Chewbacca is one of the most beloved characters in the Star Wars Universe, and it looks like this may be his last run in a feature film.
That's at least if you believe the rather observant folks over at CinemaBlend. They make a strong case that the walking carpet breathes his last, and that trailers for Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens have already given it away.
In a piece entitled, "Star Wars: Whose Dead Body Is Rey Crying Over? Here Are the Possibilities," the site notes that Chewbacca makes the most sense from a story point.
Furthermore, after thinking over the theory a bit, you'll probably notice that it makes the most sense from a production standpoint as well.
You can check out the full piece linked above, but if you want to know why a Chewbacca death makes the most sense, read on.
First, you have to take a look at the image that CinemaBlend is referencing when they refer to Rey in tears, though if you're like most Star Wars fans, you probably already have it memorized.
Here's a still from the trailer.
Clearly, Rey (Daisy Ridley) didn't just stub her toe. She's crying over something traumatic -- likely a death -- and running with that theory, CinemaBlend theorizes that the death may be someone very close to her.
The first two possibilities that the site lists include one that the Inquisitr theorized earlier this week -- Finn (John Boyega).
It would make sense from a J.J. Abrams' "Mystery Box" standpoint. The Force Awakens director has made sure Boyega is front-and-center for the marketing of the film, and Boyega even recently let it slip that Abrams told him he was the "new star" of Star Wars.
But this could all be a ruse to set up audiences for a surprise. The trailers that have been released thus far -- including the one today through Disney Japan (see below) -- all place a heavier emphasis on Rey.
Plus, Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) is a villain who looks like he may be around for the long haul, and audiences already know that Finn takes Ren on in a lightsaber duel at some point in the film.
Can't be a good sign.
Even so, it's hard to see how a new character's death would carry the same amount of anguish as an old character's death, and "anguish" describes perfectly what Rey is feeling in the image above.
As such, that leaves limited other possibilities. It could be Luke (doubtful), Leia (Rey would certainly be upset if the Princess turns out to be her mother), and by extension, as a probable candidate for her father, it could be Han Solo as well.
But CinemaBlend points out with microscopic attention to detail that whatever/whoever is lying dead before Rey has a bit of a scraggly look when it comes to the follicle department.
It's small, but telling, and it would definitely make a lot of sense.Chewbacca is instantly likable, and since viewers of the trailers now know that Rey crosses paths with Han that would mean she crosses paths with Chewbacca, too.
It would be highly improbable that she would fail to get attached to the big lug.
Additionally -- and this is something that CinemaBlend does not include in their analysis, but it's just as relevant -- Peter Mayhew, the man behind the fur, has suffered with health and mobility issues for years.
It's unlikely Mayhew could stay physically capable of portraying Chewbacca through an entire second trilogy, whereas in contrast, you can throw Harrison Ford in a plane and crash-land him on a golf course, and he practically gets up and walks away.
Last point: it would be far better to give Chewbacca a noble hero's death using the guy who played him, than to keep him around with someone else in the suit for subsequent films.
Regardless of what happens to Chewbacca, though, you'll have to wait until Dec. 18 to find out. Now, go watch that new trailer a few more times.
[Image via Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens screen grab]