Potential Spoiler Alert: While this article contains mostly speculation based upon the most recent trailer, I still recommend proceeding with caution if you would like to avoid spoilers.
For months, rumors of Han Solo's tragic passing at the end of [Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens](tag:711158) have been infiltrating all corners of the web, but with the final trailer now available for public consumption, it appears super fan theorists may have been potentially right about the demise, but wrong about who exactly suffers the fatal blow. After analyzing the latest trailer, frame by frame, I believe that the death of a beloved character, not named Han Solo, potentially has been revealed.
As none of this is based on inside information, but rather the trailer itself (which I have watched dozens of times prior to penning this article), I caution taking what comes next with a grain of salt.
This shot, taken from the trailer, shows Daisy Ridley's character, Rey, weeping over what looks to be a corpse. When examined more closely, evidence leads fans to conclude that the corpse in question is potentially Chewbacca's. The arm appears to be furry unlike a human body, and while it is hard to tell for certain, the shoulder of this character looks to be bearing the leather strap that Chewie so famously fashions. Not to mention, the expression on Rey's face leads the viewer to believe that something truly terrible has happened, such as the death of a friend and comrade. Witnessing the downfall of beloved friend and ally Chewbacca, could possibly be the event that evokes this emotion from Rey.
There is perhaps no friend closer to Chewie than Han Solo. In this shot above, we cannot see Han's eyes, but we do get the sense that tragic events have conspired judging by the look on Leia's face. While her expression is rather somber, it is also possible that she is consoling Han for his loss. Even though they have all been through hardships together, Leia is fully aware of Han and Chewie's friendship and their collective history.
The passing of Chewbacca not only makes sense in the context of the trailer, but it would also create a fascinating narrative for the Han Solo prequel, slated for release in Spring of 2018. While only conjecture at this point, many have speculated that the Han Solo standalone film would focus on the relationship between Han and Chewbacca, and potentially reveal how they met and became the dynamic duo we know them as today. Although many hypothesized that Han's death would be the nostalgic catalyst driving the narrative of the standalone film, I believe that it is possible that it is instead the death of Chewbacca that 'brings on all the feels' when the prequel is finally released.