Characters who may not survive The Last Jedi

With Star Wars: The Last Jedi almost upon us, it's time to ask ourselves the important questions: who is Snoke? Is Luke truly the last Jedi? Who are Rey's parents? And of course, who's going to die? It's all but a given that somebody will bite it in the name of plot progression, but some characters are more likely to rejoin the Force than others, and these Star Wars favorites stand a very good chance of not making it to Episode IX.

Poe Dameron

Poe's a pretty popular and likeable character, but he's definitely the third most important hero in the New Trilogy, behind Rey and Poe's own BFF, Finn. So if one of the young good guys have to go, it's almost certainly going to be him.

If he does die, it would actually be a long time coming. Poe was originally set to die in The Force Awakens, after crashing on Jakku. Yep, he was going to be one of those super-minor characters with precious little screen time who'd get a book and action figures anyway, but he asked for a bigger role because he was sick of dying so early in his films. Ultimately, director J.J. Abrams promoted him to "main character" status, but the fact that they've considered killing him before suggests they could consider killing him again. Finn might want to find a backup buddy, just in case.

General Hux

If Last Jedi's to be the Empire Strikes Back of the New Trilogy, that means the villains will dominate. But that doesn't mean they all have to survive—somebody has to take one for the dark team. No way will that be Kylo or Snoke; they're too important to the story's core. So that means the First Order's favorite ginger, General Hux, will likely settle the "I'd rather be dead than red" issue by being both.

He's not Force-sensitive like Ren or (presumably) Snoke, but just a regular person who heard about the whole Sith/First Order thing and concluded it was cool. He and Ren are constantly at each other's throats over strategy, and if they clash so badly that Snoke's forced to choose one, he's almost certainly going to choose the Force guy over the powerless military dude. So what if he's really, really good at commanding stormtroopers? That's not a unique skill set, and Snoke could likely find a replacement fast. In fact, he's already got one: Captain Phasma. We could absolutely see Snoke, angered over a bad Hux decision, ordering Phasma to waste her workmate, which she would do without hesitation. After all, the mission's more important than the man.

Chewbacca

Just about any Original Trilogy character could be knock-knock-knocking on the midichlorians' door, and lovable old Chewie is no different. Now that his partner and best buddy Han is no more, and now that we have the Porgs to fill the saga's "fuzzy adorable creature" quota, Chewbacca's suddenly pretty expendable. In the name of gravitas, let the Wookiee die.

Besides, Chewie's actor, Peter Mayhew, is simply too old to continue playing the role. Lucasfilm found another seven-footer to wear the fuzzy suit, which is an understandable decision, but it's not easy to recast a character so beloved. It might be prudent for Disney to give us new-guy Chewie for just one movie, so we can say a proper goodbye to our beloved arm-ripping teddy bear. Then we can watch him die heroically in battle, taking as many of the First Order with him as he can, just like Han would've wanted.

Captain Phasma

Earlier, we suggested that General Hux might die, possibly at Captain Phasma's hand. But what if the opposite is true? What if Phasma finally meets the end she evaded at the trash compactor, possibly due to Hux's actions?

Phasma's a pretty popular character, for several reasons. For one, a female Stormtrooper is a great, novel idea. For another, the star who plays Phasma, Game of Thrones vet Gwendoline Christie, is the coolest. Finally, her look—shiny, silver 'trooper gear versus the usual white, is just plain neat. That said, there hasn't been a lot to her character yet besides being a tough, stoic leader (unless you read her novel or comics). We haven't seen her face, and we know little about the reasons behind what she does and how she feels about it. Unless Last Jedi tackles those issues, or simply makes her human by showing her face, losing her wouldn't really affect Star Wars one way or the other.

Unkar Plutt

When last we saw Unkar Plutt, he was raging because Rey refused to sell him BB-8 and then flew off in the Millennium Falcon, which he claimed was his. But aside from that, he's been a dangling plot piece—a guy who has no real role anymore, but who hasn't died yet either. So unless Last Jedi plans to make him a major pain in the neck for Rey, it's best to just kill him. In fact, kill him anyway, because he deserves it.

Rey's storyline has progressed past his, as has her fighting abilities. If Plutt came after her, it would be a terrific mismatch, especially if Chewie were around to rip his arms off (as he did in a wonderful deleted scene from The Force Awakens). While LucasFilm could just ignore him and let us presume he died, or pull a Jar-Jar and give him a sad ending in one of the official books, we think it would be far more satisfying for Rey to end him for good, especially after he overworked and cheated her all those years on Jakku.

