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Is there any character in the Star Wars universe who is known to have been born before Episode I and is known to still be alive in Episode VII?

Some of the main characters that I have already ruled out as possible answers are:

  • Yoda, Darth Vader, Senator Palpatine, who all died in Episode VI.
  • Luke and Leia Skywalker, who were both born in Episode III.
  • Jar Jar Binks, whose fate has not been established by canon (his voice is heard at the end of the DVD release of Episode VI, but we don't know if he survived until Episode VII).
  • R2-D2 and C-3PO, because droids are not lifeforms.
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Sarlacc Pit. Snoke. Chewbacca (according to Legends). – Wad Cheber Feb 27 at 16:52
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Just because they aren't organic lifeforms does not to me indicate they don't count as alive. We shouldn't buy into organic oppression of non-organic life. – pcurry Feb 29 at 4:27
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@kasperd Right, but that was said by an Imperial officer. The Empire is speciesist (the Emperor doesn't approve of non-humans), as well as being a police state. We don't agree with them that the Rebels are scum, or think that the Tarkin Doctrine is a good idea, or that Wookies are only good as slave labor. That the rest of the setting also treats droids as things rather than people is also problematic, but at least the main characters DON'T behave that way. – pcurry Feb 29 at 12:38
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@OlivierGrégoire No, it is not reasonable to assume that the character is as old as the actor. It is very common for older actors to play younger characters. But there's another reason to believe Han Solo was born before Episode I. Time dilation. For each trip he took on the Kessel Run, 40 years would pass for everyone else while he would age only a day and a half. So for each trip he went on, we know he was born 40 years older than he appears. Just a single trip would put his birth before Episode I. But none of that matters for this question because he's not alive at the end of Episode VII. – Nick Feb 29 at 20:01
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Jar Jar is heard at the end of Episode VI -- Oh god, it's real. – Matthew Read Mar 1 at 9:00
up vote 108 down vote accepted

Maz Kanata is over a thousand years old.

From the novelization:

Han indicated the soaring walls now rising before them (...) "The galaxy’s full of watering holes, but nothing like this place. It’s been run by an old smuggler named Maz Kanata for a thousand years."

Visual Dictionary:

Maz Kanata Entry

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Leader Snoke looks quite old as well. – David Banner Feb 27 at 16:41
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What's the canonicity of this age? Also, do we know for a fact that she survived the attack on her establishment? – ThePopMachine Feb 27 at 16:46
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The novelisation has a line from Maz after the attack, sighing and promising to rebuild the castle – Valorum Feb 27 at 16:56
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Good thing Abrams confirmed her age, because at least in the film, that line could as well have been a hyperbole along the lines of "she's been running that place forever". (Well actually going by his quote it is a hyperbole, since he says she's only been running it for a century, but is a thousand years old.) – Martin Büttner Feb 27 at 23:07
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@JuhaUntinen: There is a minimum of one big reveal per Star Wars movie. Perhaps Maz = Snoke is the big reveal for Star Wars IX. You heard it here first! – ThePopMachine Mar 1 at 23:08

Assuming you are talking about the main characters Chewbacca is alive througout 1 to 7 (Note he was born 200 years before the battle of Yavin an he is still alive by the end of Episode VII)

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You can see an adult Chewbacca at the end of episode III which makes him older (or at leas as old as) than Anakin at that point (and thus born before Anakin) – Jorge Córdoba Feb 27 at 16:51
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According to scifi.stackexchange.com/a/110502/4295 (which quotes cannon) the lifespan of a wookie is 400 years. There's no canon reference that I know of about the actual "speed" of development from birth to adultship but occam´s razor would suggest it should be longer than humans and not shorter. – Jorge Córdoba Feb 27 at 17:32
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Do we have canon evidence that occam's razor exists in the Star Wars universe? – Plutor Feb 28 at 19:14
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The canon book Smuggler's Run says that Chewbacca was 180 in the Clone Wars, so he was definitely alive during Episode I. – magicker72 Feb 29 at 3:44
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@Plutor I think it's known as Occam's Lightsaber in that universe, as it cuts through many things, but also burns the unwary wielder. – pcurry Feb 29 at 4:18

The Sarlacc

enter image description here

Regarding the Sarlacc in the a Pit of Carkoon on Tatooine,

C3PO: In its belly, you will find a new definition of pain and suffering as you are slowly digested...over a thousand years.

From this, one can infer that the Sarlacc has been alive for quite some time before (and after) the events of the episodes.

