Spoilers for the New Jedi Order and Vector Prime.
After decades of peace, a new conflict arises in the galaxy, giving rise to new heroes and new villains. During the first major battle, one of our heroes-a co-pilot of the Millenium Falcon-makes the ultimate sacrifice,during an attempt to save the son of Han Solo.
No, it’s not Force Awakens, but “Vector Prime”, the first chapter in the “New Jedi Order” novel series, which had the New Republic and Luke’s fledgling Jedi Order face off against the Yuzzhan Vong, a formidable foe which relied on biotechnology instead of mechanical stuff (Plus they really, really hated mechanics-they viewed Droids, in particular, as abominations) and pretty much upended the Star Wars universe, conquering-and even terraforming-the safe havens of Coruscant and Yavin IV. Ironically, the concept behind the NJO started life as a Dark Horse comic pitch, being teased in work such as “Crimson Empire”.
…and there were many casualties…the first major one being Chewbacca, who dies while trying to save Han’s son, Anakin, from a crashing moon (He succeeds, although Anakin dies during a mission several books later).
A comic miniseries, “Chewbacca” followed, which functioned as a sort of Eulogy for the fallen hero, as well as an anthology, somewhat similar to DH’s own “Star Wars tales” but with a narrative framework. Here, C-3PO and R2-D2 go around the galaxy interviewing various people about their friendship with the walking carpet.
The first issue deals mainly with young Chewbacca’s adventures on Kashyyk, including the courtship of his wife. The second deals with some of Chewie’s adventures on the wrong side of the law, including his first meeting with a young TIE fighter pilot (In the “Legends” continuity, Han started out as an Imperial pilot for a brief time before resigning his commission due to Chewie’s treatment. It remains to be seen if anything similar will be done in the upcoming Han Solo movie).
The third issue deals with Chewie’s adventures with the Rebellion, including a misadventure with Wedge Antilles, and Lando. Leia also is a bit mad that he died, because it’s made Han (naturally) despondent. She’s a little selfish here, although at least she has an excuse for why she couldn’t hug the Wookie (For those familiar with the “Force Awakens” mini-controversy). Finally, we have Luke and Han, with Han recounting how Chewie’s saved his kids in the past.
Han eventually gets over his grief in the later novels, although he unfortunately loses both his sons, although his daughter, Jaina, lives on and becomes a skilled pilot, Jedi and possibly a Queen. She even got some merchandise…
Heck, she’s *still* getting figures, despite not being canon anymore.
However, all of this is no longer in continuity since the Disney buyout/canon restructering….Chewie’s alive and well (at least for now)
But Han definetly isn’t….
And while there’s a new bright hope for the Jedi in Rey, replacing Jaina sort of, Han’s only known offspring isn’t exactly making good (Then again, same thing happen to Jacen Solo in the comics)
but hey, you never know….