By now, most of the world, has heard of the infamous event in R.A. Salvatore's Vector Prime. While the death of Chewbacca was a surprise, I cannot say that I am against it. Chewbacca, like Han, had been poorly characterized and underutilized in many of the post-ROTJ novels. If I had my choice, I would have preferred that Han & Chewie, together, gone out in a blaze of glory. Many people, it seems, would have preferred it if Lando had been the one to die. However, the impact would not have been the same. After all, many Star Wars fans still do not like Lando as they consider him the one who sold out his friends.
Whether or not you like Vector Prime or the event, you do have to admit that it marks a dramatic shift in what George Lucas and Lucasfilm will allow in the novels. This shift is a breath of fresh air as, to me, many of the post-ROTJ novels had become rather stale and seemed to be rehashing the same storyline over and over.
I have only been able to find 3 of the 4 issues of the Chewbacca comic series by Dark Horse, but I must say that I have thoroughly enjoyed each issue. In each issue two or three characters from the Star Wars universe share with Artoo & Threepio a story about Chewbacca that will become part of a memorial. These memories are some of the best characterization of Chewbacca that I have read or seen (yes, I feel he was not utilized well in ROTJ) in several years.
I, for one, do not think that Lando betrayed his friends. He was in a no win situation and had to do what was best for Cloud City. After all, his first priority was the citizens and businesses of Cloud City and keeping the Empire as far away as possible. It was not a choice he wanted to make, but as the Baron Administrator, it was the choice he had to make. If you were the Baron Administrator of Cloud City, what choice would you make?
Alec Guinness passed away on August 5, 2000. He was a great actor, but I am ashamed to say that I have only seen him in three films and only know him as Obi-Wan Kenobi. Unfortunately, that is the way many of my generation know him. However, he has a large body of work that made him famous long before he donned any Jedi robes. It is that body of work that convinced George Lucas that he needed Guinness to add credibility to Star Wars. I think every fan that only knows him as Obi-Wan Kenobi should go out and rent one of his other films. I know I am.