According to the official Star Wars Card Trader app (iOS, produced by Topps Card Co. in 2015, licensed by Disney), the Sarlacc is over 30,000 years old and is still alive at the time of The Force Awakens.

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Hardly a character though... – Valorum Feb 27 at 18:10
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@Richard : This is precisely the type of fun, lateral answer you would go for. – Praxis Feb 27 at 18:11
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You might as well have added in the Millenium Falcon – Valorum Feb 27 at 18:12
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@Richard : The Sarlacc is a life form, the Millennium Falcon is not. I read the question carefully before chiming in. :-) – Praxis Feb 27 at 18:13
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In the Star Wars books, Boba Fett killed the Sarlac, before climbing out and escaping with Dengar. – Karl Gjertsen Feb 27 at 22:34

Admiral Gial Ackbar

enter image description here

Akbar makes a short appearance in Episode VII, however he was already an Admiral in Episode VI. Plus he was a captain during the Clone Wars, meaning that he would have had to have been born prior to Episode I.

During the canon Star Wars: The Clone Wars CGI TV series, Captain Ackbar briefly served along side Anakin Skywalker.

enter image description here

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1  
+1. I thought about him too, but I couldn't remember if he was in any of the prequel trilogy films, or if the back story Wookieepedia has on him for the Clone Wars is purely Legends. Could you add a clarifying source on that bit? – Janus Bahs Jacquet Feb 27 at 23:20
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@JanusBahsJacquet as the answer now shows, Clone Wars is canon and Ackbar appear in the show. :) – RedCaio Feb 28 at 0:10
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I wonder how far back we'd have to go to get to Ensign Ackbar. – Crashworks Mar 2 at 0:21
    
Or if he was ever enlisted, Seaman Ackbar... @Crashworks – Daniel Mar 2 at 2:58
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Don't vote for this answer: it's a trap. – Tab Alleman Mar 3 at 20:02

Considering genetics alone, there's also Jango Fett. He was an adult in Episode II, so must have been born before Episode I, and was the genetic basis for all of the Clone Troopers. As indicated in a conversation in Episode VII, at least some of the Storm Troopers are still clones. Though clearly not all of them, as the only other one whose face we've ever seen is clearly not a clone of Jango Fett.

Edit: Here's the conversation in question (forgot it was Kylo Ren in this scene):

GENERAL HUX: Supreme Leader Snoke was explicit. Capture the droid if we can, but destroy it if we must.

KYLO REN: How capable are your soldiers, General?

HUX: I won't have you question my methods.

KYLO: They're obviously skilled at committing high treason. Perhaps Leader Snoke should consider using a clone army.

HUX: My men are exceptionally trained -- programmed from birth --

KYLO: Then they should have no problem retrieving the droid. Unharmed.

HUX: Careful, Ren. That your "personal interests" not interfere with orders from Leader Snoke.

KYLO: I want that map. For your sake, I suggest you get it.

So clearly Kylo Ren is saying that a clone army is available. I doubt he's saying they could just whip one up in a couple of days. They must have some already, just off doing other things. (Whether they're still using Jango's DNA for this is unknown, but I don't see why they wouldn't if it was still available.)

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What conversation in VII are you talking about? The only conversation I remember that mentions clones, when cross-referenced with novelisation, explicitly states that clones are NOT used in the First Order. Even if there are rare exceptions, we've nothing to suggest Fett clones are still in use, especially since there's no care to retain the Fett DNA ever since clone troopers were phased out of production by Palpatine. This also doesn't go into the philosophical debate of whether a clone and the original is the "same person", lol. – thegreatjedi Feb 28 at 18:17
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Also, it's Fett, Jango Fett. – thegreatjedi Feb 28 at 18:20
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@thegreatjedi - I don't have the script or the novelization available, but there was a conversation between Finn's former superior officer and another officer stating that she doesn't use clones because she considers them inferior, but it seems implied that her opinions are in the minority in that respect, thus other squadrons might still use them. (I agree that it's iffy whether Jango and his clones can be considered the same person, I was just thinking outside the box a little bit.) – Darrel Hoffman Feb 28 at 18:59
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@DarrelHoffman IMO, the question of whether any Jango clones are around is moot, because each clone would be a distinct individual separate from the individual known as Jango. That each clone is his own separate person is obvious to you if you've ever met a pair of identical twins. The only difference between a clone and a twin is the method of conception. – David H Feb 29 at 23:24
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@Daniel - I tried. Spoiler tags don't play nicely with newlines. Apparently you have to use stupid hacky HTML to make it work. (Anyhow, there's nothing seriously spoilery about this particular scene.) – Darrel Hoffman Mar 2 at 14:15

Well it's getting more and more difficult to find any proven characters, but I'll throw in a few "reasonable" possibilities, at least trying to cover 6 out of the 7 episodes.