Admiral Ackbar

Of all the Original Trilogy characters to survive this long, few are more surprising than Admiral Ackbar. He has no real ties to the plot, and his character is almost entirely based on "It's a trap!" his Return of the Jedi line that the internet meme machine has immortalized. Aside from that, though, he's almost completely expendable, and one bit of dialogue isn't enough to justify keeping him around to see the end of Rey's saga.

Because he's been around for so long, Ackbar should get a good, heroic death. Perhaps he can take matters into his own hands when times get especially grim for the Resistance, flying his ship into battle and destroying an important part of the First Order's offense. He would be destroyed with it, but he'd be remembered as a legendary hero for eons to come.

Or he could fly into a trap, yell his favorite line, and get blown up that way. Star Wars hasn't really had a funny death since Boba Fett tumbled into the Sarlacc's mouth, so we're long overdue.

Maz Kanata

Perhaps the most mysterious new character in Star Wars, Maz Kanata is a wizened old Yoda-esque figure for the new generation. We went all of Force Awakens without learning much of anything about her or her intentions, so that likely means one of a few possibilities: she's getting a spinoff movie, she's going to remain a mystery that fans and novelists can work on fleshing out, or she's a red herring who's ready to die. Perhaps all three—but don't be surprised if she dies.

The First Order already attacked her planet once, so why not do it again and go after whoever remains? It's likely they'll want to come after her anyway, if they find out she was the one who gave Luke's lightsaber to Rey. If the Last Jedi uses it to cut some Dark Siders down, the bad guys in charge would definitely want her head. And since she's not a fighter—she's Force-sensitive, but admits herself that she's no Jedi—once she's in the First order's sights her days are probably numbered, cool Yoda vibes or not.

R2-D2

While a robot can't "die" the way fleshy species can, think of the emotional wallop if one of the only two characters to appear in every single Star Wars movie finally expired. If it were to happen, our guess is R2-D2 would be the droid to die.

While C-3PO is certainly beloved, there's something about R2-D2 that makes him extra lovable. Maybe it's his compact size. Maybe it's how he doesn't speak English, so he can't talk and snark too much like his chatty golden buddy. Whatever it is, people adore R2-D2, and if he gets damaged beyond repair during a dogfight, Star Wars may actually bring audiences to tears. Plus, since Kenny Baker, the actor who spent the most time inside the R2 suit, died in August 2016, it only seems right that the character go with him, so it remains his forever.

Luke Skywalker

Obi-Wan died, so why not the new Obi-Wan, too? Jedi Master Luke Skywalker's getting on in years, his friend Han Solo is gone, and his confidence in his ability to train young Jedi is shot. There's no real reason to think Luke will survive Last Jedi, aside from the fact that he's Luke Skywalker and Star Wars would seem weird without him. But with badasses like Rey and Finn to pick up the slack, Luke can comfortably join his father and Obi-Wan in the pantheon of Force ghosts.

There are a couple ways Luke could go. If Rey is indeed turning to the Dark Side, as some rumors have suggested, she might just kill him in battle. Or the opposite could happen: if Luke finally gives in to the darkness, Rey might have to end him. If she doesn't, then perhaps Luke will confront Kylo Ren, his former pupil, for one final battle. What better way to build up Ren as the ultimate evil than to have him kill two of your childhood heroes?

General Leia

After Carrie Fisher's tragic and untimely death in December 2016, people started wondering what would happen to her Star Wars character, General "Don't Call Me Princess Anymore" Leia. Based on everything we know about the saga, and what people close to her have said, it's all but a given Leia dies with her actress.

According to Mashable, Leia was set to survive Last Jedi, and was going to have a big role in Episode IX. That's obviously no longer the case, but Jedi director Rian Johnson also said, "We don't adjust what happens to her in this movie." If both statements are to be believed, she'll survive, but perhaps die offscreen. But what if they're not true? What if Leia was set to die in Jedi anyway? It honestly makes sense for the character to die, especially if either Rey or Kylo Ren kills Luke. Why not take his sister out too, to really deal a death blow to the Resistance? But if they did that, and they filmed her death, how effected might audiences be actually seeing Leia die, with Fisher's death still so fresh and raw in their minds?

It's easy to imagine that Lucasfilm could resolve this issue by editing out her death scene (if it exists), and rewriting the script so she dies offscreen. Perhaps as Luke re-enters civilization, the first thing he sees is a memorial for his fallen sister? If anything's going to send him hurtling toward the Dark Side, it's that.