for Darth Vader?
The answer is clearly no, and without Supreme Emperor Snoke or someone equally nefarious behind the First Order, it feels as if there won’t be as much work for our heroes to do in the final installment of the sequels trilogy.
12 Needs To Go: Qi’Ra
Solo: A Star Wars Story gave us Qi’Ra, whom we love not only because she’s played by the talented Emilia Clarke of Game of Thrones fame, but also because she’s a wonderful, layered character who represents both the corruption of youth through bad experiences and the dark side of Han’s coin.
Qi’Ra is such a compelling character that she unfortunately has to go. As tired as “the woman in the refrigerator” trope has become, we do know that if Han becomes who he is, he will have to lose her in a permanent matter, and the prequel film left her free and wide open for a return.
11 Hurt: Bail Organa
It’s too bad that we didn’t get to see more of where Leia came from. Senator Bail Organa and his wife, Queen Breha Organa, whom we barely even met, surely had something to do with that. Between two queens and a founding member of the Rebel Alliance, is it any wonder why Leia ended up the smart and capable general we know and love?
Not only do Bail and Breha not receive proper goodbyes, as they were on Alderaan during its destruction, but they get less recognition than Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru, who raised Luke. We should have been able to see some of that.
10 Hurt: Qui-Gon Jinn
It’s not that we just love Liam Neeson, or that he never got a chance to demonstrate the set of very particular skills he later became so famous for while training up young Anakin Skywalker. While we don’t necessarily need a Taken where Anakin needs to be rescued by Qui-Gon and Obi-Wan, we wouldn’t argue against its development.
It’s just the fact that Qui-Gon, who wasn’t even mentioned during the original trilogy, is such a great character, and we hardly even got to know him. In terms of characters who couldn’t survive due to their absence in the original trilogy, he does get a good amount of screen time as well as appearances in tangential media, but his rebel Jedi personality makes us crave more.
9 Needs To Go: DJ
During Star Wars: Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, we saw DJ go Benedict Arnold on Finn and Rose as the code breaker sold them out to Captain Phasma, telling them that it was “just business.” It wasn’t the level of hurt we felt with Lando’s betrayal, but so far DJ hasn’t shown a single inclination toward redemption. After all, he barely knows Rose and Finn.
That said, do we all really believe that Captain Phasma would have just paid him for delivering the Resistance members? That doesn’t seem to be the First Order way. It would have been more likely for her to take him out in cold blood instead.
8 Hurt: Master Yoda
Natural causes: that’s how Master Yoda went out. While it’s nice that he seemingly went pain-free, it seemed a bit ridiculous. Yoda only makes it long enough to reveal that Luke and Leia are siblings before he kicks the bucket.
He’s living on a dangerous swamp with critters that could take him out in his sleep and has been for a long time. He’s 900 years old. Either he should have already bought the farm years ago or held out for the Ewok feast, where he could meet Leia and let her know that the Force is strong with her as well.
7 Needs To Go: General Leia
It is sheer blasphemy to even think that General Leia needs to exit Star Wars, but it has to be said for a single reason: Carrie Fisher’s already passed away. She was taken too early and while we continue to mourn her, we have to acknowledge that Leia isn’t Leia without Fisher. Is it a disservice to her memory if she’s edited in the films with body doubles, special effects and vocal dubbing? Perhaps. We don’t know what Fisher would have wanted so we can’t really guess here.
We do know that nothing filmmakers can do will bring her wit, her commanding presence and style, or that trademark rakish twinkle in her eye the way that Carrie Fisher herself can, so while the show must go on, after Episode IX, it must do so without Leia.
6 Hurt: The Entire Rogue One Team
Even though we knew it was a doomed mission from the get-go, witnessing Jyn Erso and Cassian Andor spending their final moments hugging on that beach made fans weep. We’d love to see more of Felicity Jones in Star Wars! And what about Chirrut Îmwe? Donnie Yen played one of the most charismatic characters in the whole film and he would have made subsequent movies so much better.
We lament what could have been with each of the brave soldiers we lost on the Rogue One mission. At least we’ll get more Cassian in his spinoff series, coming to Disney+.
5 Needs To Go: Chewbacca
We all love Chewie. Even non-Star Wars fans adore him. Chewbacca is one of the most universally adored characters in the galaxy. That’s why it’s so hard to say that he needs to go, but go, he must.
Wookiees can live to be 400 years old, and Chewie was 190 when he met Han. He might have a good 100 to 150 years left if he lives to the possible Wookiee lifespan limit, but given how many adventures he’s been on, how many times he’s almost lost his life, and how he’s approaching old age, the Wookiee should be on his way out the door. Even if we love seeing him copilot with Rey, he should depart avenging Han somehow.
4 Hurt: Boba Fett
With so little screen time, it’s a wonder how Boba Fett became such a fan favorite. The bounty hunter is legendary so it’s really too bad that Disney’s reportedly no longer developing his own spin-off film, especially since the details about his father, Jango Fett, fell short on revealing much more about the character.
Boba’s departure didn’t hurt the films simply due to his loss, but also the manner in which he was defeated. The legendary villain deserved more than a quick jab from Han to launch him into the Sarlacc pit. Of course, not every villain won’t get amazing exit scenes, but Fett’s departure had a lot more potential.
3 Hurt: Luke Skywalker
We’ll have to wait and see if Luke can truly be as dangerous to Hux, Kylo Ren, and the gang as a whispes of the Force, as Obi Wan Kenobi had once been, but right now it seems as if the loss of Skywalker is a letdown, especially after spending the entire first film speculating about where he is and how to find him. That’s the nature of Star Wars, but we don’t have to like it.
The loss of Luke also seems kind of unlikely, considering what a powerful Jedi he became. Shouldn’t he have been able to evade departing with his own abilities rather than succumb to them, leaving his loved ones so vulnerable?
2 Hurt: Queen Amidala
As a very young queen, master of diplomacy and disguise, and someone generally likable until she ridiculously passed away of a broken heart, Queen Amidala is one of the characters most injured by the Star Wars franchise. Not only was her character’s poise and courage dismantled by her romance with a whiny Jedi, but her exit from the series was such a blow that we almost wish we’d never even been introduced to the charismatic queen. A broken heart? Really?
Think of what could have happened had she been allowed to live, help raise a rebellion, parent her twins, and stand up against Vader. Imagine his shock in discovering that she lives at the end of Return of the Jedi.
1 Needs To Go: Kylo Ren
On emotional level, many of us would like to see Kylo Ren lose his life, especially after what he’s done to his father. As established in The Force Awakens and The Last Jedi, Kylo Ren can’t seem instill fear into the hearts of men as he should. This only drives him to be more cruel as he attempts to become anything other than a pale shadow of his grandfather, Darth Vader.
Does anyone truly doubt Rey’s ability to take him out? Does anyone think that he’s redeemable? If Episode IX ends with Kylo Ren alive, it will be a disservice to the films that came before.
Which Star Wars character do you miss most? Let us know in the comments!