Supreme Leader Snoke

Snoke

This villain from Episode 7 looks very old, if he is more than 62 years old then it means he was alive in Episode I.

Nien Numb

Nien Numb

Nien Numb is Lando's copilot. We can see him in Episodes VI, and 30 years later in Episode VII. If he was the same age as Lando, or older, he might have been alive in Episode I as well (see Lando below).

Lando Calrissian

Lando

Lando is older than Han Solo, and according this webpage was born in 31 BBY. I'm not sure how the webpage found that out. It might be possible that he was born during Episode 1.

He didn't die in the movies and appeared in many games of the extended universe after Episode 6, so he might still be alive in later episodes.

Bib Fortuna

Bib Fortuna

Jabba's servant can be seen in Episode I and Episode VI. He does not die in episode VI. He might be still alive in Episode VII.

Chirpa the Chief Ewok

chirpa

According to canon information, he was the chief of Bright Tree Village on Endor for 42 seasons, which mean, on Endor's 402 orbital period, approximately 12 standard years, which means since 8 BBY.

If he was born after episode I (32 BBY), it means he became chief of his village at only 24 years old, which is possible but seems a bit young, when also considering the fact that after Episode VI he retires and leaves his place to his daughter Kneesaa. It would be a bit too young to retired before 36 years old wouldn't it ?

Source: http://starwars.wikia.com/wiki/Chirpa

The Exogorth from Episode V

exogorth

The gigantic asteroid worm who nearly ate the Millennium Falcon in Episode sure looks more than 40 years old. He looks quite badass and I don't see why someone would explode his asteroid so he must have survived until the next saga ;)

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Death seems a fluid concept when it comes to the Force.

Anakin "died" in Episode III (according to Kenobi), but we know he lived on as Darth Vader. Is that a death or not? Would you say that Anakin is in Episodes I through VI?

Kenobi "died" in Episode IV and Yoda in Episode V, but both have an active influence in subsequent events. Kenobi urges Luke to trust his feelings. Even in Episode VII, both of them speak to Rey in the visions she experiences when she touches Luke's lightsaber.

I know you said you ruled out Yoda, but I'd argue that both Kenobi and Yoda have a continuing active role, and clearly they were all alive since Episode I.

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Anakin "dying" and "undying" isn't really a force thing - it was just a lie that Kenobi told Luke to protect him from the whole "your father" thing. – David Grinberg Mar 2 at 17:44
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@David Grinberg: Was it a lie? Or did Kenobi truly believe that the life force that was Anakin ceased to exist when he gave himself fully to the Dark Side? The original trilogy is a saga of redemption and perhaps resurrection. At the end of Jedi, Vader is dead and Anakin lives again (at least in the sense that Yoda and Kenobi do). [It's interesting to me that Kenobi has tremendous effects on the course of events by "talking" to Luke after he "dies." If Anakin were redeemed, why doesn't his ghost contact Force-savvy characters in Episode VII?] – Adrian McCarthy Mar 2 at 18:05
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Nope. It was just a lie, solely to protect Luke from the truth. – David Grinberg Mar 2 at 18:17
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@AdrianMcCarthy - Why didn't ghost-Anikin appear in VII? Because Sebastian Shaw is dead and nobody wanted to see Hayden Christensen in the movie. (Also, if he was going to appear for anyone, it'd be Luke, and he's barely in the movie - maybe he'll show up in VIII?) – Darrel Hoffman Mar 3 at 15:01
    
@AdrianMcCarthy Qui-gon learned how to communicate with Yoda after his death, Yoda explicitly states this to Obi-wan and instructs him to learn the same. That is the reason Obi-wan and Yoda can guide Luke and Rey, but Anakin can't. He just never learned how, and it's too late now (this seems like something you learn before dying). – Kevin Apr 7 at 14:37

How about Bail Organa? He's about the same age as Obi Wan but never died in the movies.

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It seems unlikely that he would have survived Alderaan. – kasperd Mar 1 at 10:33
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According to the Databank (Disney's online encyclopedia for Star Wars): Bail died when the Death Star destroyed his homeworld. – YLearn Mar 1 at 22:50

The Force is in all 7 movies, and it's technically alive.

It's just up to you to determine if that counts as a character.

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