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Everyone’s favorite Star Wars character was really killed off once

It seems Star Wars may have been feeling a little brave once upon a time, when it legitimately killed off one of the franchise's very best characters for real.

Chewbacca, Grogu, and R2-D2 from Star Wars, with the grim reaper

I’m not saying I want lovable characters to die or anything, but it does feel like Star Wars, at least recently, has a real issue with being bold enough to kill its darlings. That wasn’t the case in this particular Legends story, though, with an iconic fixture of the franchise meeting his maker for real.

Star Wars stretches across a wide range of different mediums these days, from comic books, to video games, and everything in between. So, if watching the Star Wars movies in order doesn’t offer you the kind of kill count you’re craving, I may have a solution for you. In fact, if you really like the idea of the best Star Wars characters biting the dust, I’ve just the story.

In the Star Wars Legends timeline – which essentially covers the literary works of a galaxy far, far away – none other than Chewbacca is killed off in devastating fashion in the novel The New Jedi Order: Vector Prime. That’s right, there is a version of the Star Wars series where the wonderful Wookiee no longer exists.

It all happens in 25 ABY (after the Battle of Yavin). Chewbacca, who is on the planet Sernpidal, is basically collateral damage when Dubido, one of the planet’s moons, crashes out of orbit.

Now, that sounds pretty grim, but if it helps at all, Chewie does die a hero’s death. Before he is killed, Chewbacca manages to save Han Solo and Princess Leia‘s son, Anakin. With the youngster stuck in perilously high winds, Chewie doesn’t think twice in rushing out to save what is, in theory, his nephew (yes, I know that doesn’t work biologically, but the idea of Uncle Chewie sounds too sweet to ignore).

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Once he returns young Anakin to the Millennium Falcon, Chewie himself is swept away by the winds. Obviously, Han tries to save his old friend, but it’s not possible, and Anakin makes the tragic yet understandable decision to fly the Falcon away to save himself, his father, and the refugees they had on board, knowing Chewbacca is a lost cause.

Listen, I adore Chewie as much as the next Star Wars fan, but honestly, this storyline is pretty cool and shows a lot of courage from the writer, R.A. Salvatore. It’s a lot better than The Rise of Skywalker’s attempt to trick us into thinking Rey had accidentally killed Chewbacca, only to reveal he was on a different First Order ship that we didn’t see before. Yes, I’m still angry about all of that Star Wars movie.

For more positive aspects of the franchise, why not learn about the Star Wars cast, or look ahead to the new Star Wars movies on the way? You could also see who we deem to be the best Star Wars villains (or worst, depending on how you look at it).